Since its inception, the Domestic Violence Clinic at UO has offered law students the opportunity for hands-on legal work. Along with the academic and career guidance students receive, the Clinic also instills compassion for survivors. Graduates take their experience with them and it affects their lives in various ways.
Amy Hicksted, UO alumna and former Clinic extern, explains:
“It [working at the Clinic] was the best thing I could have ever done in law school,” Hicksted says. “So much of it is helping people deal with the hurt that caused the breakdown; this isn’t just the law now, this is a person.”
Hicksted’s experience at the Clinic was never far from her mind as she moved forward with her career, working in family law, owning her own firm, and being hired at a larger firm. Between her time at the Clinic and her current position, Hicksted came to believe that many family law attorneys are “far too adversarial for that area of law. A lot of what it [the Clinic] taught me was how to be a counselor and client manager, cheerleader, supporter, encourager to help clients get through it.” This lesson played into Hicksted’s move from family law to her current role in mindfulness and health coaching.
Though Hicksted’s path did not follow the traditional route of a law school graduate, the spirit of advocacy and survivor support runs deep within her work. As a health coach, Hicksted is able to use concepts of mindfulness to help survivors heal and begin anew. When asked about the career transition, Hicksted noted, “There’s a lot of room for mindfulness practices in every avenue of law and conflict.” It is Hicksted’s desire to use both of her skill sets to further the cause of supporting survivors and others in the community.
Looking back on her start as a student at the Clinic, Hicksted relates that the most important thing she took away from that experience was that “everyone deserves to be heard.” She added, “Every law student should take a clinic at some point and the Domestic Violence Clinic offers the greatest opportunity to learn.” Hicksted laughed and clarified, “In my humble but biased opinion.”
Also in this issue...
UO Domestic Violence Clinic Gets a New Home
Clinic Alumni Working With Survivors
Caroline Forell: The Best of the University of Oregon
Alumni Spotlight: Amy Hicksted
New Book by Professor Merle Weiner Discusses Domestic Violence
Domestic Violence Clinic Spotlight: Kathryn Moakley
Senate Bills 1571 and 1600 Will Help Survivors of Sexual Violence
How Survivor Advocates Can Avoid Burnout
Normal Jealousy or the Start of Abuse?