Law

Domestic Violence and Civil Protection Order Clinic

As part of your studies at Cincinnati Law, you can gain hands-on experience as you learn how to provide holistic legal services to survivors of domestic violence. At the Domestic Violence and Civil Protection Order Clinic, you’ll work alongside clinic staff to learn every aspect of civil practice, from initial interviews through advocacy. 

During your second year

As early as your second year, you can enroll in the course Client Counseling in the Domestic Violence Context, which allows you to help interview domestic violence survivors, prepare cases and complete other aspects of clinic work. 

During your third year

During your third-year, as part of a collaboration with the Legal Aid Society of Cincinnati and with a legal intern license, you can participate in a semester-long clinic program provides you with ample opportunities to hone your practical legal skills. After a 40-hour training, you’ll work alongside clinic staff, gaining experience:

  • interviewing
  • investigating
  • negotiating
  • drafting pleadings, briefs and correspondence 
  • arguing cases that are scheduled during the academic year
  • conducting direct and cross-examination
  • filing objections to decisions
  • drafting, filing and arguing contempt and other post-trial motions.

You will work with real clients in the Hamilton County Domestic Relations Court and the Court of Common Pleas and in collaboration with off-campus and on-campus collaborators, including the University of Cincinnati’s Women’s Center and Women Helping Women.

You can also advocate for domestic violence survivors in other ways. In 2009, Cincinnati Law students conducted research and assisted in writing an amicus brief filed with the United States Supreme Court in Abbott v. Abbott, involving custody rights under the Hague convention. And when Cincinnati’s YWCA battered women and children’s shelter nearly lost funding, Cincinnati Law clinic students testified before Cincinnati City Council, whose members later voted to restore funding.

The Clinic experience is consistently ranked as one of our students’ best law school experiences because of the rewarding work.