Trauma-Informed Legal Services for Attorneys Working with Victims of Crime (In Person)

June 29th, 2022 from 11 AM to 1 PM

For attorneys who work directly with victims of crime, understanding the complexity and specialized nature of the impact of trauma on a victim is imperative to provide competent and diligent representation. Attorneys are used to working with individuals who are not actively in trauma.  However, when a client is seeking legal services after a traumatic event, their engagement with the world around them, and particularly legal services, is impacted significantly by brain chemistry and the long-lasting impacts of trauma.  Additional training is necessary to ensure that attorneys competently respond to the unique needs of survivors. Understanding the social and neurological effects of trauma will allow attorneys who represent crime victims to provide zealous representation in the face of increased challenges.  An attorney who does not understand the impact of trauma may find these trauma symptoms to be insurmountable hurdles.  However, after this training, an attorney will be able to recognize these behaviors as symptoms of trauma, rather than antagonistic choices of a client.  Through this training, an attorney will be able to identify trauma symptoms as such, and be better equipped to competently and diligently represent a client facing these challenges, rather than identifying the client as a challenge themselves.  This training will also provide information on historical and multigenerational trauma, as well as systemic oppression and trauma. This comprehensive training provides attorneys with the skills and knowledge to better able to work with clients, understand the facts of a case, and, ultimately, provide ethical representation.

* Approved for 2 General, 2 Ethics CLE Credits *


11:30-11:35      Introduction/Overview of services
11:35-11:45      Delving into Rules 1.1, 1.3, and 1.4 (Competence, Diligence and Communication)
11:45-12:05      Impact of Trauma on a Victim’s Brain and Resulting Symptoms
12:05-12:15      Historical Trauma and Trauma and Oppression
12:15-12:45      Utilizing Tools for Trauma-Informed Representation
12:45-12:50      Acknowledging secondary and vicarious trauma
12:50-1:00        Q&A


Emily Tofte Nestaval, MSW is the Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Victim Law Center. Ms. Tofte Nestaval has over 19 years’ experience in the anti-violence field advocating for victims and survivors. Throughout her career, she has been able to meld her passion for serving survivors of violence and non-profit management. Ms. Tofte Nestaval has provided consultation, training and technical assistance to attorneys, prosecutors, and social service providers as they navigate the complexities of serving victims of violence. She has held the positions of Assistant Director of Moving to End Sexual Assault, Board Chair of the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Sexual Violence Justice Institute Program Director, Financial and Grants Manager at the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault, and is currently the Executive Director of Rocky Mountain Victim Law Center. She has received several awards for the work in victim services including the 2014 Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault’s Change Maker award and the Commitment to Justice Award from the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office in 2017.

Kazi Houston, MSW, JD is the Legal Director at Rocky Mountain Victim Law Center (RMvlc) in Denver, Colorado. Kazi obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Seattle University in 1998, her Master of Social Work and Master of Arts in International Studies from the University of Denver in 2001, and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver in 2010. Prior to attending law school, Kazi worked extensively with children and families managing mental illness and/or developmental disabilities, particularly those involved with the criminal justice system.  After law school, Kazi worked for 4 years as a private practice civil attorney prior to returning to the non-profit sector in 2015.  A commitment to improving community access to the legal system and engaging in innovative legal work led Kazi to RMvlc in 2016. Kazi has presented at multiple statewide and national conferences on victim legal issues. Kazi has also served as the victim representative on the Prison Population Management Interim Study Committee in 2019, and currently serves on the CCJJ Sentencing Reform Task Force and the CBI Identity Theft and Fraud Board.


$60 - General Admission
$45 - Rocky Mountain Victim Lawyer Association Member (Learn More!


Colorado Bar Association 
1290 Broadway Ste 1700
East Classroom
Denver, CO 80203

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