The Fundamentals of Mitigation Certificate Program

You are here

Thursday, July 22, 2021 12:00 pm to Saturday, July 24, 2021 3:00 pm

PLEASE NOTE: We have changed the dates for this program. It will run from Thursday, July 22, starting at 12:00 noon, and end on Saturday, July 24, at 3:00 p.m.

Registration is now closed.

Full Agenda now available! Scroll to the bottom of this page for the details.

Presented by the NLADA & the National Alliance of Sentencing Advocates and Mitigation Specialists (NASAMS), intensive training is offered to beginners and experienced professionals who want to refresh their mitigation skills. Over the course of three afternoons, we will provide a best practices framework for mitigation and sentencing advocacy work during COVID and in the approaching more “normal” times as well. We will cover the history and development of the profession and highlight standards of practice and ethics. Specific skill sets will be addressed, including investigation, records collection, interviewing, writing, and story-telling. An exploration of race, ethnicity, and cultural issues will provide a wider lens for understanding and sharing the client's unique story.

The program provides training for participants from nationally recognized experts in the field. The small class size will ensure quality instruction, coaching, and hands-on learning. Participants will receive sample materials, organizational tools, sample reports, scholarly articles, and e-tools to assist their practices.

All times are Eastern Time.

Members: $189
Non-Members: $299 (includes one-year NLADA membership)


Thursday, July 22, 2021

12:00 noon-12:10 p.m.
Welcome and Introductions
     Denise Smith, LCSW-C, & Megan Leschak, LMSW

12:10 p.m.-1:00 p.m.
History and Significance of the Profession
     Cessie Alfonso, LCSW, & Betsy Biben, LICSW

1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.
Interviewing with Awareness
Anupama Vishwamitra, LCSW

2:00 p.m.-2:10 p.m.

2:10 p.m.-3:00 p.m.
Investigation, Collection, and Organizing Records
Sarah Forte, Investigator and Paralegal, & Charity Laister, Mitigation Specialist

3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
What’s in a Story: Understanding Race and Culture
Lori James-Townes, LCSW-C

4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
Telling the Story: Persuasive Report Writing
Shannon Keyes-Woodward, LCSW

Friday, July 23, 2021

12:00 noon-12:15 p.m.
Welcome Back and Questions from Day 1

12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m.
Safety in the Field
Sarah Forte, Investigator and Paralegal

1:15 p.m.-1:30 p.m.

1:30 p.m.-2:45 p.m.
Neuropsychology and Screening for Competence
Dr. Lynette Abrams-Silva, Neuropsychologist, & Dr. Julie Brovko, Forensic Psychologist

2:45 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
Working with Experts and Providing Testimony
Scott Reid, Esq, Brian Levy, Esq., & Ava Marie Reid, LCSW

4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
Breakout Groups (self-selected)

Private Practice: Rebecca Bowman-Rivas, LCSW-C
Working on Defense Teams: Sam Dworkin, Dworkin Investigations
Navigating a Law Office and/or Govt. Organization: Stephanne Thornton, LCSW
Self-Care: Denise Smith, LCSW-C & Megan Leschak, LMSW

Saturday, July 24, 2021

12:00 noon-12:15 p.m.
Welcome and Questions from Days 1 and 2

12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m.
Trauma 101
Megan Leschak, LMSW

1:15 p.m.-1:30 p.m.

1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m.
Engaging Restorative Practices in Defense Work
Craig Acorn, Esq., Mirra Schwartz, DIVO Professional Mitigation Specialist, & Eva Buchwald, LCSW

2:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m.