Domestic Violence Field Placement

In this course, students work on real cases and policies, supervised by practicing attorneys in a range of practice areas, while enrolled in a classroom component taught by Domestic Violence (DV) Field Placement Director Mallika Kaur. Through their placement, and engaging with fellow students in a range of very diverse placements, students develop a nuanced understanding of DV. Domestic violence does not only appear in the case load for family law attorneys or immigration attorneys or criminal attorneys or estate attorneys or personal injury attorneys. Rather, given the ubiquity of domestic violence, all attorneys, knowingly and unknowingly, serve clients impacted by domestic violence. The Field Placement is thus open to any student, regardless of past or future goals and experiences. 

Students may choose a placement at one of various legal agencies in the Bay Area. The work focuses on restraining orders, family law, public benefits, immigration, asylum, tort actions, employment issues, prosecution, defense of accused and/or incarcerated victims, appellate work, or other issues involving domestic violence. Students also may work on policy matters, including helping draft and advocate for legislation.

At the placements, students interview clients; draft restraining orders, memoranda, and motions; represent clients at hearings; argue motions; and research policy issues. They may also attend meetings with attorneys, government officials, judges and legislators.

The placements provide a rewarding opportunity to engage with victim-survivors of Domestic Violence, to witness the laws around DV in action, to learn important legal skills, to experience negotiating trauma and emotions of legal work, and to build a collaborative network of contacts in the legal community.

Apply for Spring 2024 DV Field Placement ideally before November 1, 2023. For questions contact

  • DV Field Placement meets Professional Responsibility requirement
  • DV Field Placement meets J.D. Experiential Requirement
  • DV Field Placement counts towards LLM Practical Lawyering Certificate

First page of Domestic Violence Field Placement Flyer

Second page of Domestic Violence Field Placement Flyer

Here is the PDF for the Domestic Violence Field Placement Flyer (above).

The Jim Fahey Safe Homes Fund for Women endowment was established in 2007 to provide scholarships for graduate students at UC Berkeley with demonstrated financial need and a strong aptitude in relevant subjects as well as a deep commitment to combating domestic violence against women. Preference is given to students who are close to graduation, and who have completed coursework on feminist or gender or women’s studies, families, domestic violence, and the like. Undocumented students eligible to apply. No work authorization required.