Holistic Legal practice combines aggressive legal advocacy with a broader recognition that for most poor people arrested and charged with a crime, or facing a civil legal aid issue, the presenting case, whether civil or criminal, is not the only issue with which they struggle. The key insight of holistic legal practice is that to be truly effective advocates for our clients, we must broaden the scope of our work to include the consequences of criminal justice involvement as well as the underlying issues, both legal and non-legal, that have played a part in driving our clients into legal problems in the first place.
This year’s annual public defender and legal service conference focuses on holistic legal practice. It is designed to give you a practical way to incorporate holistic practice into your work. We will be joined by local and national practitioners who will talk about how they incorporate holistic practice into their day to day work and together, we will identify a broad spectrum of client needs and discuss how to find services and solutions to address those needs. By the end of this program we hope that you will have enhanced your ability to work effectively with other professionals who also deal with clients facing the challenges of substance abuse, mental health, disabilities, cultural differences and language barriers, and be able to walk away with practical tools to become a more efficient, ethical and compassionate practitioner.
This program is keynoted by Robin Steinberg, who founded the Bronx Defender Services, a public defender agency that is devoted to holistic practice and which handles the civil and criminal needs of their clients. Robin will speak about how her office’s commitment to providing inclusive and extensive services enriches her practice and improves the lives of her clients. At the end of the day, she will return to discuss the practicalities of incorporating holistic defense into your practice. Merf Ehman from Columbia Legal Services in Seattle will lead a group of legal service attorneys and public defenders from around the state in a conversation about how they have successfully incorporated holistic practice concepts into their practice.
We are also joined by Anna Melbin of the Full Frame Initiative in Massachusetts, who will examine the importance of communicating effectively and ethically with your clients. She will provide a practical approach and useful tools to improve effective client communication by examining the role of social connectedness, stability, safety, mastery and meaningful access to relevant mainstream resources in communication.
6.25 total credits
8:15-8:45 Registration and coffee
8:45-9:00 Introduction and Goals Michele Storms and Travis Stearns
9:00-10:00 Fighting the Causes and Consequences of Involvement in the Criminal Justice System Robin Steinberg
10:15-12:15 On the Ground Application: Practical and Realistic Approaches (Panel Discussion)
12:15-1:30 LUNCH (on your own)
1:30-2:45 Ethical Client Communication: The Five Domains of Well Being Anna Melbin
3:00-4:15 Making it Happen in Your World: Realistic Tools to Use Holistic Practice Now
4:15-5:00 Translating Theory into Practice:Nuts and Bolts Robin Steinberg
William H. Gates Hall
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Registration and information link