Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
PL 107
Course Title:
Techniques of Interview
Credit Hours:
3
Lecture Hours:
30
Lecture/Lab Hours:
0
Lab Hours:
0
Special Fee:
 

Course Description

Covers conducting client and witness interviewing techniques relevant to legal proceedings. Includes practicing simulated interviews. Prerequisites: WR 121. Prerequisites/concurrent: PL 101. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

Student learns and practices how to interview clients to obtain information needed to accomplish a specific task.  A core course, required for a Paralegal Certificate or an Associate of Applied Science degree.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  1. Plan and conduct client and witness interviews.
  2. Use effective communication techniques and styles to enhance the interview process.
  3. Apply fundamental legal ethical concepts that arise in client and witness contacts.
  4. Utilize professional resources for paralegals in planning and conducting interviews.
  5. Record and communicate results of investigations and interviews.

Course Activities and Design

Class is combination of lecture, discussion and small group interaction with role playing interviews, evaluation and feedback.  Students learn to apply interviewing techniques, apply knowledge of substantive law and to build rapport with interviewee to obtain information in a simulated legal environment.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Grades will be based upon assessment strategies including:  in and out of class applications of techniques studied; midterm and final exams that are short essay and ask students to analyze fact patterns and discuss appropriate interview techniques; other projects; informal teacher observation of student interviews.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Student should be able to:
 

  1. Recognize information relevant to areas of substantive law.
  2. Evaluate information to formulate interview questions.
  3. Articulate skills that enhance the interview process, and articulate various styles and psychological techniques applicable to legal interviewing.

Related Instruction

Communication
Hours: 40

  • Plan and conduct client and witness interviews
  • Use effective communication and psychological techniques and styles to enhance interview process
  • Apply and communicate fundamental legal ethical concepts that arise in client and witness contacts
  • Utilize professional resources for paralegals in planning and conducting interviews
  • Record and communicate results of investigations and interviews

Activities and work includes:

  • Drafting office memorandum;
  • drafting business letter;
  • drafting and revising an investigation plan;
  • drafting interview outlines;
  • role playing;
  • mock interview of clients;
  • mock interviews of witnesses;
  • observing student interviews and providing feedback;
  • assigned readings and discussion of textbook readings and problems.

Human Relations
Hours: 30

  • Plan and conduct client and witness interviews
  • Use effective communication techniques and styles to enhance interview process
  • Apply fundamental legal ethical concepts that arise in client and witness contacts, particularly involving unauthorized practice of law
  • Utilize professional resources for paralegals in planning and conducting interviews
  • Record and communicate results of investigations and interviews

Activities and work include:

  • classroom presentations and discussion of state and ABA rules relating to ethical use of non-lawyers in the interviewing and investigation process;
  • review of state and federal discovery rules;
  • application of professional rules to hypothetical and common legal fact situations;
  • discussion of textbook case studies and problems.