CLIENT INTERVIEWING AND ADVICE IN BUSINESS LAW - 2025/6

Module code: LAWM166

Module Overview

This module provides a detailed understanding of the legal, ethical and conduct issues when preparing for and conducting a client interview in the context of Business Law and Practice and provide oral and written advice.  

It begins by requiring students to complete the online learning Business Law and Practice, (Business Structures in the UK, Business Organisations, Rules and Procedures, Partnership and Insolvency).

Students will be introduced to professional conduct and ethical issues when conducting an in-person client interview and the importance of consent, confidentiality and money laundering.  Using examples (captured content and online materials), students will assess examples of interviews to identify good and bad practice.

Working in groups, students will undertake a formative assessment, providing constructive peer feedback which aims to enforce student understanding of the legal, professional and ethical issues which are pertinent to client interviewing practice.

At the end of the module, students will be assessed on knowledge of Business Law and Practice by applying the law to real life cases and created scenarios in a professional practice environment.

All modules in this programme link with preparation for the SQE and for future professional practice. The pedagogy of this module, including the assessment pattern, relates academic and vocational skills to professional practice in a legal environment.

Module provider

School of Law

Module Leader

LILLYWHITE Claire (Schl of Law)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): 60

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 20

Independent Learning Hours: 20

Lecture Hours: 4

Practical/Performance Hours: 4

Guided Learning: 92

Captured Content: 10

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

N/A

Module content

This module requires students to undertake independent pre - reading, using an online learning tool  to understand the basic concepts of Business Law in Practice, concentrating on, but not limited to:


  • Directed SQE1 preparation from relevant section of online learning tool (including completion of MCQs).

  • Setting up of a company and partnership.

  • Understanding the responsibilities of directors and partners.

  • Identifying how issues may be resolved.

  • Understanding how to remove directors/partners.

  • How to wind up a company or dissolve a partnership.

  • Identify issues relating to professional conduct and business ethics.



Workshops will provide a structured outline of client interviewing skills, using real-life scenarios in a business law in practice context. This will enable students to understand how to advise a client on business law issues during an initial client interview.

The module comprises the following topics:


  • The purpose of an initial client interview.

  • The importance of professional conduct and ethics in the solicitor/client relationship and establishing a professional relationship with the client.

  • The structure of a client interview and how to prepare.

  • Identifying issues with client interviews using online examples, followed by class discussion.

  • Understanding listening and question techniques and the difference between open and closed questions.

  • Note taking.

  • Providing appropriate advice and information during an interview.


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Oral exam or presentation 45 minute Client interview and advice 100

Alternative Assessment

N/A

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to:

Provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate a sound understanding of the importance of establishing a good relationship with a client, how to prepare for and conduct an initial client interview in relation to Business Law and Practice.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

Client interview (in person) (100%) – students will be presented with simple fact pattern relating to a business law in practice issue and will be required to interview a client to establish further details in order to provide the client with advice at the end of the interview.  Students will be assessed on establishing a relationship with the client, listening skills, asking open and closed questions and providing advice. Students will also be assessed on knowledge of aspects of business law and ethical and professional conduct.

 

(Addresses all learning outcomes as above)

Formative assessment:

Students will work in groups to practice mock interviews.

Feedback:

Practice mock interview - Verbal peer feedback will be provided in workshops in small groups, followed by a class discussion identifying common errors and good practice.

Module aims

  • Demonstrate a sound understanding of the theory of good interviewing practice.
  • Demonstrate how to identify relevant legal issues from limited information provided by client.
  • Conduct a 45 - minute client interview in a structured and ethical manner.
  • Understand the difference between open and closed questions and demonstrate the same.
  • Advise client on legal options available.
  • Demonstrate a clear understanding of professional conduct and ethical issues arising from a case study.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate sound understanding of Business Law in Practice. K
002 Demonstrate sound applied knowledge of the techniques of client interviewing. KCPT
003 Evidence knowledge of appropriate client care and establishing professional relationship with the client. CPT
004 Demonstrate an understanding of the purpose of, and how to prepare for, an initial client interview. PT
005 Demonstrate effective listening techniques. CPT
006 Demonstrate an understanding of effective questioning and the use of open and closed questions. KCPT
007 Demonstrate effective oral communication skills, teamworking skills and problem-solving skills. PT
008 Evidence ability to identify core issues and differentiate between the client desired and feasible outcomes. KPT
009 Demonstrate the ability to advise client at the end of interview and take comprehensive notes throughout. KPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:


  • Follow a problem-based learning methodology.

  • Delivered content online and via interactive workshops with a clinical- related element in the form of a client interview.

  • External practitioners contribute towards discussions and feedback during workshops.



The learning and teaching methods include: 

Lectures, workshops and individual study.

In advance of workshops students carry out research and complete MCQ’s and come prepared to discuss their understanding of business law and ethics in practice.

Introductory lectures and captured content will provide students with guidance on interviewing and writing skills.

Working in groups, students actively engage in interviewing skills practice and provide feedback to each other. Class feedback will assist students to identify general strengths and weaknesses.

Students gain important transferable skills, enhancing employability including digital literacy and research, teamwork, communication, organisation and legal writing.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

https://readinglists.surrey.ac.uk
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: LAWM166

Other information

The school/department of Law is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills, and capabilities in the following areas:
 

Digital Capabilities: Students will apply and refine their digital capabilities through engagement with online learning applications and activities. Students are expected to be proficient in navigating the University of Surrey’s VLE (Surreylearn) to support their learning, communicate with peers and tutors and submit assessment output. Students are further expected to be proficient in utilising a variety of digital legal databases to effectively source research materials and complete learning tasks. The teaching activities in this module will also embed usage of interactive digital educational applications such as Padlet, Mentimeter and PollEveryhere to enhance student learning. All students are expected to be proficient in using professional digital tools such as email, MS Suite applications and digital communication applications such as Zoom, MS Teams, Google docs etc. at a basic level and will be provided with opportunities to engage with these tools during their learning activities and communications with tutors and peers. 

Employability: This module is a strong embodiment of the Employability pillar and is a key contributor towards students developing and refining a key transferable and professional skill. Interviewing is not only a fundamental function of the legal profession, but the inherent skills also arising from effective interview practice is essential to successful interpersonal relationships, understanding of clients' needs and providing advice which is key in all professional environments. The module will prepare students to undertake a client interview effectively and confidently when they embark on legal practice and will empower them with transferable skills required in all areas of work. 

Global aad Cultural Capabilities: This module supports the development of students’ global and cultural capabilities by strengthening their understanding of one of the foundational elements of global communication. Listening and questioning techniques are essential for building greater global connections which will prove advantageous for all parties. The skills used in client interviewing are frequently used in building and mediating international relations and in resolving international conflicts and disputes. A nuanced understanding of interview techniques will empower students in understanding and engaging in the various and different cultures and objectives across different societies and will aid in adding to students’ cultural capital in an increasingly internationalized professional and personal environment. 

Resourcefulness and Resilience: This module supports the development of resourcefulness and resilience in students by requiring them to engage in a variety of learning techniques designed to encourage active learning through participation, reflection and co-operation. Students will draw on individual and collective resourcefulness to design practical and critically reasoned solutions to the challenges raised by the complex issues within the workshop problem tasks. Resilience and resourcefulness are further integrated within the module through the assessment strategy which require students to complete a practical exercise through which they identify and apply appropriate and relevant skills to the desired standard. Students can undertake self and peer evaluation. The practical assessment will also build and utilise resourcefulness and resilience by requiring students to construct and adapt strategies in real time and where unknown and unpredictable variables may arise during  the task. The exercise will also assist in building students’ confidence in their ability to make independent decisions and to reflect and take ownership of the outcome. The classroom simulation formative exercises and feedback provide an opportunity for students to fail or make errors in a “safe” environment and to learn from each other, such experience to building confidence and self-efficacy. 

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Professional Legal Practice (SQE Pathway) LLM 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2025/6 academic year.