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Incoming Client Interview [Legal Clinic] Template

While interviewing skills are critical to a lawyer’s success, few are ever trained how to do it. A good interview can result in candor, trust, credibility.

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What’s inside this Incoming Client Interview [Legal Clinic] Template:

The objective of this meeting is to establish a relationship of trust with the client, to gather the information necessary to counsel her and to understand her priorities and circumstances.

1 Greetings

Ice breaker and round of introductions.

2 Preliminary Questions

Review preliminary questions prior to starting the meeting

  • Confirm identity (name, address, phone number)
  • Confirm payment of legal fees
  • Confirm there is not conflict of interest

3 Mandate of the meeting

Confirm the mandate of the meeting.

  • Confirm if the client is currently working with a lawyer or has worked with a lawyer in the past.

4 Administrative details

Share all administrative details prior to beginning the question period.

  • Explain any relevant preliminary rights entering this meeting.
  • Explain confidentiality and professional secrecy.
  • Any questions on the process of this meeting?

5 Question Period

Summarize the reason for their visit — understanding the issue at hand through a series of questions.

  • What happened?
  • Have you had any conflicts in the past with this person?
  • What would the counter part say on your behalf?
  • What additional details are missing?

6 Documentation

Gather all relevant documents that are pertinent for this case.

7 Outcomes

What does the client want? What is their ideal outcome of this situation? Do they have the financial capacities to hire a lawyer in case?

8 Closing

Wrap up of the meeting

  • Summary of the meeting
  • Summary of next steps
  • What is the best way to communicate?
  • Any final questions?
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