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Mental Health Literacy for Lawyers 2024

Product ID: CA3648R4
Presented By: State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE

Endorsed by the State Bar of Wisconsin Lawyers Assistance Program (WisLAP)

How mental health frameworks can make you a better lawyer

Lawyers often work on highly charged emotional cases, with clients who are profoundly affected by the situations that motivate them to seek legal services. Yet, law school may not have provided education on how the mental health of clients affects legal processes and outcomes. Familiarity with fundamental clinical frameworks in mental health — particularly personality disorders, mood disorders, and trauma — gives lawyers a deeper understanding of their clients in mediation, arbitration, civil litigation, and criminal proceedings. Understanding mental health can contribute significantly to attorneys’ competence and professionalism, as well as better outcomes for clients.

Mental Health Literacy for Lawyers offers insights into narcissistic, borderline, and anti-social personality disorders and how to work effectively in situations shaped by their traits. You will learn how anxiety, panic, acute stress and post-traumatic stress can interfere with your clients’ ability to function in legal proceedings and how you can help overcome these challenges to create better legal and personal outcomes.

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Interested in sponsoring this program? Find out more.

Select a Format

Webcast seminar
OnDemand seminar

Pricing

Member $269.00

Non-Member $349.00

Credits

6 LAU

Date and Time

Tuesday, July 02, 20249:00 AM - 4:35 PM CT

Add to Calendar 7/2/2024 9:00:00 AM 7/2/2024 4:35:00 PM America/Chicago Mental Health Literacy for Lawyers 2024

Endorsed by the State Bar of Wisconsin Lawyers Assistance Program (WisLAP)

How mental health frameworks can make you a better lawyer

Lawyers often work on highly charged emotional cases, with clients who are profoundly affected by the situations that motivate them to seek legal services. Yet, law school may not have provided education on how the mental health of clients affects legal processes and outcomes. Familiarity with fundamental clinical frameworks in mental health — particularly personality disorders, mood disorders, and trauma — gives lawyers a deeper understanding of their clients in mediation, arbitration, civil litigation, and criminal proceedings. Understanding mental health can contribute significantly to attorneys’ competence and professionalism, as well as better outcomes for clients.

Mental Health Literacy for Lawyers offers insights into narcissistic, borderline, and anti-social personality disorders and how to work effectively in situations shaped by their traits. You will learn how anxiety, panic, acute stress and post-traumatic stress can interfere with your clients’ ability to function in legal proceedings and how you can help overcome these challenges to create better legal and personal outcomes.

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Endorsed by the State Bar of Wisconsin Lawyers Assistance Program (WisLAP)

How mental health frameworks can make you a better lawyer

Lawyers often work on highly charged emotional cases, with clients who are profoundly affected by the situations that motivate them to seek legal services. Yet, law school may not have provided education on how the mental health of clients affects legal processes and outcomes. Familiarity with fundamental clinical frameworks in mental health — particularly personality disorders, mood disorders, and trauma — gives lawyers a deeper understanding of their clients in mediation, arbitration, civil litigation, and criminal proceedings. Understanding mental health can contribute significantly to attorneys’ competence and professionalism, as well as better outcomes for clients.

Mental Health Literacy for Lawyers offers insights into narcissistic, borderline, and anti-social personality disorders and how to work effectively in situations shaped by their traits. You will learn how anxiety, panic, acute stress and post-traumatic stress can interfere with your clients’ ability to function in legal proceedings and how you can help overcome these challenges to create better legal and personal outcomes.

Read More ↓

Program Chair & Presenter:

Amber Ault, Ph.D., MSW
State Bar of Wisconsin, WisLAP
Madison

Presenters:

Amanda Canessa
Dane County Corporation Counsel
Madison

Solomon Gatton
Wisconsin State Public Defender’s Office
Sheboygan

Kimberly Hardtke
Brown County District Attorneys Office
Green Bay

Sarah Henrickson, LCSW
Journey Mental Health
Madison

David Lee, Ph.D.
Mendota Mental Health Institute (Ret.)
Madison

Jennifer Mohamed
Bayne Law Group
Flemington, NJ

Ryan Poe-Gavlinski
University of Wisconsin Law School
Madison

John Schneider, MSW, LCSW
University of Wisconsin Law School
Madison

9:00 am How Mental Health Literacy Makes Lawyers More Successful

Whether they’re handling cases with clients affected by stress, trauma, anxiety, or substance abuse, or struggling with these issues themselves, lawyers benefit from advanced understandings of mental health ---- that is, from mental health literacy. In this presentation, lawyer wellness retreat leader Jennifer Mohamed, JD, RYT-500 helps attorneys understand the concept of mental health literacy and more deeply appreciate its importance for lawyers themselves and their success in working with clients. The presentation offers enhanced awareness of how substance abuse/dependence disorders, stress management, and work-life balance relate to the practice of law. In it, Attorney Mohamed provides lawyers with strategies for improving their capacity to identify the mental health and well-being challenges frequently experienced by lawyers and clients and familiarizes them with proven practices for improving health, stress management, and work-life balance in the interest of their careers. The presentation emphasizes how attorney well-being aligns with rules of professional responsibility and increases participants’ overall success as lawyers.

Jennifer Mohamed

9:50 am Q&A/Break

10:00 am What Lawyers Need to Know About Personality Disorders

Personality disorders, characterized by maladaptive ways of interacting with others, reveal themselves in behaviors ranging from severe avoidance and fearfulness to bold, presumptuous, and inconsiderate or aggressive violations of others and of the law. In this training, Dr. David Lee provides insights into personality disorders as psychologists currently define them, how lawyers can identify the most dramatic personality disorders --- those that often show up in the legal system --- and how to deal with individuals with these challenging personalities. He will introduce lawyers to how personality disorders develop, key features of histrionic, narcissistic, borderline, and anti-social personalities, and the prospects for treating people whose behaviors align with these diagnoses.

David Lee, Ph.D.

10:50 am Q&A/Break

11:00 am Balancing Emotional Highs and Lows with Clients and Colleagues

This session will provide a scientific framework for understanding the emotional responses of your clients and colleagues. Attendees will learn how one’s nervous system adapts to environmental challenges and how chronic activation of the stress response may lead to the development of mood disorders. Attendees will become familiar with the concept of the window of tolerance for emotional regulation and how to recognize common symptoms that signal emotional dysregulation. Finally, the session will offer strategies, appropriate to your role as an attorney, to assist your clients and colleagues in recognizing and regulating their emotional states to improve outcomes in your work.

John Schneider, MSW, LCSW, Ryan Poe-Gavlinski

11:50 am Q&A

11:55 am Lunch (on your own)

1:00 pm Trauma is the Thief that Keeps on Stealing After the Crime: Fundamental Facts for Lawyers

Not all challenging events are traumatic, and not all traumatic events lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). What distinguishes the traumatic events that result in PTSD from those that don’t? How do post-traumatic experiences show up in the lives of the people attorneys represent, and how do they interfere with the achievement of the goals attorneys and their clients share? How do people recover from trauma, post-traumatic stress, and acute stress responses? In this presentation, Dr. Amber Ault, LCSW, introduces lawyers to key concepts in traumatology, including the conditions that increase the chances of someone developing PTSD following challenging events (including situations that may arise in legal proceedings), symptoms of post-traumatic syndromes, and approaches clinicians use to help people recover.

Amber Ault, Ph.D., MSW

1:30 pm The Nuts and Bolts of Trauma-Informed Lawyering

As a rule, attorneys deal in facts, carefully crafted legal analysis argumentation, and rules that govern conduct both inside and outside the courtroom. But attorneys are also in the “people” business, and the people – crime victims, witnesses, clients – have often experienced extraordinary trauma. The trauma that arises from high-conflict divorce, personal injury, criminal victimization, and medical malpractice can have lasting effects on individuals and their communities. Criminal defense attorneys, civil attorneys, family law attorneys, and general practitioners guide clients through systems foreign to them while they are still deep within the throes of the traumatic situations that brought them to the courthouse. In this session on trauma informed lawyering, regional Violence Against Women Resource Prosecutor Kimberly A. Hardtke, introduces the trauma informed lawyering practices designed to mitigate exacerbating non-lawyers’ existing trauma and prevent secondary trauma from encounters with the legal system. Trauma-informed principles can and should also be used in substantive ways when collecting statements, eliciting testimony, or arguing a particular position in court. In this session, you’ll become familiar with these substantive techniques at the foundation of strong, trauma-informed cases.

Kimberly Hardtke

2:30 pm Break

2:45 pm Risky Business: Assessing Dangerousness to Self and Others and Understanding Wisconsin’s Chapter 51

  • Part 1: Fundamentals of Practice and Process: Mental health crises present social workers, lawyers, judges, families, and community members with complex, nuanced, fraught, and dangerous situations in which the interests of individuals’ rights, liberties, and preferences sometimes conflict with community interests, medical guidance, and other legal considerations. In the first segment of this two-hour session, veteran crisis worker and Journey Mental Health Clinical Team Leader Sarah Henrickson, LCSW, Assistant Dane County Corporation Counsel Amanda Canessa, and State Assistant Public Defender and Mental Health Practice Coordinator Solomon Gatton describe their professional work with people experiencing a range of serious mental health crises and conditions. Participants will learn the variables that increase a person’s risk of harming themselves or others due to a mental health crisis or condition, the circumstances in which mental health professionals are empowered to collaborate with law enforcement to use Wisconsin Chapter 51 to advance an emergency detention for mental health reasons, and how such cases are handled by county Corporation Counsel attorneys and public defenders when emergency detentions are initiated.
  • Part 2: Questions, Conundrums, and Applications In the second segment of this two-hour session, the presenters and attendees will work through case examples, bringing to the conversation the legal criteria and considerations connected to their respective roles in such cases. Participants will have opportunities to ask questions, think through scenarios with the group, and contemplate how mental health crises might show up in their own areas of practice. As the final session of the day in the Mental health Literacy for Lawyers, this session will encourage participants to integrate the day’s learning about mental health conditions, trauma-informed lawyering, and the most acute situations that require legal intervention.

Sarah Henrickson, LCSW, Amanda Canessa, Solomon Gatton

4:35 pm Program Concludes

  • Effectively guide clients who have experienced trauma through the legal process
  • Foster safer, more supportive attorney-client relationships
  • Gain strategies for responding to personality disordered behaviors
  • Incorporate trauma-informed communication into your practice
  • Help clients and colleagues recognize and regulate emotional highs and lows
  • Evaluate and mitigate potential risk of harm to clients, colleagues, and others
  • General practitioners
  • Criminal lawyers
  • Family lawyers
  • Immigration lawyers
  • Tort lawyers
  • Paralegals
  • Law students
  • Anyone interested in learning more about how trauma impacts behavior

Book Bonus!

Mental Health Law in Wisconsin: A Guide for Legal and Healthcare Professionals
Save 15% on the Mental Health Law in Wisconsin: A Guide for Legal and Healthcare Professionals.* Gain a better understanding of the intersection between mental health and the law with this comprehensive resource covering a range of topics such as guardianships, competency, and civil commitments. Use discount code CA3648 when you order online or by calling (800) 728-7788.

*Discount applies to both print and digital Books UnBound editions of this title and cannot be applied to previous purchases. Offer valid through 12/31/25. For Books UnBound users, discount may be applied to purchase of individual Books UnBound title only and may not be used on purchase of libraries. Discount cannot be combined with any other offers.

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