Domestic Violence Clinic
Information for Attorneys
The Domestic Violence Clinical Advocacy Program supports survivors of domestic violence by:
- performing free legal consultations and assistance in the Safety Through Knowledge Legal Assistance Project;
- developing educational and training programs for the general public, domestic violence advocates, law students, judges, attorneys, and other professionals;
- developing legal forms, including interactive, guided legal forms, that enable survivors to exercise their rights under Illinois statutes to overcome barriers they face to becoming safe; and
- crafting empirical-based policy proposals to improve the law’s response to domestic violence.
Volunteer Attorneys Needed
Learn more about our Family Law & Domestic Violence Clinic course and the Safety Through Knowledge Legal Assistance Project and how you can help with one-hour legal consultations and/or legal representation.
We are seeking attorneys with the following areas of expertise willing to take on one or more cases during the year under the following eight 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.
The time that attorneys spend preparing and working with our students in the Family Law & Domestic Violence Clinic course to provide our clients legal assistance can count toward required Illinois CLE hours.
Educational & Training Programs
Domestic violence is a more complicated problem than most people realize, with facets of it that are counter intuitive, such as the fact that oftentimes the most dangerous time for a survivor is when she separates from the abuser. While there are protective laws enacted in Illinois to address the numerous barriers that survivors face to becoming safe, many survivors are unaware of these laws or how to fully exercise their rights under them. The Domestic Violence Clinical Advocacy Program aims to address this through its annual educational program and the development of educational materials.
Watch our most recent domestic violence educational program online and download the materials from this program on the resources page.
We conduct empirical studies to determine how well the legal system is protecting the safety of survivors of domestic violence and their children. Policy implications are considered in light of the data we collect. We then publicize our findings in reports to the relevant governmental officials, in law reviews of general circulation, and on this website.