What is Trauma-Informed Lawyering?
Trauma-informed lawyering is an approach to legal practice that recognizes the impact of trauma on clients and aims to create a safe and supportive environment for them. It involves understanding the effects of trauma on an individual's behaviour, emotions, and thinking patterns and integrating that knowledge into the legal representation and litigation process.
How do we use Trauma-Informed Practices at Mulqueen Disability Law?
At Mulqueen Disability Law we aim to integrate the following trauma-informed lawyering principles into our law practice:
Creating a Safe Space: We take steps to create a physically and emotionally safe environment for our clients. This could include offering a private meeting room, avoiding interrupting the clients or talking over them, and being mindful of body language.
Building Trust: We prioritize building trust with our clients by being honest, transparent, and reliable in their interactions. We take time to listen actively and validate our clients' experiences and emotions.
Empowering Clients: We support their client's autonomy by providing them with information and helping them make informed decisions about their legal matters. We work collaboratively with our clients to develop a plan of action that aligns with our clients' goals and values.
Considering Cultural Background: We recognize and respect our clients' cultural background, experiences, and perspectives. For example, we will take steps to understand how our clients' cultural identity might impact their legal matter, such as how language barriers or cultural norms might affect communication or decision-making, including stigmas around mental health and employment.
Understanding Trauma Responses: We are familiar with the common responses to trauma and how they might manifest in a legal setting. We are sensitive to triggers and avoid actions that could re-traumatize our clients, such as using aggressive language or raising our voice. We are also aware of resources for trauma-informed care and refer our clients to appropriate services if needed.
By adopting a trauma-informed approach, we can better understand our clients' needs and provide more effective legal representation which results in better outcomes for our clients and their cases.
*Mulqueen Disability Law lawyers and staff have certificates in Psychological First Aid from Canada Red Cross and in Trauma Informed Practice from The Association fro Psychological Therapies.
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We aim to accommodate all disabilities.
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At Mulqueen Disability Law, we value equity, diversity and inclusion, and accessibility for all of our clients. We are committed to providing reasonable accommodations to ensure that all clients can access our legal services effectively.
1. Requesting Accommodations: Any client who requires an accommodation due to a disability or medical condition should let us know as soon as possible. We will consider the request and work with the client to determine the appropriate accommodation.
2. Reasonable Accommodations: We will provide reasonable accommodations to clients with disabilities or medical conditions to ensure they can access our legal services effectively. Examples of reasonable accommodations may include:
Providing documents in alternative formats, such as large print or braille
Allowing for communication through sign language interpreters or other communication assistance
Modifying physical office spaces, such as providing wheelchair accessibility or adjusting lighting or sound levels
Providing remote services or video conference options
3. Interactive Process: We will engage in an interactive process with the client requesting an accommodation to determine the appropriate accommodation.
4. Confidentiality: We will maintain the confidentiality of all client requests for accommodations.
5. Denial of Accommodations: In some cases, an accommodation may not be reasonable or may pose an undue burden on our law firm. In these cases, we will work with the client to find an alternative accommodation that works for both of us.
By accommodating our clients, our clients feel supported and empowered. They will feel more able to participate in their case which will allow us to provide more effective legal representation, resulting in better outcomes for our clients and their cases.
Emotional support comes in many forms.
Our dog Stella is getting on in years, proving to be a calm and lovely addition to our office family. Taking her role seriously, she will sit under our desks and warm our feet and encourage us to take her for walks when she senses we need a break. She will even finish our unattended snacks for us if she thinks we have had enough.
For our dog loving clients, feel free to bring Stella a treat and you will be guaranteed to have a friend for life.
You are also welcome to bring your (socialized and potty-trained) dog with you, particularly if you would feel more comfortable and less anxious having the extra emotional support while we discuss your case. We do not require Certification as a Support Animal.
We know some of our clients prefer to not have a dog present in our office. Stella is always happy to have a day off from work and we are always happy to accommodate. Our clients always come first.