Clinical Law Review, Vol. 16, p. 423, 2010
28 Pages Posted: 30 Jun 2009 Last revised: 6 Feb 2013
Date Written: June 22, 2009
Legal interviews are infrequently recorded and rarely studied. The few empirical studies of actual legal interviews have been primarily critical of the lawyers for being too controlling, eager to impose a solution on the clients, and uninterested in the message the client wants to convey. This article presents a case study of something heretofore unavailable - an experienced, expert attorney conducting a successful initial interview with an actual client. This article uses ethnographic conversation analysis to describe the interview in terms of control of the conversation, interruptions, types of utterances, question form, and expressions of empathy. It relies upon the insights from prior empirical studies and shows why this is an excellent interview - the client not only is heard, but feels understood, rather than "judged," by his lawyer.
Keywords: conversation analysis, sociology, psychology, linguistics, ethnomethodology, interview,
JEL Classification: K40, K49, Z00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Smith, Linda F., Always Judged - Case Study of an Interview Using Conversation Analysis (June 22, 2009). Clinical Law Review, Vol. 16, p. 423, 2010; NYLS Clinical Research Institute Paper No. 09/10 #12. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1423935