Representing Clients...

Representing Clients Affected by Trauma, and Dealing With Our Own- PART III
Attorneys and others legal professionals who work with clients who have suffered great hardship and trauma can find themselves significantly affected by the work. This impact can appear both on the job and in the personal realm. Defenders may simultaneously feel both inspired and enthused by the mission, AND exhausted and overwhelmed by the intensity of the work.

There are a number of terms often used to describe this experience: burnout, secondary trauma, vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue, the cost of caring, or the trauma exposure response. These conditions all relate to the cumulative toll that results from working with traumatized individuals over time in a system that further traumatizes individuals.

This is a 3-part CLE offered over 6 weeks, offered September 29 (Part I) and Parts II and III on October 27 and November 10.  In part I, defenders will learn about trauma and PTSD, including how to talk about trauma with clients, as well as practical and strategic/legal considerations for the criminal or other legal cases.

In parts II and III defenders will learn about the effects of secondary trauma and how it impacts both legal professionals and system-wide delivery of legal services. Defenders will learn about a significant research study of the well-being of public defenders in Wisconsin and the steps that Wisconsin defenders implemented following the study.  This presentation will also cover tips and coping skills for managing emotional well-being while working in a high stress environment serving individuals impacted by trauma. Attendees will learn strategies to reduce stress, observe and manage their emotional well-being, including knowing when to seek support and where to turn for resources when help is needed.

To register, please email wda@defensenet.org with “Trauma” in the subject line. You will be automatically be registered for both sessions. 1.0 Ethics credit has been requested from the WSBA for each session.