John Marshall Hosts 5th Annual Domestic Violence Conference

The John Marshall Law School hosted its 5th Annual Domestic Violence Conference on October 4. This year’s conference focused on the intersection between domestic violence and lawyers being able to competently represent their clients in a number of practice areas.

Conference participants discussed the prevalence of domestic violence, and the importance of all attorneys—not just family law and criminal law attorneys—knowing how to screen for domestic violence among their clients. In the U.S. alone, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner.  Numerous Illinois and federal laws provide special protections to survivors of domestic violence. Conference speakers explained these protections and how attorneys can apply them for clients they represent.

“I am very proud of the information we provided at this conference and the best practices skills we modeled in our simulations,” said John Marshall Professor Debra Stark, Director of the law school’s Domestic Violence Clinic. “We hope this conference will inspire all attorneys who viewed it to screen their clients for domestic violence and be able to counsel their clients on the special protections they have in a wide variety of legal practice areas in order to help save lives.”

This year’s event included simulations of attorney-client meetings. These simulations demonstrated how to effectively and compassionately screen clients for domestic violence and other best practices for working with survivors of domestic violence, including risk assessment and safety planning. Attorneys from JPMorgan Chase & Co., Walters O’Brien Law Offices, Christine M. Hunt, P.C. and more participated in the simulations.

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