2023 Symposium

Moving towards a trauma-informed legal system: a holistic approach to addiction-related crimes

Wayne State University Law School's Journal of Law in Society will host its 2023 Symposium March 8-10 from 12:15-1:30 PM in room 2242. The Symposium will explore the application of a trauma-informed legal approach to addiction-related crimes. 

The intersection of trauma, substance use, and crime is well established and has led to novel legal approaches to these issues such as the creation and implementation of drug courts, holistic defense models, therapeutic jurisprudence, and harm reduction techniques. Trauma-informed legal practice offers a compassionate approach through which the legal community can further improve outcomes and reduce the impact of vicarious trauma on legal professionals.


Day 1 (March 8)

  • Topic: What is trauma informed lawyering and why is it important?
  • Panelists:
    • Laken Albrink, J.D. (Morehead University)
    • Deeya Haldar, J.D. (Villanova University)
    • Sara Gold, J.D. (University of Maryland)

Day 2 (March 9)

  • Topic: The intersection of trauma, substance abuse, and the criminal justice system.
  • Panelists:
    • Sheryl Kubiak, Ph.D., M.S.W. (Dean of Wayne State's School of Social Work)
    • Matthew Costello, M.S.W. ((Treatment Ecosystems Manager of the Center for Behavioral Health and Justice).
    • Hon. Kameshia D. Gant (Oakland County Treatment Court Judge)
    • Hon. Yasmine I. Poles (Oakland County Treatment Court Judge)


Day 3 (March 10)

  • Topic: The implementation of trauma-informed lawyering into law school education and practice.
  • Panelists:
    • Myrna McCallum, J.D. (Host of the Trauma-Informed Lawyer Podcast)
    • Heather Walter-McCabe, J.D., M.S.W. (Wayne Law)
    • Dan Ellman, J.D. (Wayne Law)

Each panel presentations will be followed by a Q&A.