There is no doubt about it, attorneys often come to rely on their paralegals to conduct client interviews. In fact, most of the lists that outline the responsibilities of paralegals include 'conducting interviews'. The National Association of Legal Assistants - Paralegals and most other paralegal - related organizations place the following item at the top of their list:
Conduct client interviews and maintain general contact with the client, so long as the client is aware of the status and function of the legal assistant, and the legal assistant works under the supervision of the attorney.
Having good, solid interviewing skills and technique is important and can help you gain leverage whether you are just starting out as a paralegal or have legal experience. The ability to interview clients is valuable enough that many campus and online paralegal programs include an Interviewing and Investigation course.
Here are a few basic interviewing tips that will help you as you prepare for and advance your paralegal career.