Domestic Violence

The Domestic Violence Courthouse Pilot Project:
The Domestic Violence Courthouse Pilot Project pairs DePaul law students with pro se petitioners seeking Emergency Orders of Protection at the Cook County Domestic Violence Courthouse located at 555 W. Harrison, Chicago, Illinois. Law student volunteers can positively impact petitioners' lives while developing foundational legal skills and knowledge. Volunteers assist petitioners through every step of the process: interviewing petitioners to create affidavits, filling out petition paperwork, and accompanying petitioners to court appearances. To learn more or volunteer with the Project, please contact Charlotte Keenan at

Family Violence and Sexual Assault Accountability Project:
The Center, in conjunction with the Illinois Attorney General's Office, is studying the effectiveness of domestic violence systems in four Illinois counties. Students are actively involved in court watching, research and analysis.

Illinois Battered Women's Clemency Project:
Students work with lawyers and professors to draft clemency petitions for incarcerated battered women. The petitions are written as part of the Domestic Violence Seminar.

Annual Valentine's Day Distinguished Lecture:
Each year, the Center hosts a national scholar to speak on a domestic violence topic. Recently, the lecture featured Clare Renzetti, professor of sociology at St. Joseph's University and editor of Violence Against Women. The keynote address was delivered by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.


The Tension Between Zealous Representation and Civility:
The Center recently hosted a conference on civility in divorce practice. Further study and discussion of this issue is planned through 2007.

Research on Child Representatives:
Illinois has a statute providing for child representatives in some divorce cases. Statutory changes are expected in the near future, and the Center will evaluate the current and proposed legislation.

Interfaith Mediation Project:
This project helps divorcing couples of different faiths reach agreement about the religious upbringing of their children.

Research on "Evening the Playing Field" Legislation:
Illinois has a unique approach to awarding attorneys' fees during divorce proceedings. The Center hopes to obtain funds to enable family law students to investigate whether the statute does, in fact, even the playing field for litigants.

Child Law

Bullying Conference:
The Center is focusing on the legal issues involved in bullying with an interdisciplinary conference in 2005-2006 that will provide the impetus for further discussion and research in 2006-2007.

Hear Our Voices:
The Center is seeking funds to launch a program that pairs law students with teens on probation. The teens will write and present personal accounts of the juvenile justice system for their peers, while law students will provide legal advice and learn how to effectively communicate with adolescent clients.

Interdisciplinary Study of Neuroscience and the Legal Treatment of Teens:
Research continues on the implications of new data on brain development of adolescents. This research was inspired by the Center's conference: "The End of Adolescence."

The Center hosts a yearly workshop designed to prevent at-risk teens from getting involved in the juvenile justice system.

Family Law