From Classroom to Courtroom: The Legal Advocacy Clinic as a Collaborative Effort to Address Domestic Violence Issues in the Community

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Published in: Family & Intimate Partner Violence Quarterly, Volume 03, Number 02, Fall 2010 , pp.101-107(7)


Cases of domestic violence continue to make national headlines and fill court calendars across the nation. While legal and policy experts question the methodology used to address the challenging issues associated with domestic violence, most states agree on one policy that works—education and courtroom advocacy for victims. The problem facing many communities is how to find resources to provide court advocacy services to those vulnerable members of the community. One solution is found in the Legal Advocacy Clinic, a collaborative effort between an academic institution and a non-profit agency. While many law schools have provided similar services, the Legal Advocacy Clinic is the first of its kind to offer undergraduate criminal justice students the priceless opportunity to advocate for victims of domestic violence. For their part, these future police officers, lawyers, and criminal justice professionals have the opportunity to enter a courtroom and advocate on behalf of victims at no cost, providing a tremendous service to the community.