Family and Child Law Program Practical Experience

Domestic Violence Clinic

The Domestic Violence Clinic provides opportunities for students to learn how to effectively represent low-income survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking in civil legal matters, including protective order proceedings, family law matters, and employment and housing issues.

The Domestic Violence Clinic is the result of a partnership between the UO School of Law and local advocacy organizations (Womenspace), for survivors of domestic violence, and Sexual Assault Support Services (SASS), for survivors of sexual assault. 

Two clinical tracks are offered: Protective Order Clinic and a Civil Clinic. Both Clinics also have an Advanced Clinic option. A student can take up to nine credits in the Domestic Violence Clinic, which could consist of:

In addition to clinical offerings, students may elect to participate in field placement opportunities in other locations.

Domestic Violence Clinic

Protective Order Clinic

8 students per semester

Law students in the Protective Order Clinic represent survivors in restraining orders or stalking orders. These orders allow clients to obtain:

  • no-contact orders for themselves and their children
  • custody of their children with provisions to ensure safe parenting time (if any) with the abuser
  • exclusive use of the residence
  • emergency financial assistance

Students involved in this clinic may:

  • interview clients and witnesses
  • obtain evidence such as police reports and medical records
  • participate in depositions and other forms of discovery
  • file motions and pleadings
  • negotiate with opposing counsel
  • appear on behalf clients in court

Students typically participate in one or more contested hearing each semester. The expedited procedure for obtaining restraining and stalking protective orders makes these cases ideal for a one-semester litigation-based clinical course.

For example, a hearing on a protective order must take place within five days of the respondent’s request if custody of children is contested. Otherwise, the hearing must be held within 21 days of the request.

Domestic Violence Civil Clinic

8 students per semester

Students in the Domestic Violence Civil Clinic represent survivors in a variety of civil legal matters, with an emphasis on family law proceedings.

The cases have a longer timeline than protective order cases, so students engage in a wide variety of pretrial civil practice tasks and tend to have considerable contact with clients. Students may or may not appear in court, depending on the needs of their cases.

The Supervising Attorney of the Civil Clinic is Kathryn Moakley.

Advanced Clinic

2 students per semester per instructor

Depending upon the student’s preference, a student who has completed the Protective Order Clinic or the Civil Clinic can take an advanced version of the same clinic.

Students in the advanced clinics represent clients in more difficult cases that draw upon their training and experience obtained in the basic clinics.

Volunteer Opportunities with Student Survivor Legal Services

Are you interested in working as a volunteer on sexual violence, domestic violence, or stalking issues with student survivors? Volunteer opportunities include promoting the program’s services at community and campus partner events, and assisting in researching novel and complex legal issues on individual cases. Kasia Mlynski, the attorney in Student Survivor Legal Services, welcomes volunteers.

Family and Child Advocacy Law Extracurriculars


  • Child and Family Law Association
  • Women’s law Forum


  • Attend meetings of family law section of Lane County Bar Association
  • Attend Oregon Child Advocacy Project programs


  • Join the Family Law section of the ABA as a student member