There are world universities of law which conducts competitions on Client Interview. The most important part among others is the initial conversation by the advocate and client. A client's trust upon an advocate, on his nature, knowledge, attitude etc will depend upon the initial impression expressed in the Client interview. This post however, is not looking deeply into the presentation skills which an advocate should possess while having conversation with his client. A general method to be adopted for successfully doing a client interview is detailed here under which may help you get a good hold of the case.
Be a patient listener
What is the difference between a normal interview between two persons and an interview between advocate and a client. A normal person who doesn't have the backing of law may ask necessary and unnecessary questions. But an advocate may ask only necessary questions. He may get those unnecessary answers and
explanations from the client. So whether you should note down all the things which a client says is a primary question. The answer is in the negative. In such a condition you may note the important things only by listening effectively.
Thinking in Client's Point of View
One may have to think in Client's point of view. This may help in a better way of understanding the facts. But be sure to avoid the fancy stories of the client. Take the real fact only.
Note down important points
You can take your time to note down important factual/legal points during your conversation with the party. This points will really help you proceed with the case in future preparation.
Always ask questions to the client. But be sure to do this only to make your client come to the real point. But do not do this frequently as he may miss out some important points if you hinder him frequently. This depends on each situation and varies from client to client. If a client is a 'talking machine' and he simply going around the real fact without touching it most of the time, you can ask questions on the specific points which you came across during your conversation. Asking questions will clarify the doubts in your mind and gives a much more clearer picture.
At least basic knowledge of the subject matter is required for an easy and effective conversation with the client. This can be acquired through different means. Experience also counts. If you have the requisite knowledge, you can easily cut short the valuable time and ask specific questions in such a way to make it easier for the client also to discuss the most relevant matters. For example if you know the basic things of a law relating to the fact which your client is telling, you can ask that law point particularly to him and he will be in a position to state those facts which relate to your law point.
Clarify the errors and Educate
This is an important thing. Sometimes the client himself finds questions and answers to some problems and reaches a conclusion. He may tell the facts and figures based on these conclusions. You may point out those specific errors and clarify it for getting the real fact. Educating the client will ultimately benefit the client and most importantly the Advocate. So make him know his rights and benefits.
Ask for the records
Make a note of the important things which have primary evidence. Ask your client to bring those records while fixing another interview, for reference. These primary records are a great piece of evidence and are handy things for the case.
Call for more evidence
If any documents given to you is insufficient, you may advise the client to obtain the necessary things during next interview. You may also suggest the ways to obtain the same.
Always ask for compromise
If the facts are such that you could smell a possibility of compromise, please ask regarding such a course. This way you will never be the loser. You may escape from wasting your precious time and energy in filing an unnecessary suit.
Make a good finish
A good word, a positive word is most essential to end the interview. The client should feel that the things are on the move."We will do it" or "We can do it" like terms may encourage the client to proceed with the case. Depending on the circumstance and nature of the client you can appropriately use words to strengthen your client to entrust the matter with you.