Client interviewing

What is Client Interviewing and Conference Skills?

When you’re studying law, the emphasis is very often on the precedent, not the experiences of the people involved. Out in the real world it’s very different. Your clients will have messy lives, complex emotions and far-reaching problems. With more and more people turning to moneysaving online services, offering genuine support, understanding and client satisfaction has never been more important.

What does the course involve?

This popular course helps you develop the strong interpersonal skills needed to work collaboratively with your clients towards the best possible outcome. It’s about putting yourself in their shoes and making sure they fully understand the problems they face, the solutions available, and the legal, economic, social and psychological consequences. Our focus is on getting that process off to the best possible start, by training you to prepare for and conduct an effective first interview with a client. This initial meeting can make a huge difference to the way your relationship develops and, ultimately, the outcome you’re able to achieve.

How does it build on my degree studies?

This course is designed to help you work closely and confidently with clients so you can put everything you learn on your degree into practice. You’ll attend at least two training sessions, exploring the required structure of a successful client interview, the relevant professional practice rules which are contained in the Solicitors Regulation Authority Code of Conduct and appropriate client care. This includes sitting in on an interview within a solicitor’s practice to observe how experienced solicitors work effectively with a client. In teams of two, you’ll then conduct a realistic client interview based on a hypothetical scenario. Afterwards, you’ll reflect on the experience with a qualified solicitor, discussing the strengths and limitations of your interviewing, counselling and problem-handling skills.

What new skills will it give me?

You’ll learn to listen effectively, ask appropriate questions, take relevant notes and obtain the information you need from your clients. In doing so, you’ll be able to analyse their problems, assess their legal positions, give advice on courses of action and help them make informed choices. You’ll also deepen your knowledge of ethical behaviour and professional conduct, improve team-working skills and be able to objectively review a client interview. All of this hugely valuable experience will also contribute to your Go Herts Award.

How can it help me open new doors?

By increasing your confidence and giving you the practical skills you’ll need from the very start of your career, this course prepares you to hit the ground running. Hertfordshire Law School also enters the prestigious National Client Interviewing Competition every year and we’ll be choosing students from this course to take part. In previous years our students have reached the finals – an achievement which could really help your CV stand out.