Legal Interviewing & Counseling
Effective legal interviewing and counseling is foundational to the effective performance of almost all lawyering tasks. This course will provide students a framework for effective client interviewing and counseling and, like other skills-oriented courses such as Negotiations, will provide structured simulations that allow students to practice using this framework in real-world contexts.
More specifically, Legal Interviewing and Counseling will help students to exhibit client-centeredness, to plan effective interviewing and counseling sessions, to identify and solve problems collaboratively with clients, to gather information effectively, to structure counseling sessions for thoroughness and efficiency, to share legal information effectively, to understand and control a broad range of communication skills, to facilitate client decision making and implementation of solutions, to manage the professional relationship, and to navigate common ethical issues that arise in the context of legal interviewing and counseling. While each of these skills will be developed over the entirety of any lawyer’s career, Legal Interviewing & Counseling aims to help students to jumpstart this development and to gain the reflective tools needed to accelerate their development in the future.
Students will be evaluated on their participation in structured, in-class simulation exercises and discussions; video-taped skills exercises done outsides of class; guided self-assessments; guided reviews of other students’ simulation exercises; and final capstone simulation interview and counseling projects. Students will be required to attend class regularly and to participate consistently in all exercises. Students will be assessed on a C/NC basis.
NOTE: This class is highly recommended for students who plan to take a clinic or other experiential learning course.
This is a fast-track course that meets for the first 8 weeks of the semester only.
Please note that course organization and content may vary substantially from semester to semester and descriptions are not necessarily professor specific. Please contact the instructor directly if you have particular course-related questions.
There are no pre-requisites for this course. Students currently enrolled in a clinic or planning to take a clinic are encouraged to enroll.