The Law Student Division (LSD) of the American Bar Association (ABA) provides a national forum to discuss issues and concerns common to all law students. As members of the ABA/LSD, students can become involved with and participate fully in the aims, directions and activities of the ABA at all levels.
Southwestern students run one of the most active chapters of the ABA/LSD in the country, and many have served on the executive board of the organization's Ninth Circuit. In the past, Southwestern students have served as the Circuit's Governor, Lieutenant Governors, and national chairs.
Pre-Trial Lawyering Skills Competitions
Southwestern teams participate annually in the Client Counseling Competition and the Legal Negotiation Competition, both sponsored by the Law Student Division of the American Bar Association.
The ABA Legal Negotiation Competition
The Negotiation Competition focuses on alternative dispute resolution. The competition, held in the fall, requires a two-person team to negotiate a transaction or dispute with teams from competing law schools in a regional competition. The regional winning teams then compete at a national competition held in conjunction with the ABA Mid-Year Meeting. The subject matter of the problem varies from year to year and is typically a problem commonly encountered in the practice of law.
The ABA Client Counseling Competition
The Client Counseling Competition is held regionally in the spring. The competition simulates a law office consultation situation in which two law students, as a team in the role of lawyers, are presented with a typical client matter. They must interview and counsel the person playing the role of client and explain how they would proceed further in the hypothetical situation. The winning team of each region competes in the national competition, and the winner of the national competition is eligible to compete in the international client counseling competition.
Intramural try-outs are held in the fall and spring semesters, respectively, for each competition to select the students who will represent Southwestern. There are no prerequisites to trying out, although successful completion of the Pre-Trial Lawyering Skills course is recommended. Students can try out for either or both competitions. Interested students should watch for announcements of informational meetings and the try-outs for each competition that will be posted throughout the law school.