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How to Conduct a Comprehensive Client Consultation & Intake for Your Family Law Client (Update)

(697 reviews)

Produced on April 23, 2019

$ 79 Family & Matrimonial, Litigation, and Law Practice Management In Stock
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Course Information

Time 1h 36m
Difficulty Intermediate

Course Description

This fun and interactive course will go through what questions to ask, what answers to give, and how to spot issues and strategize with a prospective client through a mock client consultation. A client consultation is an attorney’s chance to set him or herself apart from other attorneys to not only win the client, but also gather the information an attorney needs to strategize and effectively represent the individual. Family law issues are often emotionally charged and this course will address issues related to divorce, custody, child, support, spousal support, equitable distribution, as well as the practical advice and candor required when representing parties in these sensitive areas.  

This course, presented by family law practitioners Alissa Van Horn and Meredith Friedman, is designed to provide you with the skills to land the client, spot the issues, formulate a strategy with the client, and allay many of the client’s fears and concerns from an emotional and practical standpoint by providing you with a front row seat in a client consultation.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Discuss how to offer a complete and comprehensive consultation
  2. Discern the correct questions to ask in order to gather necessary information while simultaneously redirecting the potential client’s emotions, and still remaining sensitive to the person’s needs and fragile emotional state
  3. Gain an overview of all of the potential issues involved in these sensitive matters
  4. Develop strategies to successfully handle the emotional side of the client, while keeping him or her focused on the legal issues at hand
  5. Explore how to discuss attorneys fees with a potential client and how to review a retainer agreement

Credit Information

After completing this course, Lawline will report your attendance information to {{ accredMasterState.state.name }}. Please ensure your license number is filled out in your profile to ensure timely reporting. For more information, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements page . After completing this course, {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} attorneys self-report their attendance and CLE compliance. For more information on how to report your CLE courses, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements FAQ .


Alissa Van Horn

Van Horn & Friedman, P.C.

Alissa L. Van Horn is the managing partner of Van Horn & Friedman, PC, a family law firm serving the New York City and Long Island, with its primary office located in Westbury, New York. Alissa L. Van Horn has extensive experience with cases involving divorce, adoption, custody, child support, orders of protection, foster care litigation, name changes, prenuptial, postnuptial and separation agreements. Alissa L. Van Horn concentrates her practice in the New York City Metropolitan Area, including Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Prior to founding Van Horn & Friedman, P.C. with Meredith Friedman, Esq., Alissa and Meredith, began their careers in New York at a small general practice law firm in Queens, wherein their practices focused on representing clients in divorce and family law matters, as well as criminal and civil litigation. Thereafter, Alissa joined a boutique Manhattan family law firm as an associate, where she handled all facets of foster care litigation and adoption law. In 2010, Alissa founded the Law Office of Alissa L. Van Horn, P.C., where she honed her research, writing, litigation and negotiation skills to provide the best possible outcomes for all of her clients.

In 2017, Alissa received Alissa received the Long Island Power Women in Business Award and the Long Island Business News Leadership in Law Award and has been selected as an honoree at the Long Island Business News 40 Under 40 Awards in 2018. Alissa is also a 3-time recipient of the Rising Star Award and the Top Female Attorneys Award for NYC Metro by Super Lawyers Magazine. Alissa received the “10 Best” Award by the American Institute for Family Law Attorneys in 2016 and 2017, the Top 10 Under 40 Award by the National Academy of Family Law Attorneys, the Top 100 Attorneys Award and the Top 40 under 40 Award for NYC by the National Advocates in the area of Divorce and Family Law, the Outstanding Women in the Law Award for 2016 by Hofstra Law School’s Center for Children and Families, and was featured by LI Pulse Magazine as a Top Legal Eagle in March 2017.

Van Horn & Friedman, P.C. was selected as a Top 10 Law Firm in New York in the area of Family Law 2 years in a row. 

Meredith Friedman

Van Horn & Friedman

Meredith Friedman, Esq., a founding partner of Van Horn & Friedman, P.C., provides dedicated legal representation to clients living in New York City, Nassau and Suffolk Counties. She focuses her practice on family law, handling cases that involve high-asset divorce, child custody, child support, and visitation.

After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Bachelor of Science in business consumer affairs, Meredith went on to attend Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center. From there she received a Juris Doctor degree.

Divorce and its related legal matters can be among the most difficult times in a family’s life. Meredith understands the unique challenges that these events can create. She also knows that a divorce may not be the end of the relationship for many families. For that reason, Meredith strives to help her clients achieve amicable solutions to their legal issues. While it is generally her goal to obtain harmonious resolutions, Meredith aggressively advocates on behalf of her clients when the other side is uncooperative. She values clear communication with her clients about their goals and how the legal process works, and helps them to address their short and long-term needs.

 Beyond her work in the courtroom, Meredith is also active in the legal community. She is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the Nassau County Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association. Meredith is admitted to practice law in the states of New York and New Jersey, as well as before the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York.

Meredith received the Rising Star Award from Super Lawyers Magazine in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. She received the Outstanding Women in Law Award by Hofstra University in 2016, and was named in the Top 10 under 40 by the National Academy of Family Law Attorneys in 2016 and 2017, and the 10 Best Family Law Attorney Award for New York by the American Institute of Family Law Attorneys in 2016 and 2017. Meredith was also featured in Long Island Pulse Magazine in 2017 as a Top Legal Eagle, and was named to the Top Women Attorneys List by Super Lawyers Magazine for the New York Metropolitan Area in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Van Horn & Friedman, P.C., was selected as the Top 10 Law Firm by the American Institute of Family Law Attorneys in 2016 and 2017.

Meredith volunteers her time in the community by participating in free legal seminars with other professionals to assist in educating individuals involved in family and matrimonial matters, and is a member of various online groups to further assist individuals in need

Both Alissa and Meredith are proud members of Pinktie1000, and supporters of Pinktie.org, Networking for a Cause.


Edward S.

Presenters achieved their goal(s) of making this session interesting. No danger of drowsiness here! Caffeine NOT required!

Chanley P.

I liked the role play of attorney and client - effective.

Jonathan N.

Client interview format was executed very well - substantive and engaging!

John S.

This was the most entertaining CLE I’ve ever attended.

Robert S.

I liked the role pay format.

David P.

Fantastic alternative format

Douglas S.

I liked the format of a mock client interview.

Molly P.

Loved this CLE: so practical and informative and interesting to listen to.

Hope S.

I really liked the approach of potential client attorney interview. It covered so many real topics.

Robert C.

Thank you

Denise C.

Excellent presentation. The format was easier to follow/retain as was role play of actual intake. Thank you.

Lauren H.

This was a great course. It felt so authentic and was super helpful. These attorneys could be actors!

nicole s.

So great to watch! Loved this

Anthony H.

Excellent hypotheticals

Lauren S.

Amazing! So helpful and engaging!

Holly R.

Very helpful presentation; I'll put to use soon! Thanks.

James J F.

Great format using the initial interview as a learning tool - excellent speakers

Allison K.

Best CLE I've watched to date.

Caroline H.

Very realistic and insightful. Loved examples of redirecting.

Michael M.

This is the most practical and useful CLE I've ever taken.

Rebecca R.

Very helpful and entertaining

Joshua V.

This was a good way to train others.

Ray V.

This format (role playing) was great.

Adam R.

Loved the format.. learned a lot!

Valerie H.

Interesting way to present the material. Definitely held my attention. Excellent and informative presentation.

Vincent T.


Robert M.

I enjoyed the presentation. Good information.

Bradley M.

Like presentation format. Refreshing

Daniel C.

This is geared specifically toward family law, which I do not practice. Nevertheless, it was very informative and was a good program.

Edward H.

Unique presentation.

Preston P.

Exceptional! And helpful.

Philip L.

Excellent presentation and very informative

Antonia L.

This was the most interesting CLE that I've ever taken. Kudos to the presenters!

John H.

Great program. Held my interest the entire time.

Carla K.

Masterful, creative top notch and riveting

Robin M.

very good! Enjoyed and learned

Carmel J.

really liked this "demonstration" method of presenting the material

Monica H.

Super!!! Thank you so much!!

Alicia S.

Nice job, ladies! Very interesting and informative!

Deborah F.

I am an experienced high conflict trial lawyer concentrating in family law. Ladies, this was excellent. Your format was brilliant and one I have never seen used on Lawline before. Though I've conducted thousands of intakes I learned a lot and look forward to downloading and reviewing the materials for both the original and update! Well done and time well spent.

Gabriel H.

High quality content.

Ilene C.

Excellent course with refreshing teaching approach

Inna T.

Both speakers made it interesting to listen. This definitely was very engaging lecture

Selwyn B.


Janine P.

The mock interview format was very helpful and engaging.

John W.

Better than a basic CLE - I liked their concept

Eileen M.

The structure of this CLE was extremely interesting. The running conversation between lawyer and client made it easy to understand. The information was comprehensive and beautifully delivered. Thank you.

Rebecca T.

Excellent presentation! This format was very effective.

Myrna T.

My favorite of all the presentations

Tammy C.

I really enjoyed the role playing aspect of this course.

Andre O.

Keep up the good job

Walter F.

Really effective and outstanding role play presentation by both attorneys. Excellent presentation of practical issues thoroughly explored. Well done! Thank you.

Shari L.

Such a creative and wonderful format for a CLE course-thank you!

Kathryn H.

Great idea to make it a simulation.

Silvia C.

Very informative and interesting.

danielle r.

I liked the roleplaying format - it was very helpful!

Jaimi B.

LOVED the format. Very informative and riveting. Questions approached were insightful and realistic.

Claudia B.

Great course! Informative and entertaining!

Christina M.

Fun to watch

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