By its very nature, criminal law experiences a greater prevalence of mental health issues than most other areas of practice, requiring many lawyers in this area to be “quasi mental health practitioners” as well as legal service providers. Dealing with this, in addition to the vicarious trauma, can be overwhelming.
In this episode of The Boutique Lawyer Show, host Jerome Doraisamy is joined by Dowson Turco Lawyers partner Nicholas Stewart to reflect on the myriad mental health issues affecting criminal law clients and vulnerable communities in Australia, how these health issues have been exacerbated in the age of coronavirus and how these issues have changed the nature of legal service delivery at this time, and the extent to which criminal lawyers are required to go beyond of their care for the well-being of clients.
Mr. Stewart also discusses the scourge of vicarious trauma, the difficulty criminal lawyers may have working remotely from clients, how changes can be made to better address mental health issues, and how the last two years have changed his perspective on what it means to be a good criminal lawyer.
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