The Trauma-Informed Advocacy in Legal Systems Certificate will provide professionals with an understanding of issues facing individuals who have experienced trauma, and how the legal system can help stop the prevalence of trauma and abuse in society. Professionals will learn to approach advocacy from a multi-disciplinary perspective, develop skills to implement into their own day-to-day practices, and identify trauma-informed resources in their communities. This certificate program focuses on trauma experienced by child and adult survivors in the child protection, juvenile delinquency, family, and criminal legal systems. It also pays specific attention to the trauma experienced by adult survivors of child sexual abuse in civil proceedings.
All courses are delivered online to fit your schedule.
- City/county attorneys, other attorneys in government, and child and family law practitioners
- Attorneys, judges, and advocates working with child and adult survivors of trauma in criminal and certain civil proceedings
- Social workers, guardians ad litem, legal and victim advocates who work with individuals involved in the legal system
- Probation officers and detention professionals
- Other legal professionals providing advocacy in juvenile, family, and criminal court to individuals who have experienced trauma
Current J.D. students are not eligible for this program.
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Spring start date: Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Add/Drop deadline: Friday, April 5, 2019
Offered in the fall and spring annually
Course of study
Take three sequential courses over thirteen weeks.
- Multi-Disciplinary Overview and Discussion of Trauma (three weeks)
- Survivor- Focused Advocacy (three weeks)
- One-week break
- Courtroom Specific Advocacy (six weeks)
Students have many opportunities to interact with faculty and one another in discussions and hands-on exercises. There are no scheduled dates or times when all students must be online concurrently. Expect to spend four to six hours per week engaging in online course work.
To reserve a place in the program, a $150 deposit is required, unless otherwise advised.Register Online
- Regular tuition is $3,900
- Tuition for government and nonprofit employees is $2,600
- 10-percent discount for Mitchell Hamline alumni
- This program does not qualify for federal financial aid
All courses are pass/fail. Students who pass the three required courses are awarded a Certificate in Trauma-Informed Advocacy by Mitchell Hamline School of Law.
Scholarships may be awarded based on financial need through a lottery.
Social Work continuing education credits available.
Approval pending for CLE credits from the Minnesota Board of Continuing Legal Education.
- Describe the effects of trauma on mind and body, and the populations it reaches from a multi-disciplinary standpoint
- Apply trauma-informed principals to generate specific, individualized service plans and assist clients in building resiliency and begin healing
- Understand the need for self-care and analyze current individual and organizational self-care attitudes and practices
- Research and assess jurisdiction-specific trauma informed service providers
- Propose ways to collaborate with clients, families, and legal and non-legal professionals in an effort to provide clients with strength based services and solutions
- Articulate responsibilities of ethical responses, competency, confidentiality, and zealous advocacy through a trauma-informed lens
- Identify the legal systems in which they may encounter individuals who have experienced trauma and apply skills learned to any client relationship, regardless of the nature of the court proceeding
- Apply knowledge of trauma to practice issues such as “disinterested” or “disengaged” clients, volatile behaviors, and resistant service providers
- Understand the overlap and intersection of legal systems and integrate trauma-focused client services into various courtroom settings
- Compose courtroom statements and be able to justify viewpoints and requested client services
- Critique policies and laws in order to identify barriers and challenges to implementing trauma-informed legal practices.
- Integrate above described objectives in practitioner’s relationships with survivors from any background, culture, religion, mental capacity, and age group