Beyond Client-Centered Interviewing: Improving Attorney-Client Interactions through Therapeutic Jurisprudence and Multi-Cultural Training
Evelyn Haydee Cruz
Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law
September 16, 2009
Therapeutic Jurisprudence courses are offered in a multitude of shapes and forms around the globe, each course as unique as the individual that teaches it. This paper describes the author’s creation of a therapeutic jurisprudence course designed around the impact of externalities on attorney-client communication and professional satisfaction. In the paper she explains how she teaches students to better communicate with clients by bringing awareness to how linguistic, cultural and social reasons affect what we say and how we say it. The ultimate goal of the course is to teach students to identify communication roadblocks as they occur, and then apply therapeutic techniques to dissolve them. Issues of control, ethics, and other difficult topics are present and discussed, but they are the subtext of the course. In turn, the course encourages students to reconsider traditional notions of the legal profession, by exposing them to alternative roles and modes of legal representation that promote a professional refocus from a legal culture obsessed with conflict, into a culture concerned with the wellbeing of the client and of the attorney.
Keywords: attorney-client, therapeutic jurisprudence, legal education
Date posted: September 18, 2009
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