Trauma Informed Care for the Legal Profession Webinar Series: Episode 2: Trustworthiness and Transparency in Legal Practice

"Trauma Informed Care for the Legal Profession" is a 6 part webinar series, led by Eden Dales, focused on the core concepts of trauma informed care (Safety, Trustworthiness and Transparency, Peer Support, Collaboration and Mutuality, Empowerment and Cultural, Historical and Gender Issues).

The webinar will include evidence supporting the relevance of this model, and review how trauma is experienced and the impact of trauma on every day life. The science and neuro-biology will be reviewed, with references to studies and articles published in academic journals. Learning objectives are specified to meet the Law Society’s definition of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) as a means to maintain or enhance a lawyer or paralegal’s professional knowledge, skills, attitudes and professionalism.

Each episode includes a one hour presentation and 30 min discussion.

Accreditation by The Law Society of Ontario:

This program contains 7 hours and 30 minutes of Professionalism content and 1 hour and 30 minutes of EDI Professionalism content.

Learning Objectives:

  • Healthy Personal and Professional Boundaries
  • Effective Conflict Resolution and interpersonal effectiveness
  • Self-Compassion, mindfulness & empathy for sustainable collaboration
  • Emotional Intelligence: Emotional Regulation, Self Regulation, Empathy, Support
  • Sensitivity training for interviewing, assessing, relating to others (clients, staff)
  • The 4 R's of trauma informed care
  • Identifying risk factors for trauma, (developmental trauma, Big & Little "t" trauma)
  • The impact of trauma on the brain (function, structure, development) over the lifespan
  • Sensitivity training skills to prevent re-traumatization
  • A review of Adverse Childhood Event's Scale and relevance to legal profession
  • Empathy and Authenticity for transparency in legal practice
  • The neuro-sequential model for stress reduction
  • Tools for a strengths based model to promote resiliency and desired outcomes
  • EDI: awareness of trauma, neurodiversity, diversity and challenging beliefs/ "othering" with a model for risk and harm reduction and inclusion
  • Discussion of power imbalance, organizational structure and traumatic aspects of the legal profession and tools for change

Module Two Covers:

  1. Understanding the importance of trustworthiness and transparency in the legal profession, including the impact of mistrust on clients and the role of transparency in establishing trust for desired outcomes in all areas of legal practice.
  2. In reviewing the nature of various types of trauma, discussion will center on authenticity as unique to what the traumatized individual may have experienced. A review of how adversity can pose a barrier to success. We will review how trauma-informed care can establish trust with clients, learning about the neurological, biological, behavioral, cognitive, relational and personal impact of trauma on trust. The risk of inauthenticity and the 4 R's of trauma informed care will be discussed. 
  3. Trauma-Informed Communication and Transparency: Effective communication strategies for building transparency with clients, self-regulation, mindfulness, reflective listening, the science of empathy, and a model for clear and honest communication (balanced with risks and confidentiality).
  4. Self-Reflection and Transparency: The importance of self-reflection and transparency in building trust with clients, including recognizing biases and limitations, being transparent about legal processes, financial discussions, and addressing concerns and questions.
  5. Trauma-Informed Legal Practice and Trust: establishing and maintaining trust throughout the legal process, and with others. A review of how trauma-informed legal practice can build lead to different outcomes, reduce risks using a strengths based approach. A model for developing trauma-informed policies and procedures, providing trauma-informed services, and working collaboratively with trauma-informed professionals.
  6. Conclusion and Next Steps: Summary of key points and recommendations for implementing trust and transparency using trauma-informed care in the legal profession, including tools, resources and processes for practice implementation.
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