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Our clients often meet with us for the first time after experiencing the most traumatic event of their lives. And while settlement planning is a critical step for them, emotions are often high in litigation – especially for abuse survivors – and working with even more people during this time can feel like a lot.

That’s why my company is receiving training in trauma-informed care from the National Center for Equity and Agency (NCEA) – to equip our team with the knowledge and compassion to help survivors through their planning journey. Leading our virtual training is Dr. Laura McGuire, founder of NCEA and an internationally recognized sexuality educator, trauma-informed specialist, and inclusion consultant. Dr. McGuire’s three-part, interactive presentation covers a lot of ground:

  1. What is trauma-informed care, including types of trauma, how trauma impacts survivors, and the neuropsychology of trauma-informed care.
  2. Trauma-informed care in the workplace, including practices in daily life, recognizing signs of trauma, actionable tools, and empowering survivors.
  3. Applications including active listening, understanding common barriers, self-inventory for trauma-informed practices, and planning for long-term practitionership.

The information in our customized training is included in the NCEA’s holistic trauma-informed care certification program for attorneys, paralegals, and other law professionals seeking a deeper and more specified perspective on working with clients who have experienced trauma. While this training can help reinforce comfort and trust between survivors and their legal teams, Dr. McGuire has also pointed out that that these learning opportunities increase client satisfaction, retention, and referrals. As communication can be challenging within abuse cases, the training also offers tools to help decrease burnout and frustration for all parties involved – from the attorneys to the clients, to the office staff, and so on.

And the burnout is real. Dr. McGuire, a survivor who navigated the legal system, told Law360 that, “A lot of the compound trauma that I experienced was just not having legal representation that was communicating with me, or with the other victims that I have worked with. Attorneys weren’t explaining things and helping us process what we are going through. The legal system is very confusing if you don’t have a legal background …. And that is exactly where that trauma-informed care approach is so vital and makes such a huge difference.”

While there are many trauma-informed trainings available, the NCEA’s program offers the only certification in this competency designed for legal professionals. If you run a legal practice, I recommend that you consider offering Dr. McGuire’s training to your team.

Recently, we also spearheaded a new initiative for sexual abuse survivors who are about to receive a settlement. The Settlement Account is a qualified settlement fund exclusively for anyone in the U.S. who receives a personal injury settlement from a sexual assault case. Since settlement doesn’t (and shouldn’t) punctuate their journey with their case, this specialized trust allows us to customize the settlement experience with free, comprehensive settlement planning services – all the while providing anonymity, confidentiality, and unlimited time for survivors to plan. Please check it out, and give us a call if you have a client or know someone who could benefit from this service.

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