Final Drafts of
the Closed Memo
Final Drafts of the Closed Memo
Papers are due this Monday, October 7, in the box
outside my door no later that 7:50 a.m.
You will be penalized for failure to follow any of
the formatting requirements or for turning in your
paper late. Review your syllabus for these
requirements and penalties.
Be sure to attach (staple or clip) your first drafts. I
will only grade final drafts if the first draft is
I will answer all emails I receive before 2:30
p.m. on Saturday.
Class Monday 8/7 is a research class at 3:00. You
will receive an assigning memo that you will use to
help you prepare for a client interview.
Class next Thursday will be a combined class at
11:00 a.m. (Room 273). You and your law firm
(groups of 8) will prepare for and then interview
your client who will be in class on that day.
The Client Interview
The best way to develop a client’s confidence in
you is to research the law.
Having a full understanding of the dimensions of
the law that applies to your client’s problem
assists you in the preparation of the case by
making it possible for you to ask the relevant
questions and gather the necessary facts.
Begin your interview of the client by meeting the
client in your waiting room.
Make your client feel at ease by offering the
client something to drink and by discussing some
Start off with open-ended questions to get a
sense of the legal issue but narrow to specific
questions where needed to determine legally
Trust may be established by explaining to your
new client the rules of professional conduct
which protect their interests such as
The rule of client confidentiality
The rule that the client is the ultimate decision-
maker when it comes to deciding whether to
settle or go to trial.
In the closed memo, you were given a list of facts in
a logical order. How might the process by which a
lawyer obtains facts be more complex?
Clients may omit critical facts
Characterize facts in the best light for them
Give facts in an idiosyncratic order
The best way to obtain the relevant facts is with
effective interview skills. You should not only ask
intelligent questions but listen carefully.
Another way of obtaining facts which may be more
neutral or provide you with information which your
client leaves out is to ask for any relevant documents,
emails, tapes of other available physical evidence.
Give only a tentative
End the legal assessment or
Interview none at all.
Tell the client what you
are prepared to do.
Formalize the attorney-
Establish a goal or a