Post-Traumatic Stress is a normal reaction to an abnormal set of circumstances. According to Dr. Jonathan Shay, “it is the persistence into civilian life of the valid adaptations to the real situations of other human beings trying to kill you, and doing a
damn good job of it.” When we train and condition our fellow citizens in the use of violence, then send them into the horrors of war to perform unimaginable tasks, we should not be surprised when some bring their wars home with them and act out against their own communities.
Veterans’ advocates, specifically legal professionals, are positioned to assist veterans not only with their legal issue but to help them continue down the path to heal. This training will provide advocates with the tools to provide trauma-informed lawyering
through an understanding of PTSD that will allow them to: (1) understand how PTSD may relate to clients’ legal issues; (2) work productively with clients who have experienced trauma; (3) partner effectively with mental health professionals; and (4) develop trauma-informed lawyering/interviewing skills.