Domestic Violence Clinic

Develop Practice-Ready Skills Advocating for Survivors of Domestic Violence

There is a saying: “He who saves a single life, it is as though he has saved the entire world.” Students in the Domestic Violence Clinical Advocacy Program use their newly gained knowledge and skills to do precisely that. Students are educated on the nature and dynamics of domestic violence, its impact on survivors and their children, barriers to leaving, and the importance of risk assessments and safety planning. Students train to apply a trauma-informed and empowerment model of assistance and learn the basic laws and procedures to provide legal representation in one or more of the following eight practice areas: divorce/parentage, orders of protection, debt relief/credit repair, tax liability relief, housing protections, employment protections, crime victim compensation, and immigration relief.

Family Law & Domestic Violence Clinic (JD 276CL, 1-3 Credits)

In Family Law & Domestic Violence Clinic (JD 276CL, 1-3 Credits), under the supervision of experienced attorneys, students will have an opportunity to perform among the following tasks: interviewing, counseling, negotiation, drafting legal documents, legal research, fact investigation, problem solving, managing legal work, oral communication, oral advocacy analysis, public education, and legal reform initiatives.

Students may be assigned to work, under the direct supervision of a clinical adjunct professor or volunteer attorney, in one or more of the following practice areas:

Divorce/Parentage (Family Law)

Represent clients on all aspect of their divorce action, including dissolution of marriage, allocation of marital assets and debts, child and spousal support, and advocating for child custody and/or visitation.

Orders of Protection (Litigation)

Represent clients in obtaining or enforcing orders of protection or in appealing the denial of an order of protection.

Debt Relief/Credit Repair (Consumer Protection; Bankruptcy Law)

Provide information, advice, and assistance to clients on various forms of debt relief and credit repair, in particular, when the client’s abusive intimate partner engaged in financial abuse that caused the debt.

Tax Liability Relief (Federal Income Tax)

Provide information, advice, and legal representation to clients on various forms of tax liability relief that may be available to them in general or due to the domestic abuse they have experienced.

Housing Protections (Landlord/Tenant; Civil Rights Law)

Provide information, advice, and legal representation to clients on exercising their rights under the Safe Homes Act and defending an eviction action when the eviction is based on the domestic abuse the client has experienced.

Employment (Employment Law; Administrative Law)

Provide information, advice, and legal representation to survivor clients on exercising their rights under the Victim’s Economic Security and Safety Act (VESSA).

Crime Victim Compensation Act (Criminal Law; Administrative Law)

Provide information, advice, and legal representation to clients on exercising their rights under the Crime Victim Compensation Act.

Immigration Relief (Immigration Law)

Provide information, advice, and legal representation to undocumented DV-survivor clients on immigration relief they may be eligible for under VAWA, self-petitions, U-Visas, T-Visas, and asylum.

To learn more about these practice areas or to register for this course, contact Professor Debra Pogrund Stark, Director, DVCAP, at 7stark@jmls.edu.

Clinic Resources