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Trauma-Informed Representation: Jolene Maloney Offers Insight Into Client Communication

Written by Jimmy Rustling

Trauma-informed legal representation sees attorneys like Jolene Maloney better understand what their clients are facing. It also addresses the challenges they may encounter versus other members of society. For Ada County, Idaho-based criminal defense attorney Maloney, it’s about doing what she can to make her clients’ access to justice easier.

Effective client communication is often at the heart of successful criminal defense. However, effective client communication is about far more than just exchanging information. It’s about creating trust – one of the pillars of trauma-informed representation.

Client Communication and Trauma-Informed Representation

Idaho State Bar Service Award-winning attorney Maloney is an expert in trauma-informed legal representation. The criminal defense lawyer believes her clients’ needs extend far beyond the courtroom. Her approach to defense is highly holistic, advocating for each client at every step of their legal journey.

Via effective communication and establishing trusting bonds, she specializes in working with clients who’ve encountered traumatic experiences. Her approach is empathetic and understanding. It’s an approach rooted in effective communication in which establishing an environment of sensitivity and compassion is vital.

This communication-centered, trauma-informed approach helps Maloney empower her clients during their legal processes.

Empowering Clients Through Communication

All attorneys must be attentive to individual client’s needs, and for award-winning lawyer Jolene Maloney, that includes granting them space to share without judgment or interruption. This form of engagement builds trust between lawyer and client, especially in cases where there’s underlying trauma.

From active listening to clear and transparent communication, legal and other language tailored to clients’ specific understandings is similarly crucial. For example, avoiding unduly complex legal terms can help nervous or otherwise traumatized clients in everything from effective communication to their future decision-making skills.

Understanding, Respect, and Empathy

Empowering clients through communication underpins criminal defense attorney Maloney’s holistic approach to trauma-informed legal representation. Her unique approach addresses and subsequently portrays clients respectfully and empathetically.

Among the best ways to facilitate understanding, establish respect, and promote empathy is by creating a safe space for clients to share without fear of judgment. Setting clear boundaries, maintaining confidentiality, and respecting autonomy are all part of this approach.

Trustworthiness on both sides is also essential. Being consistent, dependable, and transparent helps build trust between trauma-informed attorneys and their clients. At the same time, honesty about any limitations or risks on either party’s end is vital for open and effective collaboration.

Benefits of Trauma-Informed Approaches

Attorneys and their clients benefit equally from effective communication-centered trauma-informed representation. Collaboration surrounding decision-making processes related to presentation can massively impact outcomes, best facilitated where open communication channels already exist.

Coupled with an underlying holistic approach to traumatic and other personal matters, incorporating such practices into client interactions promotes numerous benefits. For example, such steps may help with validating a client’s feelings and experiences, especially where there’s underlying trauma involved.

Expressing empathy and providing clear information about the legal process through respectful communication often further helps with this validation. Meanwhile, additional benefits range from developing new-found abilities to more effectively express emotions and, particularly in the wake of traumatic experiences, begin the healing process.

Tips for Effective Trauma-Informed Representation

Jolene Maloney knows a holistic, trauma-informed approach is central to effective, modern-day criminal defense. She regularly partakes in initiatives dedicated to increasing access to justice for marginalized communities and strongly believes in equal representation.

The award-winning attorney also mentors young lawyers on essential legal defense techniques centered on her holistic principles. Here, she recommends actively listening to clients and their needs to promote effective trauma-informed representation through effective communication. That’s just one of several tips, including:

  • Listen actively to clients and their needs.
  • Pay close attention to verbal and non-verbal cues.
  • Acknowledge clients’ pain and other difficulties.
  • Empower clients to take control of their healing.
  • Value trust and rapport at the outset and throughout.
  • Cultivate long-term mutual respect and understanding.

The result is invariably increased client satisfaction. Additionally, Maloney believes that a holistic approach to court representation promotes a more effective and modern legal system for future generations. Elsewhere, Idaho State Bar Ethics Counsel-nominated attorney Maloney is an outspoken proponent of the importance of working with other lawyers.

By collaborating, she anticipates that real, meaningful change is possible in the near future. She also encourages her peers to explore pro bono opportunities, engage in advocacy related to their expertise, and grant their time to deserving legal aid organizations in the U.S. and overseas.

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About the author

Jimmy Rustling

Born at an early age, Jimmy Rustling has found solace and comfort knowing that his humble actions have made this multiverse a better place for every man, woman and child ever known to exist. Dr. Jimmy Rustling has won many awards for excellence in writing including fourteen Peabody awards and a handful of Pulitzer Prizes. When Jimmies are not being Rustled the kind Dr. enjoys being an amazing husband to his beautiful, soulmate; Anastasia, a Russian mail order bride of almost 2 months. Dr. Rustling also spends 12-15 hours each day teaching their adopted 8-year-old Syrian refugee daughter how to read and write.