The University of Texas at Austin   School of Law

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Clinical Education at UT Law

Real Cases. Real Experience.

Domestic Violence Clinic

Additional Course Information

DV Clinic students Leslie Friedlander, Lindsey Byers and Richard Hillary help to build a house for a Clinic client through Habitat for Humanity.

Course Description

Taught by Jeana L. Lungwitz

6 credits (pass/fail) — offered Fall, Spring

Students must register for Law 397C and 397D, for a total of six credits.

Students must have completed 43 credit hours prior to enrollment pursuant to rules promulgated by the Supreme Court of Texas for the supervised practice of law by students.

The Domestic Violence Clinic provides students with the opportunity to represent people in abusive relationships who are unable to afford private attorneys. The Clinic’s clients often face a variety of problems, both legal and non-legal. The Clinic takes a holistic approach to representation. Therefore, while representing their clients, students assist them with safety planning, avoiding eviction and/or utility cut-offs, obtaining public assistance, and finding housing, jobs, and daycare. The Clinic collaborates with the School of Social Work by having a masters-level social work student intern in the Clinic to assist with cases.

The classroom component meets once a week for two-and-a half hours, and covers a range of issues relevant in civil domestic violence cases: safety planning, comprehensive intake, community resources, case analysis and handling, investigation, negotiation, trial preparation, discovery, and temporary and permanent orders (including protective orders). In addition, students are expected to be in the Clinic for office hours four hours per week, and to bill an average of eleven hours per week on their cases.

Rules require that students be accompanied by a supervising attorney when they go to court. In addition, all pleadings are signed by the supervising attorney.