In the Family Violence and Women’s Rights Clinic (FVWR), students are invited to join the fight towards attaining justice and safety for victims of intimate partner violence.
Serving the unmet needs of local survivors of domestic violence in Western New York, the Family Violence & Women's Right Clinic seeks to fill the gap to ensure victims of violence receive the proper legal representation needed in many areas of the law, including: family offense petitions, child support, custody, and visitation cases.
All Family Violence & Women's Rights Clinic students are included on the Clinical Legal Education Program's Student Practice Order which authorizes them to practice law under the direct supervision of the Clinic Director, Assistant Clinical Professor Judith Olin.
Student Attorneys work in teams and are assigned multiple cases throughout the semester. Student Attorneys engage in a number of practice-ready skills including: client interviewing and counseling, negotiation with opposing counsel and the attorney for the child, and preparation of a variety of legal documents such as stipulations, orders, discovery documents, etc. Student Attorneys develop case theories, investigate facts and have the opportunity to stand up in Court to argue motions and, in some cases, examine witnesses in hearings and trials. Student Attorneys engage in legal research specific to their cases and engage in strategic decision-making.
In weekly seminar classes and team meetings with the Clinic Director, students have the opportunity to discuss their cases in detail, analyzing each step taken, and getting input from fellow Student Attorneys. Students in the clinic hone their practice skills through in-class simulations in interviewing, negotiation, and other litigation skills, all while they learn the interpersonal skills needed to work with survivors of family violence and gain an understanding of unique ethical issues common to this field.
Useful background courses include: Family Law, Domestic Violence Law, Children and the Law.
Students in the Family or Criminal Law Concentrations may take this clinic as part of their program.
Students in the JD/MSW Program may take this Clinic as their field placement.