On Demand

Essential Tools for Adopting A Trauma-Informed Lawyering Approach in Domestic Violence Cases and Beyond

1h 1m

Created on January 19, 2021





Clients often seek legal assistance in times of extreme vulnerability. It is crucial for lawyers to be able to identify and address the sources and effects of trauma, and to understand the impact of trauma on their client's behavior. Understanding trauma and its role in the court and justice system will enable attorneys to better advocate on behalf of their clients.  

At the core of a trauma-informed practice is the ability to adapt and adjust one's approach in response to the client's triggers. Furthermore, it is imperative to develop and establish trust between attorney and client.  

This course, presented by Jennifer C. Friedman and Karla S. George, the Directors of Sanctuary for Families' Family Law Project at the Bronx Family Justice Center, reviews sources of trauma, such as intimate partner violence, ways in which trauma may present itself in a client, and how institutional oppression, including racism and poverty, can exacerbate trauma. The course also provides tools for effective rapport building, offers concrete interviewing strategies, and presents approaches to navigating the complex and often re-traumatizing legal system.

Please be advised that this program contains strong language related to domestic violence and abuse that may not be appropriate for all audiences.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Examine basic principles of trauma-informed lawyering
  2. Obtain fundamental skills for conducting interviews with survivors of domestic violence
  3. Identify sources of oppression and how they can exacerbate client trauma
  4. Develop strategies for navigating the justice system on behalf of your client
  5. Identify appropriate resources in the community
  6. Provide guidelines for addressing confidentiality and safety concerns 

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