The Family and Domestic Violence Law Clinic of the Legal Services Center focuses on offering clients legal assistance on divorce, domestic violence, paternity, child and spousal support, adoption, and guardianship.
The Family Law Clinic addresses issues of custody, visitation, child and spousal support, health and life insurance, and the equitable division of marital property and debt in the context of divorce, paternity, modification, contempt, guardianship, and adoption actions. The Clinic also provides a broad range of direct legal services to the LGBT community, with a particular emphasis on family-related legal issues (custody, support and visitation, and second-parent adoptions) and estate planning (wills, powers of attorneys, partnership agreements) to ensure that same-sex partners and families are legally protected.
The Domestic Violence Clinic focuses on abuse prevention, safety, and making sure that domestic violence is not a barrier to a client’s legal rights regarding custody, property division, and other aspects of family and domestic relations.
Students have the opportunity to:
- Conduct factual and legal research
- Interview clients
- Draft complaints and other legal documents
- Draft and respond to discovery requests
- Negotiate with opposing parties and counsel
- Argue motions and represent clients in district court and family and probate court
- Develop and present trainings and workshops
These clinics are part of the Legal Services Center (LSC), a general practice community law office in Jamaica Plain. LSC’s diverse clinics provide clinical instruction to second- and third-year law students and serve as a laboratory for the innovative delivery of legal services. Students are taught and mentored under the supervision and guidance of clinical instructors and fellows in one of LSC’s litigation clinical practices.
How to Register
The clinic is offered in the Fall and Spring semester. You can learn about the required clinical course component, clinical credits, additional requirements, and the clinical registration process, by reading the course catalog description and exploring the links in this section.
In the News
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Out of the classroom and into the courtroomContinue Reading about Out of the classroom and into the courtroom
I initially enrolled in the clinic because I felt my experiences as a paralegal prepared me well for family law cases. At the same time, I assumed that I would assist a supervising attorney rather than manage my own cases and clients. I was so happy to be wrong. On day one, I received my own cases and clients. My supervising attorney, Nnena Odim, instructed that it was my job to move the cases forward to resolution.
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A sense of community and a chance to represent clients in courtContinue Reading about A sense of community and a chance to represent clients in court
At the clinic, students take on between four and eight cases involving protective orders, child custody and support, divorce, and collateral issues. Students are responsible for communicating with the client, drafting pleadings and motions, and representing the client in court. I really loved the chance to work with clients every day and being able to not only draft documents for court, but also represent clients in court many times.