MACON – Mercer Law School third-year students Brennan Collins and Malory-Anne Oliver won the American Bar Association National Client Counseling Competition on March 27. This is the first time Mercer Law School has won the national competition, and is the second Mercer Law advocacy national championship title in 2022.
Over 100 teams competed and advanced in the national competition. Collins and Oliver advanced to the national finals after placing first in the ABA Regional Client Counseling Competition in February. Last year, Collins and Oliver were runners-up in the national competition.
“Brennan and I have been working tirelessly towards a National Championship for the past two years and it is extremely satisfying to see our hard work finally pay off,” said Oliver. “I am looking forward to the opportunity to bring home another title to Mercer in the International Client Counseling Competition next month.”
The competition replicates the necessary skills for attorneys to interview, counsel and support a client through a legal issue. Utilizing role-based client interviews, competitors respond to client needs while building an attorney-client relationship. The entire competition was hosted virtually due to the pandemic.
“It is an incredible honor to be able to represent Mercer Law on the national stage and be able to give a National Championship to a school that his given so much to me,” said Collins. “We were so fortunate to have the tireless help of our wonderful alumna coach, Zandra Hall, who pushed us to be our best and always believe we could succeed.”
The team coach, Zandra Hall, ’15, has coached Mercer Law client counseling teams for five seasons. Throughout months of practice and competition, this year’s client counseling teams had an “extraordinary season,” said Hall.
“To return to the national competition with Malory and Brennan and hear our team announced as the winners this year is something I’ll never forget,” said Hall. “I knew last year that we had national champions on this team. When you’re coachable, have the ability to bend but not break, and can remain focused in the midst of adversity, all things are possible.”
“This competition success is a result of the competitors and coaches dedicating hours of practice,” said Interim Dean Karen J. Sneddon. “Mercer Law is committed to preparing our students for practice and strategic focus on the advocacy program reinforces this commitment by providing students the opportunity to participate in a range of advocacy competitions. Our second national championship in a month reflects the breadth and strength of the advocacy program.”
Three Mercer Law teams advanced in the regional semifinals, where Mercer Law placed first and second in the competition. Other Mercer Law client counseling competitors include Kiana Johnson, ’23, Lindsay Smallwood ’23, Catherine Priebe ’23, Erin Wingo, ’22, and student coach Riley Glover, ’23.