Gendered Violence and the Law Clinic

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Clinical Teacher

Neha Lall

Project Description

When confronted with domestic and sexual violence in our communities, arrest and prosecution of the perpetrator is only one of many potential legal responses. What actions should government and the legal system take to address gendered violence? What tools are available to survivors and how useful are those tools? How can we determine when government intervention is appropriate, required, or counter-productive? Students will explore these issues through a 2-hour weekly seminar, combined with 12 hours per week of field work spent working at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago’s office in the Loop (LAF). Students will work primarily in LAF’s Children and Family Practice Group while accepting some assignments from LAF’s Housing, Consumer, Public Benefits, and Immigrant and Workers’ Rights Practice Groups. Students will assist with representation of domestic and sexual violence survivors to meet a broad range of legal needs, which could include protective orders, divorce and custody litigation, VAWA self-petitions and U-Visa applications, advocacy in child abuse and neglect proceedings, housing and eviction matters, unemployment insurance hearings, and TANF appeals. All students will be expected to interview clients, prepare written discovery, develop witness statements, conduct legal research, and draft pleadings, motions and court orders. Third-year students eligible for a 711 license will appear in court under attorney supervision. Students will be assigned to the various practice groups based on the capacity of LAF to accommodate the students into each practice area. Prior experience and language skills may be considered in determining each student’s clinical placement. Students’ grades will be based on participation in the seminar, participation and quality of performance in the clinical field work, and a series of reaction/reflection papers. Participation over both Winter and Spring quarters is required.

Contact: (773) 702-9611