Confidentiality Institute
Protecting privacy. Securing safety.

Meet the Institute

Empowering people to protect privacy.

How we got started

In the mid-90’s, attorney and law professor Julie Kunce Field noticed a problem.  Even though domestic violence advocates wanted to promise survivors that it was safe to talk freely and no one could use those conversations to cause harm, advocates were actually spending a lot of time responding to demands that they disclose the location of survivors and the content of their private conversations.  And some of the people demanding information (batterers, attorneys, even law enforcement and local officials) could be aggressive and threatening. Professor Field created Confidentiality Institute to support, train and advocate for the professionals who work with violence survivors in preserving privacy, securing safety, and enforcing privilege.  

Alicia Aiken, JD, Director

Alicia L. Aiken, JD

Alicia L. Aiken, JD

Alicia Aiken, JD, specializes in delivering entertaining & interactive training about serious topics, and she coaches professionals to problem-solve around difficult situations.  She is also a Faculty Fellow for PLI’s Interactive Learning Center, where she has co-created 4 award-winning on-line courses, and Principal Consultant at Aiken Strategic Partners, which consults with non-profits on strategic planning and organizational design.  In 2014, Ms. Aiken launched the Protecting Privacy to Enhance Safety Subpoena Defense Pro Bono Project for the American Bar Association, and she has headed up a national discussion on cloud computing and crime victim privacy with National Network to End Domestic Violence.  

Prior to Confidentiality Institute, Ms. Aiken spent 15 years with LAF, Illinois’ largest legal services program, where she represented victims of domestic violence and people living in poverty in a variety of complex legal matters. While at LAF, Ms. Aiken rose to the position of Director of Training, Pro Bono and Client Support Services, and served on the Executive Committee of the 13 million dollar non-profit organization. University of Michigan granted Alicia Aiken undergraduate and law degrees in 1992 and 1995, and she has practiced trial and appellate law in Illinois, Vermont, and Michigan.

Honorable Julie Kunce Field, JD, Founder

Honorable Julie Kunce Field, JD

Honorable Julie Kunce Field, JD

Honorable Julie Kunce Field, JD, founder of the Confidentiality Institute, is a nationally recognized leader on issues concerning confidentiality and privilege as they relate to domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking. A former law professor at the University of Michigan, the University of Denver College of Law, and Washburn Law School, she serves as an adjunct and guest lecturer at the University of Colorado at Denver in the Graduate School of Public Affairs. Since 1998, she has taught confidentiality and privacy issues all over the United States to agencies, attorneys, judges, law enforcement, prosecutors, child protection workers, and advocates, and has written articles, books, and book chapters on confidentiality, family law and other issues related to domestic violence. In 2011, she was appointed by Governor Bill Ritter to be a Colorado state district court judge for the 8th Judicial District.

Sarah Layden, Associate Trainer/Legal Intern

Sarah Layden

Sarah Layden

Sarah Layden has over 10 years of experience in managing rape crisis programming, supervising rape crisis staff and volunteers, conducting professional training and providing advocacy services to survivors. Since joining the rape crisis movement in 2008, Sarah has directly worked with and supervised the provision of advocacy services for nearly 6,000 survivors and their loved ones. She is a sought after trainer, who has personally facilitated and ensured the training of nearly 8,700 law enforcement officers and prosecutors on issues related to working with sexual assault and abuse survivors. She participated in the development of the first and only Cook County Sexual Assault Multi-Disciplinary Team, which includes the unprecedented opportunity to participate in case review with the Cook County State’s Attorney Office and Chicago Police Department.  In recognition of her work on behalf of survivors of sexual violence, Sarah was chosen as a recipient for the 2010 Cook County State’s Attorney Office Victim Services Award and has been featured on CBS and NBC local and national news.

Also known for policy consultation and legislative advocacy, Sarah serves as the Legislative Liaison for the Chicago Bar Association’s Women in Law Committee and is an active member on the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault Public Affairs Committee, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office Sexual Assault Advisory Group, as well as the Illinois Attorney General's Task Force on Improving the Investigation and Prosecution of Sex Crimes. She attended the University of Illinois in Chicago where she earned a degree in Psychology and Criminal Justice and is a current student at DePaul University College of Law.  Sarah is also currently the Director of Programs and Public Policy for Rape Victim Advocates in Chicago.


What do participants think?

Building Confidence

"Your input allows me to be confident in the decisions we're having to make when our clients' confidentiality is threatened."

Unmatched Expertise

“Truly outstanding presentation in that the information and speaker [were] above most I've seen.”

Great Use of Time

“[H]ighly informative, memorable, and brief.  What more could anyone ask?”  

"Wow! Opportunity to learn, delightful presentation and beginning of ongoing discussion."

Fun, Fun, Fun!

"The instructor has a great sense of humor and she made it fun[.] " 

"Instructor was great.  Her sense of humor was greater.  What a wealth of information.  One of the best trainings I've attended in the last few years!"