Once a clinic accepts a client, it is a good practice to have students draft an engagement letter outlining the scope of the representation and the relationship with the client. Often, struggling with the threshold determination of who is the client is a meaningful exercise. More directly, however, the engagement letter allows a clinic to define the scope of the work it is undertaking for a client so that it fits within whatever time, capacity, and expertise constraints it is working within. An engagement letter is one of the first opportunities for students to begin managing client expectations. It is also a place where potential conflicts can be dealt with and certain waivers integrated—for example, the acceptance of law students as counselors or consents to be video recorded during meetings. (See Engagement Letters for more information).
It is good practice for students to create an engagement letter at the beginning of every term (in single term clinics) regardless of whether they are working with a new client or not.