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Law Students work with Virtual Clients

Student looking at laptop

Interviewing your first client can be a daunting experience for any law student or graduate, but a recent Newcastle Law School study has found that a ‘simulated client’ can help students feel more prepared for a real-life client scenario.

Legal System and Method students were allocated a client and given a YouTube link to an actor responding to questions. After watching a pre-recorded interview, students used the information provided by their clients to create a file for the matter. The activity aimed to foster legal written communication skills and expose students to client interviewing.

Following the exercise, academics Dr Nicola Ross, Ann Apps, and Sher Campbell surveyed the first year students. The students’ feedback revealed that 82% had responded to their hypothetical client as a real client, and 99% of students had found had found the YouTube video made it easier to engage with the client’s story than a written script.

Ninety-one percent of students said the activity had helped them to understand the dispute resolution process, and 90% said the exercise had helped them to imagine themselves as a lawyer.

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