If you have been responsible for conducting in-depth interviews with clients, then you probably have developed an information-gathering system that works for you. If so, stick to it and make adjustments in the kinds of questions and in the way you gather the information as necessary. If you don't have much experience in client, witness, or defendant interviewing techniques, then review the following section with your own caseload in mind. Some of the questions of course won't apply exactly to the cases in your office, and some won't relate to the type of law practiced by your attorneys. Still, you'll notice from the flow of the questions how it is possible to gather most of the information you'll need in just a short period of time.
What follows is a primer on interviewing techniques. As always, take what works for you and create your own standard client or witness questionnaires to match your needs. Even if you ask the same questions time after time and even if you feel you know them by heart, consider devising some type of standard questionnaire to help you remember to ask everything the first time. If you don't already use a written list, simply create one to fit the type of case you're handling.
Interviewing a client is usually a smooth process
. In most cases, clients are receptive to your questions because they usually recognize the importance of cooperation for the success of the case. However, keep in mind that even though most clients want to help you, they may feel uncomfortable about being in an attorney's office.
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