A Trauma-Informed Practice

By: Ali Whitney

What does having a “trauma-informed practice” mean to us? It means that we care for our clients in a variety of ways beyond the basic steps required to provide legal services, taking into account the experiences that have affected or still are affecting them. Trauma means something different to everyone; for some it might manifest physically and for others it may psychologically. It is essential for us to acknowledge the presence and manifestations of trauma when working with clients. At AFL, some of us are lawyers, most are parents, and all of us are human beings. We understand stress, pain, grief, and all of the feelings that come along with life’s various challenges. We strive to make our understanding, and empathy apparent to our clients, so they know that we are there for them as people as well as their attorneys, and legal staff.  

With practice areas including domestic violence, custody, divorce, anti-bullying advocacy, and more, we support our clients through tumultuous circumstances and often extremely difficult periods of their lives. Court processes and legal matters take time and energy and can be draining; we guide our clients through these procedures not only logistically, but also emotionally.  

Some key aspects that we focus on are: 

  • Comprehending the trauma and various paths/options to moving forward 
  • Recognizing the impact of the trauma  
  • Empowering clients with additional resources and support  
  • Encouraging clients to practice self-care and build resilience towards negativity  

By approaching every matter through an individual, case by case basis, we recognize and acknowledge that no two matters are the same. Our goal as a practice is to meet our client’s where they are at; while providing expert legal advice, we also offer recognition of highly emotional circumstances, and we make sure our clients know we are there to support them every step of the way.