Jump to Navigation | Jump to Content
American Bar Association

Client-Centered Counseling: A Deliberate Approach to Meaningful and Successful Representation

Date: Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Format: Live Webinar
Duration: 90 minutes


The American Bar Association Section of Family Law and Center for Professional Development

12:00 PM-1:30 PM Eastern

11:00 AM-12:30 PM Central

10:00 AM-11:30 AM Mountain

9:00 AM-10:30 AM Pacific

Program Description

Client-centered legal representation is a deliberate approach to both empower the client and engage the attorney, so the legal representation can be as successful and meaningful as possible.  This presentation focuses on the counseling aspect of client-centered representation, and includes the following:

  • The different stages of attorney-client counseling throughout the case
  • Client relationship-building: the importance of lawyer self-awareness and attention to similarities and differences between lawyer and client
  • Lawyer preparation for client meetings: identification of options, fact investigation, legal research, and goal-setting
  • How to balance lawyer presentation of options and client goal identification
  • The steps to successful option overviews, including identification of pros and cons of each option, how to discuss potential “success” of each option without speculating, and how to manage client ambivalence
  • Sympathetic detachment as a lawyering skill: how to balance disagreement with the client with lawyer empathy, using restatement and reframing when discussing facts and case goals, probing the client’s thinking critically to maximize goal-setting, how to know when to give an opinion
  • Empowering clients to make decisions about case strategy despite their propensity to rely on lawyer direction

Program Faculty

Jill Engle, Associate Professor of Clinical Law;  Director, Family Law Clinic,  Penn State University, The Dickinson School of Law, University Park, PA

Lisa K. Widdecke, Special Counsel, Duane Morris LLP, San Diego, CA

CLE Credit

States typically decide whether a program qualifies for MCLE credit in their jurisdiction 4-8 weeks after the program application is submitted. For many live events, credit approval is not received prior to the program.

The ABA applies for and ordinarily receives CLE credit for ABA live webinars and teleconferences in AL, AK, AR, AZ, CA, CO, DE, GA, GU, HI, IA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MN, MO, MT, NM, NY, NC, ND, OK, OR, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, VI, VT, WA, WI, and WV.

The ABA does not seek direct accreditation of live webinars and teleconferences in FL, ID, KS, ME, NE, NH, NJ, OH, PA, RI, and WY. Some states allow attorneys to earn credit through reciprocity or self-submission. View accreditation information for your state. The ABA will seek credit for this program in the states indicated on this page.

The ABA will seek 1.5 hours of general CLE credit in 60-minute states and 1.8 hours of CLE credit in 50-minute states. Credit hours granted are subject to each state’s approval and credit rounding rules.

New York: This non-transitional CLE program is approved for experienced NY attorneys in accordance with the requirements of the New York State CLE Board for 1.5 New York CLE credits. Newly admitted attorneys may not earn New York credit for this non-transitional CLE program. All attorneys may click here to view additional MCLE information for your jurisdiction

Registration Options

- Individual
- CD-ROM (Pre-Orders)

Phone or Mail:
Monday - Friday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM Eastern
Event Code: cet4cpe
Mail Order Form

Join the ABA and Save!

Join the ABA to receive a discount on this and future ABA programs and products. Join the Section of Family Law to save even more!


$115 Section of Family Law Members
$150 ABA Members
$195 General Public

Each registrant must log in to the webinar individually to receive credit.
All participants must register for the program.
View our cancellation policy
Apply for scholarship

System Requirements

A current Internet browser, Adobe Flash and high-speed Internet are required to attend this webinar. Apple iOs devices are not officially supported at this time. Test your system now.


Back to Top