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Course Descriptions

As of 6/20/2018 5:27:10 AM

Client Counseling

Client Counseling: Interviewing, Counseling and Decision-Making

Most lawyers agree that practicing law would be much simpler without (autonomous) clients. But then, practice would be without purpose: whom would we represent? This intensive workshop course focuses on the realities of working with clients, from the initial lawyer-client interview through the challenges of counseling the fully informed client toward wise and ethical decision-making. Short exercises, presentations, video, and role simulations will focus upon how to communicate legal concepts, conduct interest-based inquiry and advice, work with client emotion and psychology, and introduce basic risk analysis. We will touch upon effective use of voice, gesture, and body language in the lawyer-client counseling context. Finally, we will address the most difficult counseling challenge: how to give a client bad news while maintaining client rapport, trust, and confidence.

After the workshop, each student will complete an individual (30 minute) final counseling skills exercise with an actor-client and the professor, who will provide coaching and constructive feedback during the session. (The coaching is active and intended to focus on each student's strengths and challenges. During the session, students will be encouraged to try alternative strategies, phrasing, or styles that may be more effective.) A lunchtime wrap up session for the workshop group will be scheduled after all students have completed their final counseling skills exercises.

Students will be evaluated based on class participation, completion of a simple risk analysis, and the final skills exercise.