07 - Cultural Competency Resources
Best Practices in Pro Bono:
Cultural Competency Resources
The Best Practices in Pro Bono Guides were created to provide a model for pro bono programs and increase consistency in pro bono work across organizations. The guides present concise practical information on implementing and maintaining pro bono projects. The content in this section was gathered by Laura Dym Cohen, Clinical Professor, Southwestern Law School with a sincere thank you to Angela Inzano, Program Manager, The Chicago Bar Foundation for sharing their resources with us.
What is Cultural Competency?
A meaningful attorney-client relationship is built on communication and understanding. The world in which legal aid and pro bono attorneys and law student volunteers work to build that attorney-client relationship is increasingly cross-cultural and there is often a gap to bridge between attorneys’ life experiences and those of our clients. This gap can be influenced by any number of cultural norms and experiences, including, but not limited to: ethnicity, race, gender, nationality, age, economic status, social status, language, sexual orientation, physical characteristics, marital status, role in family, birth order, immigration status, religion, accent, skin color, or experiences with trauma.
Cultural competency improves the attorney-client relationship and experiences and, as a result, case outcomes.
What is the goal of this section?
The goal here is to provide you wit h many options for incorporating cultural competency into your trainings which may be 15 minutes during your substantive training, as resources supplementing your tr ainings, or as you prepare an extensive in-depth training program. As way of disclaimer, The Chicago Bar Foundation did not intend the following pages to be an exhaustive list of available trainings and materials - that would very likely be an impossible f eat. Instead, consider this a jumping off point for your cultural competency journey.
The following pages provided by The Chicago Bar Foundation are also available here: https://chicagobarfoundation.box.com/s/gpmlt0jwrt3mrnuynlawd61wifs0d5mj.
Cultural Competency Training Resources for Legal Aid and Pro Bono Attorneys
As any attorney knows, a meaningful attorney -client relationship is built on communication and understanding. The world in which legal aid and pro bono attorneys work to build that attorney -client relationship is increasingly cross -cultural and there is often a gap to bridge between attorneys’ life experiences and those of our clients. This gap can be influenced by any number of cultural norms and experiences, including, but not limited to: ethnicity, race, gender, nationality, age, economic status, social status, language, sexual orientation, physical characteristics, marital status, role in family, birth order, immigration status, religion, accent, skin col or, or experiences with trauma.
This collection of resources grew out of national conversations about the importance of cultural competency in lawyering for legal aid and pro bono attorneys and what resources existed for training attorneys on these and related competencies. Cultural competency improves the attorney -client relationship and experiences and, as a result, case outcomes.
The goal here is to provide you with many options for incorporating cultural competency into trainings for legal aid and pro bono attorneys. That might be 15 minutes during your substantive pro bono training, it might be provided resources outside a live training, or it might be extensive in -depth training programs. As way of disclaimer, we don’t intend this to be an exhaustive list of available trainings and materials -that would very likely be an impossible feat. Instead, consider this a jumping off point for your cultural competency journey.
This collection is organized by type of resource and the most comprehensive resources are listed first in each section whenever possible. Length of resources (i.e. for videos or scholarly articles) are noted and resources are free to access unless otherwise noted. Many of these resources qualify for CLE credit. If you have any feedback about the resources included, or the organization of this document, please don’t hesitate to let us know by emailing Angela Inzano, Program Manager at the Chicago Bar Foundation, at firstname.lastname@example.org .
- Breaking Poverty Barriers for Equal Justice , Dr. Donna Beegle [Archive Copy Available]
Extensive online resources and videos that can be used in a variety of formats and lengths to train attorneys on working with low income clients (free to legal aid organizations; low -cost to others). One of the most comprehensive resources available on this topic geared toward the legal profession. NB:The original website that served these materials is out-of-service, but an archive copy is available through the Internet Archive (archive.org). Additionally, the video series are being served on the "Breaking Poverty Barriers to Equal Justice" YouTube Channel.
Peanut Butter, Jelly, and Racism , The New York Times
Entertaining, short videos that address implicit bias. Can easily be incorporated into a longer training to introduce the topic of cultural competency.
- TED Talk: The Story We Tell About Poverty Isn’t True , Mia Birdsong
A little over 15 minutes long. Also includes other resources such as the speaker’s suggested reading list and related videos.
TED Talk: The Danger of a Single Story, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Almost 19 minutes long. Addresses intersectionality in cultural competency.
A note: many of these online programs are through Practising Law Institute (PLI), which is an invaluable resource for cultural competency and other trainings for legal aid and pro bono attorneys. Some programs are free to all and others are free to PLI members. In addition to the on-demand trainings listed, PLI often offers webcast programs on various topics related to cultural competency that interested attorneys should keep an eye out for when released.
- How to Become a Culturally Competent Attorney , PLI
About 1 hour long, available on -demand and at no cost with a PLI subscription.
- The Art & Science of Interviewing Pro Bono Clients
A little over two hours long, available live and on -demand at no cost with a PLI subscription. Includes practical tips on managing and anticipating communication issues that may arise from a lack of cultural understanding.
- Public Interest Boot Camp
6 hours long, available live and on -demand at no cost with a PLI subscription. Includes sections on ethical representation of low -income clients and cultural competency.
- Advocating for Veterans: The Basics on VA Benefits, Discharge Upgrades and Veteran
A little over 6 hours long, available live and on -demand at no cost.
Representing Transgender Clients: Practical Skills and Cultural Competency , P LI
6.5 hours, available on -demand and at no cost with a PLI subscription.
- Hard Conversations: An Introduction to Racism , Patti Digh and Victor Lee Lewis A four -week intensive online seminar held quarterly (cost: $99).
- Implicit Bias Initiative , American Bar Association
Resources include videos, a toolkit , and a bibliography of additional resources on the topic of implicit bias and geared toward the legal profession.
- Project Implicit
A nonprofit founded by scientists that provide research and services around implicit bias; includes, most notably, a popular series of implicit bias self -tests.
- White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack , The National Seed Project
Includes an introductory article and a number of suggested activities for training s.
- National Implicit Bias Network
Includes, among extensive additional resources, a helpful overview and primer of implicit bias.
- Teaching Tolerance , Southern Poverty Law Center
Includes basic definitions and a summary of the concept of bias.
- Understanding Implicit Bias , Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, The Ohio State University
Includes a " State of the Science" research paper and additional resources.
- National Center for Cultural Competence
Extensive resources available; designed originally for health care and mental health care fields but generally applicable information.
- Exploring and Understanding Cultural Competency, Samantha Howell and Kelly Anderson
Includes additional resources such as a scavenger hunt and a presentation outline.
Promoting Cultural Competency for Legal Aid and Pro Bono Attorneys, Patti Hageman, Angela Inzano, Elizabeta Markuci, Vidhya Ragunathan
Addresses the basics of cultural competency and how to incorporate it into your trainings.
- Implicit Bias and Cultivating Cross-Cultural Competence in Legal Practice, Sameera Hafiz and Lillian Moy
- Working with Interpreters, Sue Bryant
Diversity & Cultural Competency In The Legal Aid Context, Ernest Brown and Linda Good
- Representing and Accommodating People with Disabilities, Barry Taylor
- Five Habits for Cross-Cultural Lawyering, Sue Bryant and Jean Koh Peters
16 pages long, one of the go-to resources for lawyers looking to increase their cultural competence. A related longer article (77 pages), also by Sue Bryant, can be found here.
- Troubleshooting Pro Bono Relationships with Low-Income Clients, Public Interest Pro Bono Association
4 pages, full of specific, practical tips for understanding the challenges unique to working with low-income clients and how to avoid potential miscommunications.
- Working with Pro Bono Clients, Delaney Russell and Scott Russell
9 pages, Minnesota State Bar Association
- The Impact of Race on Pro Bono Services, Delaney Russell
3 pages, The Hennepin Lawyer
Beyond Bias—Cultural Competence as a Lawyer Skill, Nelson P. Miller
4 pages, Michigan Bar Journal
- Representing the Whole Client, Ellen Hemley
6 pages, Journal of Poverty Law and Policy
- Embracing Diversity and Being Culturally Competent is No Longer Optional, Blanca Banuelos et al.
8 pages, American Bar Association
Strategies for Confronting Unconscious Bias, Kathleen Nalty
10 pages, Colorado Bar Association
- Providing Respectful and Competent Services to Low-Income LGBT Clients, Catherine
10 pages, Shriver Center
Disability Awareness, materials compiled by Access Living in Chicago, IL
- Racial Microaggressions in Everyday Life Implications for Clinical Practice, Derald Wing Sue
16 pages, includes charts, graphs, and example tables that could be utilized as visuals.
- Emotional Competence, Multicultural Lawyering and Race, Marjorie A. Silver
- Multicultural Lawyering: Teaching Psychology to Develop Cultural Self-Awareness, Carwina Weng
Practicing Culturally Competent Therapeutic Jurisprudence: A Collaboration Between Social Work and Law, Carolyn Copps Hartley and Carrie J. Petrucci
- Cross-Cultural Lawyering by the Book, Asccanio Piomelli
Communicating Cross-Culturally: What Teachers Should Know, Yvonne Pratt-Johnson
5 pages, audience is mainly teaching professionals but includes information generally applicable to anyone working in a cross-cultural environment.
- Cultural Competence and the Legal Profession: An Annotated Bibliography of Materials Published Between 2000 and 2011, Annette Demers
Available with a LexisNexis or HeinOnline subscription
- Building Cultural Competence: Innovative Activities and Models
, Kate Berardo and Darla
400 pages , available for purchase
Cultural Competence: A Lifelong Journey to Cultural Proficiency
, Ronnie Leavitt PhD
288 pages ; available for purchase
Interviewing Clients Across Cultures: A Practitioner’s Guide
, Lisa Aronson Fontes
334 page s; available for purchase
- Scarcity: The New Science of Having Less and How It Defines Our Lives
Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir
304 pages; available for purchase
- Social Stratification: Class, Race, and Gender in Sociological Perspective
, David Grusky
1200 pages; available for purchase
- The Working Poor: Invisible in America
, David K. Shipler
352 pages; available for purchase
- American Dream: Three Women, Ten Kids, and a Nation's Drive to End Welfare
432 pages; available for purchase
- Evicted: Poverty and Profit in
the American City
, Matthew Desmond
432 pages; available for purchase
- The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and
the Collision of Two Cultures
, Anne Fadiman
368 pages; available for purchase
The Glass Castle
, Jeannette Walls
288 pages; available for purchase
- Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
, J.D. Vance
272 pages; available for purchase
Justice Training Institute
, Shriver Center
An extensive training for those admitted; shorter courses and resources also available.
- Race and the Legal System: Tools for Engaging in Constructive Conversations
A Minnesota based in -person training presented by the MN Association of Black Lawyers and Volunteer Lawyers Network .
, Tiela Chalmers Consulting
An interactive role play simulation designed to educate participants on the realities that low -income individuals face day to day. There are costs associated with this training.
- Poverty Simulation
, The Center for Community Insight, Inc.
A guided, live -action experience that promotes a deeper understanding of poverty. There are costs, on a sliding scale, associated with this training.
- Maria Mercedes Avila, Ph.D. , a cultural competency trainer based in Vermont who has presented to attorneys through Vermont Volunteer Lawyers Project .
- Jennifer Eberhardt Ph.D. , a researcher based at Stanford who focuses on the effect of unconscious ideas about race on the workings of the criminal justice system.
Other Resources to Consider in Putting Together Cultural Competency Trainings
- National, state, or local ethical standards that address an attorney’s duty to their client or to competency in representation .
- National, state, or local bar association standards that address similar duties and best practices (i.e. ABA Standards for Programs Providing Civil Pro Bono Legal Services to Persons of Limited Means ).
Category: Pro Bono
Tags: Pro Bono