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September 23, 2008

Domestic Violence Clinic Receives Grant from Federal Department of Justice

A $299,999 grant recently was awarded to Oregon Law’s Domestic Violence Clinic from the Legal Assistance for Victims Grant Program within the Federal Department of Justice’s Violence Against Women Office.

Professor Merle Weiner, who is involved with the Clinic, said receiving the federal funds was a huge “relief” and will help the Clinic continue its valuable work in Lane County.

Professor Merle Weiner

“When the federal government recognizes our hard work by continuing to fund us, we feel very blessed,” she said. “We can continue to provide, without interruption, services to low-income survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking, while at the same time offering a great educational opportunity for our students.”

During the grant period, the Domestic Violence Clinic will begin several new activities, including putting in place a specific service design to ensure that appropriate services are provided for disabled survivors, and recruiting pro bono attorneys with expertise in employment and disability law. The Clinic will, for the first time in several years, have a legal secretary, and the current legal staff attorney will be increasing the percentage of her caseload addressing services to sexual assault survivors. The Clinic also will provide free CLE training for attorneys on the topic “Identifying the Civil Legal Needs of Survivors:  Nuts and Bolts.” 

The Domestic Violence Clinic is a partnership among the UO School of Law, Legal Aide of Lane County, Womenspace (a domestic violence service provider), and Sexual Assault Support Services (a service provider for survivors of sexual assault and stalking). The Clinic provides comprehensive legal services to victims of domestic abuse and their children while educating Oregon Law students. The Clinic currently is in its ninth year of operation.

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