Monday, March 25, 2013

Client Counseling

The lawyer-client relationship is unique. An attorney may be the only person the client feels he or she can trust in an adversarial proceeding. However, while you may learn the law and how to think like a lawyer in law school, you may feel ill-equipped to deal with the interpersonal aspect of working with clients. Combine this with your ethical obligations and the whole panoply of skills, emotions, psychology, and ethics can be confounding.

Two recent examples of criminal defendants' in-court behavior brings an attorney's obligations to the forefront:

T.J. Lane, recently convicted of killing several of his classmates, wore a t-shirt that said "killer" to his sentencing. Penelope Soto gestured offensively at a judge during her arraignment and insulted him.

What is or was the role of the attorney in these situations? How do you work with your client, act in his or her best interest, and maintain a working relationship with them so you can help them help themselves?

Review some of the following materials: