The Family Law & Domestic Violence Clinic supports survivors of domestic violence by:
- performing free legal consultations and assistance;
- developing educational and training programs for the general public, domestic violence advocates, law students, judges, attorneys, and other professionals;
- developing legal forms, including interactive, guided legal forms, that enable survivors to exercise their rights under Illinois statutes to overcome barriers they face to becoming safe;
- crafting comparative law and empirical-based policy proposals to improve the law’s response to domestic violence; and
- providing further representation for all 10 practice areas.
Volunteer Attorneys Needed
We are seeking attorneys with substantial experience in the following areas willing to take on one or more cases during the year under the following 10 practice areas:
Divorce/Parentage (Family Law)
Represent clients on all aspects of their divorce action, including dissolution of marriage, allocation of marital assets and debts, child and spousal support, parentage cases, allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time, including restrictions. Represent children exposed to domestic violence as a guardian ad litem or children representative.
Orders of Protection (Litigation)
Represent clients in obtaining or enforcing orders of protection or in appealing the denial of an order of protection.
Debt Relief/Credit Repair (Consumer Protection; Bankruptcy Law)
Provide information, advice, and assistance to clients on various forms of debt relief and credit repair, in particular, when the client’s abusive intimate partner engaged in financial abuse that caused the debt.
Tax Liability Relief (Federal Income Tax)
Provide information, advice, and legal representation to clients on various forms of tax liability relief that may be available to them in general or due to the domestic abuse they have experienced.
Estate and Financial Planning
Provide workshops and seminars on estate and financial planning, as well as provide individual estate planning for survivors of domestic violence.
Housing Protections (Landlord/Tenant; Civil Rights Law)
Provide information, advice, and legal representation to clients on exercising their rights under the Safe Homes Act and defending an eviction action when the eviction is based on the domestic abuse the client has experienced.
Employment (Employment Law; Administrative Law)
Provide information, advice, and legal representation to survivor clients on exercising their rights under the Victim’s Economic Security and Safety Act (VESSA).
Crime Victim Compensation Act (Criminal Law; Administrative Law)
Provide information, advice, and legal representation to clients on exercising their rights under the Crime Victim Compensation Act.
Immigration Relief (Immigration Law)
Provide information, advice, and legal representation to undocumented DV-survivor clients on immigration relief they may be eligible for under VAWA, self-petitions, U-Visas, T-Visas, asylum, and deportation.
Represent clients who are arrested for acting in self-defense from further abuse or where coerced into a crime or acting under duress due to their abusive partner. Represent clients in sentencing or re-sentencing where domestic violence is a mitigating factor.