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Client-Centered Counseling: A Deliberate Approach to Meaningful and Successful Representation

Wednesday February 26

  • By: American Bar Association
  • Time: 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
  • Time Zone: Central Time (US & Canada)
  • CLE Credit
  • Location:
    Webinar (Live)
  • Contact:
    American Bar Association
  • Website:

Client-centered legal representation is a deliberate approach to both empower the client and engage the attorney, so the legal representation can be as successful and meaningful as possible. This presentation focuses on the counseling aspect of client-centered representation, and includes the following:

  • The different stages of attorney-client counseling throughout the case
  • Client relationship-building: the importance of lawyer self-awareness and attention to similarities and differences between lawyer and client
  • Lawyer preparation for client meetings: identification of options, fact investigation, legal research, and goal-setting
  • How to balance lawyer presentation of options and client goal identification
  • The steps to successful option overviews, including identification of pros and cons of each option, how to discuss potential "success" of each option without speculating, and how to manage client ambivalence
  • Sympathetic detachment as a lawyering skill: how to balance disagreement with the client with lawyer empathy, using restatement and reframing when discussing facts and case goals, probing the client's thinking critically to maximize goal-setting, how to know when to give an opinion
  • Empowering clients to make decisions about case strategy despite their propensity to rely on lawyer direction

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  • CLE Credit Comments: The ABA will seek 1.5 hours of general CLE credit in 60-minute states and 1.8 hours of CLE credit in 50-minute states.

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