AustLaw 2021 | Supporting Traumatized Clients
Women’s Legal Service Victoria is a not-for-profit organisation that has been providing free legal services to women since 1982. They work with women experiencing disadvantage to address legal issues arising from relationship breakdown or violence.
This presentation will provide an overview of the importance of a practical application of trauma informed principles in a legal setting to ensure that clients experiencing trauma are engaged in a safe and supportive manner throughout legal proceedings.
Clients reaching out for legal assistance often have experienced multiple traumatic events and present with complex mental health issues and financial and social vulnerabilities. Trauma informed practice can help support engagement with both the legal system and support services, and help clients experience increased emotional and physical safety.
This presentation will set out what is trauma informed practice and why it is so important for lawyers to develop the skills to support clients experiencing trauma. We will use case studies to describe how clients’ experience of trauma impacts on their interactions with the legal process and how legal processes can reinforce distress or trigger traumatic stress symptoms. Practical strategies for improving client’s engagement with and experience of legal process and to support their mental health and safety will be presented. Challenges for the legal profession and recommendations for future training will also be outlined.
Registration is free for AustLaw Members. Non members are welcome and encouraged $50 (x GST)
About the speakers
Managing Lawyer at Womens Legal Services Victoria.
Beth is Managing Lawyer at Women’s Legal Service Victoria practicing cross-jurisdictionally in the areas of Child Protection, Family Law and Intervention orders. Beth works to support a team of lawyers at WLSV, working across these jurisdictions as well as using her practical experience to inform their trauma informed skill set. Beth also has a strong background in policy working across the Victorian Public Service the areas of family violence, gender equality, women’s leadership and primary prevention.
Education and Engagement Coordinator
Tasha Lloyd is an education and engagement coordinator at Women’s Legal Service Victoria. She develops and delivers training to community lawyers on recognising and responding to family violence. She also delivers training to support practitioners around identifying legal needs for clients experiencing family violence.