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July 23, 2008

Program Prepares Lawyers to Help Domestic Violence Victims

Oregon Law’s Domestic Violence Clinic recently co-sponsored a free Continuing Legal Education (CLE) program titled, “What You Don’t Know Can Hurt: Competently Representing Victims of Domestic Violence & Sexual Abuse in Civil Legal Matters,” at the Klamath Falls Courthouse.

Program attendees participated in lectures and exercises on topics that included: Interviewing Clients to Uncover Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault; Barriers Clients Face Obtaining Legal Assistance; Providing Holistic Services to Survivors; Issue Spotting; Confidentiality and Child Abuse Reporting; and Resources for Lawyers and Clients.

Professor Merle Weiner, the program’s organizer, said the goal of the daylong training was to help participants become more ready and able to help victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. In addition, participants received approximately four general CLE credits, one ethics CLE credit, and one access to justice CLE credit.

The July 11 program was the first time the Domestic Violence Clinic conducted this event and Professor Weiner hopes to continue having such events in the future. In addition to the Clinic, the program’s additional sponsors were the Klamath Medical Services Bureau Foundation, Lane County Legal Aid and Advocacy Center, and Legal Aid Services of Oregon.

The Domestic Violence Clinic, a partnership among the University of Oregon School of Law, Legal Aid of Lane County, Womenspace (a domestic violence service provider), and Sexual Assault Support Services (a service provider for survivors of sexual assault and stalking), provides comprehensive legal services to victims of domestic abuse and their children while educating Oregon Law students. For more information on the Domestic Violence Clinic, visit http://www.law.uoregon.edu/org/dv/.


Professor Merle Weiner (left) and Oregon Law alumna and Regional Director of Legal Aid Services of Oregon for Klamath and Lake Counties Marla Cummins ’00, engage in discussion at the July 11 domestic violence CLE program co-sponsored by the Domestic Violence Clinic.

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