Former Students

Matthew D. Schwoebel, Class of 2008
J.D. Candidate
UC Berkeley- School of Law

The DV Practicum was an excellent opportunity. It provided me with real professional experience in interviewing survivors of serious trauma, representing clients in court, and conducting interesting research. I also learned a great deal about what is needed on a personal level in order to practice within the public interest field. The seminar component of the practicum provided a space to assess legal complexities and inherent emotional challenges in this type of work. Furthermore, working with Nancy Lemon, one of the foremost experts in the field, provided interesting discussion of the practical and theoretical elements of the law. For these reasons, I believe the DV practicum would be a fruitful and memorable experience for any law student.

Jill E. Adams, Esq.
Executive Director
Law Students for Reproductive Justice

The Domestic Violence Practicum provided a one-of-a-kind combination of substantive coursework, hands-on professional training, and collective problem solving through peer group work led by the expert’s expert on the subject.  Nancy Lemon is a legend in the field – she literally wrote the book on Domestic Violence Law.  As a student in her clinic, I had the rare and invaluable opportunity to represent clients at court hearings for restraining orders.  I learned what it truly meant to serve clients and came into my own as a lawyer through the DV Practicum.

Erin Smith, Class of 2004
Covington & Burling LLP

The Domestic Violence Practicum was an extremely important part of my legal education at Boalt.  It offered a rare opportunity to work with actual clients as a law student, instead of simply reading about them in books.  The practical skills I learned in the praticum were essential to learning how to practice law, and they also added a sense of purpose to what we learned in other classes.  Today, I represent a woman who has been in prison for 23 years for a crime related to being a survivor of domestic violence.  Without the concepts and client skills that I learned in the Domestic Violence Practicum, I could not have undertaken this valuable and rewarding representation.  The Practicum helps people make a real difference in the world.

Lisa De Sanctis, Class of 1996
Career Advisor
UOP, McGeorge School of Law

Participating in the Domestic Violence Clinic prepared me extremely well for my work as a domestic violence prosecutor and as a clinical professor for the Domestic Violence Litigation Clinic at George Washington University Law School.  Working directly with clients, speaking in court, and having the opportunity to process my experiences with Professor Lemon and my Clinic colleagues gave me an advantage when interviewing with employers and the confidence that I needed to succeed. 

Marisa F. Gonzalez
Legal Services for Prisoners with Children
Staff Attorney/California Habeas Project Co-Coordinator

The Domestic Violence Practicum was an essential component of my education at Boalt.  I learned a lot about the legal issues facing survivors of domestic violence, as well as how the law is helping survivors, how it is hindering them, and where the need continues for lawyers to support and empower survivors.  The Practicum also allowed me to meet other students who are interested in ending intimate partner battering, and those contacts are extremely useful to me now in my role as Co-Coordinator of the California Habeas Project as I work to free unjustly incarcerated survivors from
California prisons.

Heidi Boas
Attorney and Equal Justice Works Fellow
Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services, Washington, D.C.

The Domestic Violence Practicum at Boalt was one of the most meaningful and practical learning experiences I had during law school.  The Practicum provided me with the invaluable opportunity to practice client interaction and courtroom skills while representing clients for temporary restraining orders in family court.  Through the Practicum, I learned real-life lawyering skills that have helped ease my transition into practicing law.  Now, as an immigration lawyer, I help women file self-petitions under the Violence Against Women Act and represent women seeking asylum based on domestic violence.  I am able to provide my clients with competent and compassionate representation because of the experience I gained through the Domestic Violence Practicum.

Roxanne Hoegger Alejandre, Class of 2002
Staff Attorney
Bay Area Legal Aid

As a clinical student, I learned to be a compassionate and zealous advocate for low income domestic violence victims and their children. I gained valuable hands on experience such as interviewing clients, representing victims in court, and drafting legal pleadings.  This experience also planted the seed for my post-graduate Equal Justice Works Fellowship.

Meliah Schultzman
Equal Justice Works Fellow
National Housing Law Project

“I still use the knowledge and skills I gained from the Practicum in my work as an attorney practicing in the areas of housing and domestic violence law.  The Practicum also gave me an opportunity to network with public interest attorneys and learn about the issues they face in their practice areas.”