Domestic Violence Clinic

Helping Survivors While Training Law Students

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 in the Law Clinic Building 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 externship opportunities in Klamath Falls and other locations.

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 Michael Quillin:

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 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:

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.

Klamath Falls Externship (6 credits) (2 students per semester)
This full-time externship is available in the summer, fall, and spring semesters.  It requires a student to live in Klamath Falls.  Students learn about a rural legal practice while working with Klamath Falls Legal Aid.  The focus is on all types of legal matters that affect low-income survivors of domestic violence.   A student receives 6 credits for participating in this externship.

Volunteer Opportunities with Student Survivor Legal Services
Are you interested in working on sexual violence, domestic violence, or stalking issues, but do not have the time to commit to a Clinic?  Consider volunteering!  Kasia Mlynski, the attorney in Student Survivor Legal Services, is always looking for assistance and can be reached at