The Drive to Advise
Students face a challenge when interviewing clients. While students have legal knowledge and analytical skills, ethically they must not convey individualized “advice “to a client until authorized by a supervising attorney. However, they may be permitted to convey general legal “information.” How do law students manage to balance these requirements? This paper uses conversation analysis to study forty student-client consultations recorded in a “brief advice” clinic overseen by volunteer attorneys. It highlights how often students begin to provide information or advice during the initial interview and sets forth recommended best practices for students conducting initial interviews.