Mitchell Hamline School of Law
Heather Hale has a Master of Science degree from the University of Baltimore in Criminal Justice with a specialization in Victim-Studies, along with a certification in trauma-informed care. While working towards her certification in trauma-informed care, Heather focused on understanding trauma in organizations as well as historical trauma. Her research varied from trauma in academic institutions, to trauma in religious sanctuaries, to historical and inter-generational trauma amongst different ethnic groups. Recently, Heather applied her knowledge of these topics during AALS Balance Section Speed Share Series, discussing Historical Trauma in law school. Heather has stated that she believes self-care is non-negotiable, and that in order to give your best effort in school, you have to prioritize your well-being because you cannot pour from an empty cup. That comes with self-awareness and paying attention to how you respond to your surroundings–physically, mentally, and emotionally. This belief became clearer to Heather during her 1L year when the topic of Historical Trauma was presented in class, and as a result, that discussion presented both positive and negative perspectives and opinions on that matter. Given her academic background, Heather provided insight about Historical Trauma to her classmates. The response she received from her classmates subsequent to that discussion illuminated the reality of how law students may not have the appropriate cognitive tools to fully engage in topics relating to trauma, nor inherent the proper posture as law students to receive trauma-informed care. This is a four-layer issue concerning: what we learn, who we are learning it from, who we identify as, and how we recover from learning those topic(s). Thus, given her academic background as well as her personal experiences with applying her knowledge, Heather aspires to use these tools to expand the discussion of Historical Trauma in Law School.