PA 2206: Interviewing and Investigating Techniques

Course Title: Interviewing and Investigating Techniques
Course Number: PA 2206
Credits: 2 semester credits
Prerequisites: Grade “C” or better in PA 1102 – Introduction to Law and Contracts or instructor’s permission
Recommendations: This course requires the knowledge of legal analysis, the ability to do light legal research based on directions provided by the instructor, and the aptitude to learn how to draft pleadings or legal documents.
Catalog Description: Examines general techniques of interviewing and investigating with special emphasis placed on the practical aspects of interviewing witnesses and clients, and investigating cases.
Course Objectives/ Learning Outcomes: Students will be able to:

  • Prepare, plan and conduct both client and witness interviews.
  • Demonstrate issue recognition, and organize and use facts from clients and witnesses to develop the case or draft documents.
  • Use and design effective and proper listening, questioning techniques, and perceptual interviewing techniques.
  • Describe, illustrate and choose how to conduct an effective and proper legal investigation method resulting in the gathering of statements, evidence and other reports.
  • Differentiate and choose between civil and criminal investigation and discovery techniques.
  • Obtain, interpret and analyze accident and investigatory reports from law enforcement and other agencies.
  • Use computer and/or audio visual technology to prepare interviews and investigative reports.
  • Recall, interpret and analyze the basic rules of legal professional responsibility, ethics and confidentiality, and the unauthorized practice of law.
Topics Covered: I. Introduction

  • Planning, preparing and structuring the interview (3 Hours)
  • Verbal and nonverbal skills (3 Hours)
  • Effective listening skills (1 Hour)
  • Issue recognition (1 Hour)
  • Special Circumstances (1 Hour)
  • Interviewing witnesses (3 Hours)

II. Investigation

  • Preliminary investigation (3 Hours)
  • Evidence (1 Hour)
  • Differences between legal and investigative interviewing (1 Hour)
  • Preparation for trial (3 Hours)
  • Civil and criminal investigations
    (3 Hours)
  • Ethics and Professional Responsibilities (1 hour)
  • Mock interviews (3 hours)
  • Mock investigations (3 hours)
  • Memorandum writing and legal document drafting (2 hours)

Total Semester Hours: 32 Hours

Outcomes Measures: The student may take exam(s) and/or prepare papers and/or complete projects. The above measures may use electronic document software or audio visual technology for their preparation where appropriate.

Numerical grading may be used. The final grade will be a full letter grade (A-F).