Domestic Violence Work as a Lens for Trauma-Informed Lawyering


Students enrolled in law school clinics not only learn about substantive law and procedure, but also about the attorney-client relationship from the casework that they engage in throughout the semester. A clinic which represents primarily domestic violence survivors can provide a unique opportunity to teach law students about how client emotions and trauma, as well as their own emotions and possible trauma, affect the attorney-client relationship and the clients’ interaction with the legal system. This chapter explores those opportunities along with how to help students navigate their own emotions (and possible vicarious trauma) in understanding the limits of the legal system in obtaining safety and justice for domestic violence survivors. Further, the chapter discusses how to use trauma-informed advocacy to engage law students in broader advocacy and systemic change efforts. Finally, the chapter suggests how lessons learned teaching a domestic violence clinic may translate to other law school settings.


Print: 9781035307043 eISBN: 9781035307050


Elgar online




Attorney-client relationship, Client-centered lawyering, Clinical legal education, Domestic violence, Trauma-informed, Vicarious trauma


Law | Legal Education

Book Editors

Mallika Kaur, Lindsey M. Harris

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