CALS Asylum Case Research Guide

How to research asylum cases and track human rights conditions by country.

Interviewing, Counseling, Fact Investigation and Other Practice Skills

There are many fine books on legal skills and only those most relevant to our work are listed here. Although some of these titles are old, they are considered classics on this topic.

  • Robert M. Bastress and Joseph D. Harbaugh, Interviewing, Counseling, and Negotiating KF311 .B37 1990
    A classic still useful today.
  • Gary Bellow and Bea Moulton, The Lawyering Process KF282 .B4 1981
    Probably the greatest book ever written on how to do the things lawyers do (followed by hundreds of questions about whether they make sense, and whether they are ethical). Fine chapters on interviewing, case planning, fact gathering, counseling, and other aspects of practicing law.
  • David A. Binder, Lawyers as Counselors: A Client-Centered Approach KF311 .B52 2012
    One of the leading books on legal interviewing and counseling. 
  • David A. Binder and Paul Bergman, Fact Investigation : From Hypothesis to Proof KF8935 .B5 1984
    A model (complete with many charts) of how to think about and organize the search for facts in order to win a case.
  • Steven Lubet, Modern Trial Advocacy : Analysis and Practice (3rd edition) KF8915 .L82 2010
    Stresses the importance of theory and analysis in the trial process. Rather than providing "recipes" for the various parts of a trial, this book emphasizes the many ways to think about the delivery of argument, the presentation of evidence, and the development of ideas at trial. Also on Lexis.
  • Thomas A. Mauet, Trial Techniques KF8915 .M38 2013 (Reading Room Reserve)
    A leading book on how to present a case in court. Includes formulas for meeting all possible evidentiary objections, many of which are not necessary in asylum cases. It also has good advice on how to present a persuasive case through witness testimony and how to use cross-examination effectively.
  • Peter Murray, Basic Trial Advocacy KF8915 .Z9 M87 1995
    Examines the rationales underlying various trial techniques, in order to understand why trial lawyers do what they do and design their presentations based on this knowledge, rather than copy standard practices. It is focused on the presentation process during the trial itself, and emphasizes the centrality of ethical decision-making in trial practice.