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Law School Course Descriptions

General Course Description for 880 - Client Counseling and Interviewing

See also: 880-001(Viney, G)

Client Interviewing & Counseling

This course will introduce students to a practice-oriented approach to interviewing and counseling. Although we will use a standard legal text, we also will rely on materials and guests from other disciplines. The overall objective of the course is to enable students to effectively interview and represent clients. Class work will include demonstration, critique, discussion, and practical exercises.

Course topics will explore: 1) recognizing legal and non-legal dimensions of a client's problems; 2) developing fundamental skills, including effective listening and questioning; 3) gathering information; and 4) understanding the decision-making process and helping clients make appropriate decisions.

Class goals (subject to periodic revision) are that each student will:

1. Master the basic techniques of interviewing and counseling, applied to ensure the best possible lawyer-client rapport and professional service;
2. Understand the dynamics of client interactions; and
3. Learn and practice appropriate information-gathering and decision-making techniques.

This is a letter-graded class. A student's final grade will be based on:
--Class attendance and participation;
--Effort;
--Successful completion of class exercises and assignments;
--Midterm interview project;
--Final project (a videotaped client meeting).


Please contact Professor Gretchen Viney for additional information:
262-8048 ggviney@wisc.edu Room 5224