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Interviewing for Lawyers

Course Description: This one-week intensive course will examine interviewing in both practical and theoretical terms. The interview is a common method of extracting information from clients and witnesses. Yet, social science suggests that not all interviewees understand the goals of the interviewer.  Readings, critiques and activities will be geared toward enhancing the students’ awareness of the pitfalls, challenges and difficulties of interviewing. Clients and witnesses, for example from different socioeconomic, educational and ethnolingusitic backgrounds come to the interview setting with norms and ways of speaking that do not align with those of attorneys and paralegals. In addition to studying different types of interviews in culture, we will examine interviewing for affidavit and other legal-document writing. Our focus will be on domestic violence, asylum, immigration and divorce cases. Students will practice writing interview questions for various types of legal cases. They will then simulate interviews with their fellow students and critique one another on the scope, depth and breadth of questioning.

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