Trauma-Informed Ethics Training for Legal Professionals

Mindfulness is a proven tool that lawyers can use to effectively manage stress, as well as protect against the distress symptoms that result when exposed to others' traumatic experiences. Our trainings and Continuing Legal Education courses harness powerful science-based techniques to help attorneys avoid compassion fatigue and maintain their physical and mental well-being. Contact us to discuss your organizational needs and schedule a customized program.

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How Secondary Trauma Affects Attorney Mental Health

Attorneys often represent trauma victims of abuse, crime or other adversity. Lawyers, staff and judges alike may be at high risk of developing compassion fatigue as they are exposed to emotionally charged stories and situations, as well as gruesome and disturbing evidence. Symptoms of vicarious trauma include burnout, PTSD, irritability, difficulties with sleep and concentration, as well as diminished pleasure and interest in activities.

Join Cindy Sharp and Becky Howlett for this timely educational webinar as they explore secondary trauma in the legal field. Case studies of legal professionals who have experienced the adverse effects of vicarious trauma are included. Certified Meditation Instructor and Attorney Becky Howlett will teach and lead mindfulness practices throughout this session.

Attendees will learn:

  • How to identify risk factors of secondary trauma

  • Common signs and symptoms of vicarious trauma

  • Ethical Implications of secondary trauma: Analysis of MRPC 1.1 - Competence, MRPC 1.3 - Diligence, MRPC 1.4 - Communication, MRPC 8.4 - Misconduct

  • Specific steps you can take IMMEDIATELY to manage and avoid the ill effects of compassion fatigue

  • Strategies to implement a trauma-informed law practice

  • Tips on how to approach a colleague who is exhibiting “the signs”

  • How to use mindfulness tools to develop deeper awareness about secondary trauma and reduce stress

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ABA GPSolo eReport

Attorneys Becky Howlett and Cynthia Sharp's monthly column in the American Bar Association's GPSolo eReport focuses on all aspects of attorney wellness and the real-life challenges of practicing law, including substance use, mental health, civility, and implicit bias.

We believe that generating open and honest conversations, including sharing our own personal struggles with mental health and addiction, will encourage others to seek needed help, as well as promote cultural change within our profession.


How Secondary Trauma Impacts the Mental Health of Legal Professionals

Given long work hours, high client loads, and contact with traumatized clients, lawyers are at exceptionally high risk of vicarious traumatization that results in PTSD symptoms and burnout. It is imperative that all participants in the legal process—including attorneys, judges, and staff—take action to protect ourselves and those we interact with from the ill effects of secondary trauma.


A Mindful Approach to Email

Reactive email practices may unduly perpetuate anger and frustration leading to strained relationships and undesirable case outcomes. These simple steps can help you stay calm and cultivate conscious communications even in the face of emotionally charged situations.




Grounding Meditation to Promote Calm

Attorney and certified meditation instructor Becky Howlett guides participants in a visualization mediation using the five senses. Grounding is a helpful technique to cope with distressing moments and calm yourself if you are experiencing anxiety, frustration, or traumatic memories.


Loving Kindness Meditation for Attorneys

Join our FREE Online Meditation Community for legal practitioners as we explore evidence-based mindfulness techniques to induce relaxation, boost concentration, and more.

Schedule: First Wed of the month @ 12:00 p.m. ET (~20 min)

All levels of experience welcome!