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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

Trauma: About Me


Strategies for a Trauma-Informed Law Practice

Trauma is pervasive in our society as 1/3 of Americans will experience a severe trauma at some point. Indeed, lawyers are often serving clients at some of the darkest times of the clients’ lives due to traumatic events. Yet, until recently, our profession has not emphasized the necessary “soft skills” to be a successful attorney, including mindful communication, empathy, connection and even our own self-care. 

Attend this program and explore best practices to curb the negative effects of trauma within the legal profession. This program will examine how unresolved primary trauma, as well as vicarious trauma, can hinder an attorney’s ability to effectively manage and cope with stress, which can have dire impacts on our professional responsibilities and health. Discover how to bolster awareness of trauma and how it can present so that you can strengthen connections with your clients, while also creating environments that support your mental health and overall well-being. 

Lawyers of all ages and experience levels will benefit from this program. 

You will also learn how: 

● Attorney well-being serves as a foundation for ethical representation 

● Exposure to trauma can adversely affect legal practitioners 

● Improving rapport with traumatized clients can lead to better results 

● Strategies to avoid re-traumatizing clients

Trauma: About Me
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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.

Strategies for a Trauma-Informed Law Practice

Exposure to traumatic events in our personal and professional lives can have far-reaching, negative consequences for all participants in the legal process. Here we delve into simple ways to implement a trauma-informed law practice that ultimately helps your clients feel safe and supported while simultaneously safeguarding lawyers' mental and physical health.

Addressing Childhood Trauma in the Legal Community

Unresolved childhood trauma endangers our health and professional obligations. Here we explore the basics of Adverse Childhood Experiences or ACEs, how they can negatively impact our personal and professional lives, as well as strategies to heal from our own traumas and ultimately provide better trauma-informed client services.


The Legal Mindset Corner: Fostering Empowerment & Respect While Representing Vulnerable Clients

Cynthia and Becky are joined by Nadia Igram, legal aid attorney and birth doula. In this episode, we discuss Nadia's journey to becoming a birth doula, the challenges of representing marginalized clients, recognizing secondary trauma and much more!


About our guest: Nadia Igram, Esq. is a Kansas City-based attorney and founder at Divas and Doulas, LLC, which provides birth doula services, as well as related legal services.  

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!

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