‘I felt safe’: The benefits of trauma-informed lawyering
To deliver effective legal services, lawyers need to be able to recognise and respond to their clients’ trauma and take a more informed view of their clients’ broader experiences. Here, we unpack how this can be done and why it is so essential.
In this episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, host Jerome Doraisamy speaks with Legal Aid NSW manager Jennifer Chen and lived experience advocate Rachel Thomas about what trauma-informed lawyering is, the introduction of a toolkit from the federal Attorney-General’s Department and what it hopes to achieve, and the emergence of such an approach to legal services domestically and abroad.
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The trio also discuss the impact that a trauma-informed approach from a lawyer can have on clients in need, why it is so important (from a client perspective) for a lawyer to be trauma-informed, the potential consequences (for clients and court processes) if lawyers are not adequately trauma-informed, adhering to one’s duties to clients and the court, overcoming scepticism about such an approach, and how best lawyers can better educate themselves on new ways of delivering legal services.
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