Law students reach semifinals in first ABA client counseling competition

(From left to right) Zachary Kern, Joshua Giancola, Steven Austermiller, Lindsay Richardson, and Aleia Hornsby.

Two teams of University of South Carolina School of Law students made it to the semifinals in the American Bar Association Regional Client Counseling Competition in February. Third-year student Aleia Hornsby and second-year student Lindsay Richardson made up one team, while third-year student Joshua Giancola and second-year student Zachary Kern formed the second team. The four students were the first to ever represent the School of Law in this national competition.

On Feb. 11, the teams each had four performances on the topic of privacy law to impress the judges. Students dealt with cases involving neighbors and drones, a data breach, and employee privacy. The teams beat opponents from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law, North Carolina Central School of Law, University of South Dakota School of Law, the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law at Campbell University, and the Lincoln Memorial University Duncan School of Law.

“Both teams performed incredibly well all day and received strong scores and feedback from the judges. We are all very proud of our teams,” said coach Steve Austermiller, who teaches Intro to ADR and works for the university’s Rule of Law Collaborative

To qualify for the regional competition, the two teams had to win the internal competition at the School of Law. Students were tested on fundamental skills needed to be a successful attorney; specifically, the ability to interview, counsel, and support a client through a difficult legal problem.