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When working in high trauma environments, how do you make sure you aren't becoming desensitized?

I want to become a human rights lawyer. In this field, I will deal with many gruesome human rights violations. How do I make sure I am not desensitized to these types of things? #humanrightslawyer #law

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Kim’s Answer

Amatallah,

Please do not mistake compartmentalization for desensitivity. When dealing with high trauma events, you will learn to speak about them in proper clinical terminology, in a matter-of-fact tone of voice. But you will still retain your sensitivity! As a lawyer, this is what DRIVES you. Civil Rights law is very difficult. Cases are dismissed time after time after time. It is very disheartening. But every now and then, someone wins a big one, and we all are re-energized by it. When you meet these victims face to face, and hear their stories, it will tear at your heart. The difficult thing in law is to stay factually and legally focused, and not allow that emotion to blur your intellect. I guess all I can say on this one, really, is "Trust me. You won't become desensitized."


Thank you for your interest in this area of law!

(I do a little bit of work for a Civil Rights attorney. I've reviewed police dashcam video where officers found it necessary to fire 80 rounds at a mentally ill man with what turned out to be a toy pistol, and then left him there to bleed out without rendering first aid)


Kim

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