Active listening to your client, or your judge, is as important as precise talking to a bankruptcy attorney.
We spend 45% of our waking life listening, yet many of us do it poorly. Artika Tyner article on the ABA site offers ideas for better listening in the context of mediation of legal disputes. Her points seem just as relevant to the initial client interview.
In contrast to hearing, listening means to be fully engaged and wholly present by making a conscious effort to interpret and analyze information being spoken. Listening requires you constantly to be attentive as another person is speaking and nonverbally communication.
Active listening builds client confidence that you care about their situation, but also makes you alert for clues about parts of the story the client hasn’t volunteered.