Key Principles for Conducting the Client Intake and Interview with an Equity Lens in the legal setting.

Published on 26 July 2023 at 13:14

Sharing some of my success tips, these concepts also are applicable for the client's family or friends whom are often the individual whom we may encounter initially in the event the client is unavailable.

1. Active listening and empathy: Active listening involves fully engaging with the client, paying attention to their words, body language, and emotions. It requires setting aside personal biases and assumptions and genuinely seeking to understand the client's perspective. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. By actively listening and demonstrating empathy, legal service providers can create a safe and supportive space for clients to share their experiences and needs.

2. Cultural humility and sensitivity: Cultural humility involves recognizing and respecting the unique experiences, values, and beliefs of each client. It requires legal service providers to approach client interviews with an open mind and a willingness to learn from the client's cultural background. I usually allow 10 - 15 minutes for the client and/or family to express their feelings about the situation at hand, discuss their cultural and social backgrounds before we start discussing the facts. Sensitivity to cultural differences helps legal service providers avoid making assumptions or generalizations based on stereotypes and ensures that clients' cultural needs are met.

3. Respect for client autonomy and self-determination: Client autonomy refers to the right of individuals to make decisions about their own lives. Legal service providers should respect and support clients' autonomy by involving them in decision-making processes, providing them with accurate information, and empowering them to make informed choices. Sometimes the client may express that no one is to have information about their particular case. Respect this! That means that sometimes we have to be the bad guy when mom or dad calls desiring information about their loved ones case, particularly when the service is being paid for out-of-pocket by mom and dad. Politely let the individual know that you do not have permission to speak to them about the case at hand. Abide the client's confidentiality and make sure all staff also are respecting the client's confidentiality. Recognizing and respecting clients' self-determination is essential for promoting equity in client interviewing.

4. Collaboration and partnership with clients: Client interviews should be conducted in a collaborative and partnership-oriented manner. View clients as experts in their own lives and work together with them to identify goals, develop plans, and implement strategies. By fostering a collaborative relationship, legal service providers can ensure that clients' voices are heard and that their needs and preferences are central to the interview process.

My 2 cents for the day.

Add comment


There are no comments yet.