As published by CNBC
The John Marshall Law School’s Domestic Violence Clinic was awarded the Excellence in Legal Education Award by the Illinois State Bar Association. The ISBA award honors law school programs that emphasize real-world skills for students.
The award is a wonderful honor, said Domestic Violence Clinic director and John Marshall Law School Professor Debra Pogrund Stark. “I’m so proud of the dedicated students and attorneys in our clinic who do such excellent work with adult and child survivors of domestic violence. We all hope the validation this award provides will help us to promote the clinic’s work and to fund the costs to operate the clinic at the highest level of excellence.”
The ISBA’s Standing Committee on Women and the Law nominated the Domestic Violence Clinic for the award calling it “truly unique.”
“Not only are the students learning practical legal skills—client interviewing, client counseling, case strategizing, drafting legal documents, legal research, fact investigation, problem spotting and problem solving, managing legal work, complying with ethical requirements, advocacy and oral communication, and legal analysis—they are significantly advancing the access to quality legal assistance for domestic violence victims,” the nomination said.
Law students in John Marshall’s Domestic Violence Clinic work with adjunct law professors and volunteer attorneys to provide legal representation to survivors of domestic violence in a variety of areas including orders of protection, family law, tax and immigration. The clinic’s cutting edge work helps improve access to justice to survivors of domestic violence through projects such as its virtual lawyer project which provides online, interactive legal resources and forms that mimic the kind of advice and help they would receive if a lawyer were sitting right next to them.
The award, which is given by the ISBA’s Committee on Legal Education, Admissions and Competence, was presented to Prof. Stark at the ISBA Annual Meeting Assembly on Saturday, June 18, at the Westin O’Hare Hotel in Rosemont, Illinois. “I want to thank the members of the committee for this validation of the work we are doing, to encourage them to collaborate with us on our projects and to share with them why I find this work to be so meaningful.”
John Marshall’s Domestic Violence Clinic supports survivors of domestic violence by providing legal assistance; developing educational and training programs for the public, advocates, law students and attorneys; developing legal forms and resources that enable survivors to exercise their rights; and crafting empirical-based policy proposals to improve the law’s response to domestic violence.