Trauma-Informed Lawyer Certification Course


CPD Hours: 20hours

Join our certification course to gain comprehensive updates and practical knowledge of trauma-informed practice. This course will elevate your client care skills within many practice areas including family law, criminal law, child law and personal injury.
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Trauma-awareness and trauma-informed practice are increasingly at the heart of a fair justice system.

This course is designed for all solicitors working with people, no matter their practice area, whether working in criminal law, family and child law, personal injury, succession and estate planning or conveyancing and beyond, and is suitable for all levels of expertise.

In becoming trauma-informed, you will learn to recognise the impact of trauma in those you work for and with, and to be able to practice in a way that does no further harm, supports recovery and is most effective and efficient for people affected by trauma. Just as importantly, you will understand the ways that you can adapt your approach to legal practice and communication skills to take account of the impact of trauma in order to work effectively with colleagues and clients, including minimising the risks of re-traumatisation while also preserving your own wellbeing against vicarious trauma.

If you are interested in training on autism, please look at these courses run by Scottish Autism.

This course is priced at £560 + VAT and consists of 20 hours verifiable CPD.*

*Becoming a trauma-informed lawyer is an increasingly essential competency that sits at the heart of a fair justice system. This is more important than ever at a time when growing emphasis is placed towards the development of a trauma-informed justice workforce that needs to be able to both improve the experiences of victims and witnesses, and to ensure a fair justice system for the accused.

With this in mind, we created this course at a lower rate than our other certification courses to reflect our ambition to increase awareness among our members about the importance of trauma awareness in all areas of law, while also to provide any solicitors working with people with the tools to elevate their client care skills.

Course trainers
Partner, Keegan Smith; and Scottish Lawyer of the Year 2020
Director, Rutherford Sheridan
Legal Director, Gibson Kerr
Psychotherapist, Consultant in Trauma-Awareness
Development Officer, Violence Reduction Unit; Advisor to Community Justice Scotland
Principal Educator, NHS Scotland, National Trauma Training Programme
What does the certification course involve?
  1. Sign up for the certified course.
  2. Complete introductory pre-materials (trauma skilled e-module and coercive control) for 3 hours verifiable CPD.
  3. Attend five live online webinars.
  4. Certification as Trauma-Informed Lawyer awarded with use of our marque.
Trauma Skilled e-module

This module, from NHS Education for Scotland, consists of five units, and takes around 1.5-3 hours to complete. It is designed to increase your understanding of what psychological trauma is and how it can affect us, how to support recovery and develop trauma informed relationships that incorporate trust, safety, choice and collaboration, and control and empowerment, and how to recognise when a person may benefit from a trauma specialist intervention. This will be released prior to the first session of the course.

3 hours verifiable CPD

Coercive Control and the Law - A Trauma Informed Approach module

Complete this module, we collaborated with Scottish Government and other stakeholders to develop trauma informed training for solicitors. Trauma informed knowledge is essential to elevate your client care skills within many practice areas including Family law, Criminal law, Child law and Personal Injury.

You can find the resources and complete the quiz to gain 1 hour verifiable CPD here

Seminar One: Introduction to trauma and trauma-informed practice for lawyers

Ahead of this seminar, you should complete the following training:

  1. Trauma Skilled e-module (3 hours verifiable CPD)
  2. Coercive Control and the Law - A Trauma Informed Approach module (1 hour verifiable CPD)
  • Recap and discussion of key points from skilled module integrated into legal practice
Seminar Two: Vulnerability and the Law
  • Defining and assessing vulnerability in relation to trauma 
  • How vulnerable are we willing to be as lawyers? Vulnerability vs professionalism?
  • Dealing with vulnerable witnesses
Seminar Three: Professional experience workshop
  • Introducing the concept of ACES
  • Attachment theory 
  • Improving your ability to help with disclosures in a trauma informed response
  • Recognising the window of tolerance 
  • Improving assertive communication skills
Seminar Four: Trauma in practice

During this seminar, trauma-informed lawyers working in different practice areas will discuss their journey and what brought them to become trauma aware, as well as their experience of working with clients who have suffered from trauma. You will also hear about:

  • the judicial response to date, the sentencing guidelines, what needs to be done
  • what practitioners do and should do
Seminar Five: The ethics and ekills of trauma-informed lawyers

During this seminar, you will discuss:

  • Enhancing your client engagement and communication skills: adapt your initial engagement and litigation approach to minimize re-traumatisation
  • Recognising and applying legal ethics when working with traumatised clients
  • Vicarious trauma – supporting and protecting your own wellbeing
  • Tools for reflective practice 
  • Vicarious resilience

 Specific programme details are subject to change.

Details of the final assignment will be released during the course.


"This was an important course which I was very keen to attend. From the report, "Improving the Management of Sexual Offence Cases" (2021), it is clear that trauma informed training may soon be required in some areas. All practitioners should be aware of the potential impacts of trauma on those who seek our help. Many more will be suffering than is immediately apparent. We should be aware also of the potential impact of trauma on ourselves and our colleagues. This course helps to develop the necessary awareness, as well as making practical suggestions for how to cope and deal with the issue - avoid making assumptions about anyone; listen empathetically; display sensitivity, curiosity and compassion."

Lord Scott KC, Senator, College of Justice

"This is one of the most important things I have ever done since qualifying as a solicitor. Knowledge and understanding of trauma is key to solicitors in almost all areas of practice being able to represent clients effectively. This was a fascinating course with superb speakers and trainers that was extremely thought provoking. I have taken a huge amount away from it and I hope that what I have learned will make me better at my job. I would recommend this course to any practising solicitor."

Gemma Waddell, AC White Solicitors

"It was a pleasure to be involved in the trauma-informed certification course. The content was excellent and the speakers offered such varied insights from different perspectives. It was eye-opening and has provided me with a different perspective in terms of approaching my practice in a more empathetic and trauma-informed way. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to organise this course. I would encourage other solicitors to consider taking the course as it is worthwhile to gain a different perspective, irrespective of area of practice."

Rachel Holt, Lindsays LLP

"A thoroughly enjoyable and informative course which goes into far more depth than I ever anticipated. The content was varied covering so many different aspects of trauma, the science, the biology, the psychology and the practice in law. Course highly recommended to all."

Natalie Bruce, Harper MacLeod

"I was grateful to spend several very early mornings (in my time zone) with an inspiring group of speakers, teachers, and fellow learners. The commitment of the instructional team to making meaningful and sustained change in practice was inspiring."

Sharon Sutherland, Mediate BC Society, Canada

"The Trauma Informed Lawyer Certification Course has been the most beneficial CPD I have done in my 12 years as a solicitor. The course is thought provoking, informative and will undoubtedly change my practice as a lawyer."

"This was an excellent course. I had wondered how effective it would be in terms of online delivery but any qualms were soon dispelled. Each and every speaker was excellent and it was evident that a huge amount of work had gone on in structuring the course to maximise what could be gained from the 5 sessions. What I learned has truly been life altering and given me a lens through which I will approach many aspects of my working life differently and with confidence."

"Trauma affecting how you behave is not a new concept. It has long been known by practitioners all over and indeed in Criminal Defence that traumatic things that have happened to you will influence your thoughts, feelings and behaviours. It has however been eye opening to me to understand just how re-traumatising the Court experience can be. I've realised that the justice system needs to be more alive to trauma and its impacts. We should all be trained and understand how to work in the best interests of our clients and for many of us, that includes how to be alive to the trauma they have faced and the lasting impact it may have. Until we learn to treat people and work in a way that strives to heal trauma, the justice system could continue to be yet another traumatising experience for may people. The course is insightful and educational. The training is invaluable to court practitioners."

"The Law Society CPD Team created a great course, highlighting the need for all lawyers to understand the terrible impact of trauma on their clients. It is also vital to understand trauma in the workplace and to ensure self care. The Guest Speakers were all excellent and varied. I think the basics should be a mandatory part of the LLB or CPD."

"The Trauma Informed Lawyer Certification Course run by The Law Society of Scotland provided a quality learning experience with high quality trainers .... this should be mandatory training for all solicitors as it enhances the service we provide and also addresses the pressures faced by us all."

"As a criminal lawyer, my main reason for undertaking the trauma-informed training was to adapt my practice to ensure that the way I was communicating with people who have experienced trauma was not re-traumatising them. I have gained invaluable insight in this regard, however I have achieved so much more. The course has given me a different perspective on how I view the majority of people who walk through the doors of the court and has given me a strong desire to be more compassionate, understanding and curious."

"Fantastic course. Extremely informative, and a good balance of theory and practical advice. Excellent materials and helpful mix of speakers and videos. I thoroughly enjoyed participating. Many thanks."


prices exclude VAT

£560 + VAT

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