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Client interviewing is one of the most important skills required of a lawyer – it is the practice of communicating with, and advising a client on a legal matter.
Client interviewing allows you to develop the skills needed when conducting a legal interview, such as how to establish a relationship with the client, how to identify the nature of the legal problem and then how to obtain the relevant information from the client in order to reach a potential solution.
The School of Law hosts internal client interviewing competitions. This involves students working in teams of two, interviewing and advising a “client” (a role playing actor). They are observed and then marked on criteria such as their interpersonal skills as well as their ability to handle the legal problem.
The School of Law also enters teams into the Client Interviewing Competition for England and Wales. In recent years teams from Oxford Brookes have gone on to win both regional and national finals in client interviewing. In 2010 the Oxford Brookes team won the national final and represented England and Wales in the international finals in Hong Kong, coming second in the world. In the 2015 national final Oxford Brookes finished an admirable third.
Oxford Brookes University also hosts client interviewing competition training days. These involve inviting teams of students from other law schools to take part in demonstrations, discussions and critique of client interviewing skills and ask questions to experienced judges, faculty coaches and past competitors.