Domestic Violence Clinic

The Domestic Violence Clinic provides law students an opportunity 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 University of Oregon School of Law and local advocacy organizations (Womenspace), for survivors of domestic violence, and Sexual Assault Support Services (SASS), for survivors of sexual assault. The Clinic is located on campus and operated by full-time clinical faculty and support staff. 

The Domestic Violence Clinic offers two clinical tracks, a 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 one semester in the Protective Order Clinic, one semester in the Civil Clinic, and one advanced clinic of the student’s choice. In addition to clinical offerings, students may elect to participate in field placement opportunities in other locations. For more information about the domestic violence clinic, contact Kathryn Moakley


If you are seeking legal services related to domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, please click here.  Please note that not all potential clients will receive services.


The 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, and 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, and ultimately appear on behalf clients in court.

Students typically participate in one or more contested hearings 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 twenty-one days of the request.  The Supervising Attorney of the Protective Order Clinic is Kathryn Moakley.


The 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 custody, parenting time, and other family law proceedings. These family law matters are critical to the long-term safety of survivors of domestic violence. Students will gain significant experience in working with clients to identify their legal needs and implement legal strategies while providing trauma-informed legal services. The variety of cases will allow students to engage in a wide variety of the tasks, such as case planning, conducting discovery, negotiation, drafting documents, and in-court advocacy.  

Cases students handle range from emergency matters that are litigated quickly to longer-term cases that allow for significant experience in pretrial work. Students may also have the opportunity to work on cases involving administrative proceedings, assist clients in obtaining benefits, or assist clients in addressing housing legal issues. The Supervising Attorney of the Civil Clinic is Kathryn Moakley.


The 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.

The University of Oregon, Domestic Violence Clinic operates its program, services and activities in compliance with federal nondiscrimination laws. No person shall, on the basis of race, color, national origin (including limited English proficiency), disability, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or age, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any of our programs.

 To file a complaint of discrimination, write Office for Civil Rights, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice (OCR), 810 7th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20531 or call 202-307-0690 (Voice) or 202-307-2027 (TDD/TTY). Individuals who are hearing impaired or have speech disabilities may also contact OCR through the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339 (TTY), 877-877-8982 (Speech) or 800-845-6136 (Spanish). To file a complaint of discrimination with this organization, write University of Oregon, the office of Investigations and Civil Rights Compliance, 5221 University of Oregon, 677 E. 12thAve., Suite 452, Eugene, Oregon 97403 or call 541-346-3123. To file a complaint of discrimination with Oregon Department of Justice, Crime Victim and Survivor Services Division, write Oregon Department of Justice, Crime Victim and Survivor Services Division, Attn: Shannon Sivell, Complaint Coordinator, 1162 Court Street NE, Salem, OR 97301 or call 503-378-5348. You may also email to shannon.l.sivell@doj.state.or.us.

Grievance Policy

Clients who believe their attorney has violated the Oregon Rules of Professional Conduct may make a complaint through the Client Assistance Office with the Oregon State Bar. They can be reached at (503) 620-0222.

The Domestic Violence Clinic is a recipient of Victim of Crime Act Funds from the Oregon Department of Justice, Crime Victim and Survivor Services Division (DOJ/CVSSD), and clients with a grievance may also us the CVSSD Complaint Procedure for filing a grievance.

The Oregon Department of Justice, Crime Victim and Survivor Services Division (DOJ/CVSSD), receives federal financial assistance and serves as the State Administering Agency (SAA) for the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funds and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) funds. DOJ/CVSSD also administers state funding through the Child Abuse Multidisciplinary Intervention Fund, the Criminal Fines Account, and the Oregon Domestic and Sexual Violence Services Fund. As a funding recipient and administrator, DOJ/CVSSD has a responsibility to ensure victims and survivors are appropriately served and have recourse to complain if concerns arise. See CVSSD Complaint Procedure.