Interviewing and Counseling Design and Decor

Printer-friendly version
Event date: 
Thursday, February 8, 2018 - 12:00
Name of Organization:

This course is available via free on demand podcast and video. It is also available at the date and time shown, and other times, via live webinar for $35 plus HST.


  • Ways design and decor are relevant to the interviewing and counseling process.
  • Three major factors in design and decor for interviewing and counseling.
  • Personal office decorating considerations before interviewing and counseling.
  • Five seating arrangements.
  • Whether to meet in your office in your conference room.
  • How to deal with windows, doors, and seat heights.
  • What to do when clients bring children.
  • In more detail:
  • Using office design and decor to influence emotion and facilitate full and frank communication during interviews and while advising/counseling clients.
  • Using office design and decor to facilitate or impede your interviewing and advising/counseling success depending on which of the traditional authoritative, client-centered, or collaborative decision-making interviewing and advising models your office uses while meeting with clients.
  • Using seat height to exercise control, or relinquish control, during meetings with clients.
  • Using seating arrangements to create atmospheres of superiority or equality during meetings with clients.
  • Considering client preference when designing and decorating your meeting space.
  • How to void breaches of confidentiality through meeting space design.
  • How to use office decor to cause your clients to have confidence in your ability, whether you are experienced or just starting out.
  • Improving your ability to make frank notes while interviewing your clients by avoiding risks of close quarters.
  • Confidentiality risks of meeting with clients at a table across the room from your files.
  • Separating working space and meeting space to avoid inefficiency, avoid errors, increase billable hours, and avoid client concerns regarding competence and lawyer dedication to the client.
  • The problems of firm scheduling and “left behind” materials when meeting in conference rooms rather than personal offices.
  • Pros and cons of sitting across the desk from clients, on a corner, or on the same side of the desk for each of the traditional authoritarian, client-centered, and collaborative decision-making models of interviewing and counseling/advising.
  • The risk of sitting at the head of the conference table for client-centered and collaborative decision-making models and the benefit for the traditional authoritarian model of interviewing and counseling/advising.
  • Confidentiality concerns with the diagonal seating arrangement.
  • Avoiding making clients feel uncomfortable while sitting on the same side of the desk as clients.
  • Seating clients facing away from windows to improve client concentration during interviews and counseling/avoiding meetings.
  • Considering client psychological safety when seating clients facing toward, or away from, the door.
  • Things that should be in the meeting space to facilitate the communication process during meetings with clients.
  • Pros and cons of manual vs automated recording of client meetings in terms of: the lawyer’s ability to note impressions of client, impressions of case, and ideas during the meeting; expense to the lawyer; and being left with an incomplete record after the meeting.
  • Children as impediments to full and frank communication during meetings.
  • Ways to prepare your office, and staff, for when clients bring children to meetings.