This course will provide students a framework for effective client interviewing and counseling, skills which are foundational to successful lawyering. Legal Interviewing and Counseling will help students learn to plan effective interviewing and counseling sessions, to identify and solve problems collaboratively with clients, and to further develop their abilities to effectively communicate difficult legal and factual information. This course seeks to further understanding of 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. Structured in-class simulation exercises will allow students to develop and practice these skills in real-world contexts . 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 additional tools needed to ensure effective client relationships when they enter practice. 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 a 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.
There are no pre-requisites for this course. Students currently enrolled in a clinic or planning to take a clinic are encouraged to enroll.