The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

The Art and Science of Interviewing Pro Bono Clients 2015

Date: 
10/26/2015
Author: 
PLI

Asking the right questions in the right way can start your attorney-client relationship off on the right note and prevent unnecessary frustration. This skill is especially important when working with pro bono clients who have had limited experience with the legal system or face other barriers. PLI’s online course The Art and Science of Interviewing Pro Bono Clients is free to anyone who wants to learn more about how to master the art and science of interviewing pro bono clients.

Click here to access the online course.

What you will learn:

You will learn the science of collecting information, including:

  • Preparing properly for client interviews
  • Asking your client the right kinds of questions in the right order to get the information you need

You will learn the art of collecting information, including:

  • Framing your interview questions and responding to your client’s answers
  • Identifying behaviors to use and avoid when interviewing clients
  • Creating an environment where your client feels comfortable sharing the truth about their case

You will learn how to manage frustrations, including:

  • Identifying common frustrations for pro bono clients and attorneys
  • Anticipating and preventing client and attorney frustrations before they happen
  • Practicing techniques for mitigating frustrations when they arise

You will learn third party basics, including:

  • Identifying when a third party is covered by privilege
  • Communicating the implications of a third party presence to your client
  • Controlling the interview when a third party is present

Who should participate

All attorneys assisting pro bono clients through representation or in clinical settings, firm pro bono coordinators and partners, corporate law department pro bono managers, law clinic students and faculty, and public interest and non-profit organization attorneys and staff would benefit from attending this program.


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