Trauma-Informed Lawyering

Member for

1 year 4 months

Seminar - 2 hours. Recent developments in neuroscience and psychology support the contention that we live in a world impacted by trauma. But lawyers are not often trained in recognizing how trauma affects our work. Trauma-informed lawyering is an approach to the practice of law that equips students with the knowledge and skills to navigate these difficult environments. We will discuss what lawyers need to know about the science behind traumatic experiences; the various forms of trauma, including vicarious trauma, which can afflict those who are exposed to the stories of trauma that others have endured; and how our own trauma may be triggered or amplified in the experiences we encounter as legal professionals. We will learn evidence-based approaches to identifying trauma, whether in our clients, opposing counsel, employers or ourselves. We will further develop strategies for working with trauma, including recognizing our own limitations and scope of work (lawyers are not therapists), and adapting communication, advocacy, and legal strategies when dealing with victims of trauma. Most importantly, we will construct a toolkit for safeguarding our own mental health from the effects of vicarious trauma.

Final Assessment: Paper
Grading Mode:  Letter Grading

Advanced Writing
Professional Skills
Course Number



Unit 16