The Domestic Violence Law Clinic (DVLC) at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law provides students the opportunity to assist survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV) with legal issues, including representing them to obtain Orders of Protection against their abusers. The DVLC is an interdisciplinary legal clinic that provides IPV survivors with pro bono legal services and advice, while connecting clients to needed non-legal services.
Trained law students and supervising attorneys also provide IPV survivors with confidential legal representation, advice, and counseling to help them obtain their goals of security and safety.
Orders of Protection Representation
Our clinic represents IPV survivors in Tucson City Court and Pima County Superior Court to obtain orders of protection requiring their abusers to stay away from and not contact them.
Advice & Counsel on Custody, Child Support & Other Matters
The clinic also provides clients with advice and counsel, as well as referrals on their custody, child support, landlord/tenant, public benefits, and immigration issues.
Policy Work & Community Outreach
Our clinic students also help change or address varying policy concerns as they relate to IPV Survivors. This includes advocacy work on behalf of IPV Survivors, and healthy relationship and know your rights presentations for members of the Southern Arizona community.
Know Your Rights Pamphlets & Information
Intimate Partner Violence survivors may be interested in the following pamphlets (available in English and Spanish), that include information on Orders of Protection, to help them obtain their goals of security and safety.
Negar Katirai is a professor and the director of the Domestic Violence Law Clinic (DVLC). She joined the College of Law in 2014. She has ten years of experience providing holistic legal services to survivors of intimate partner violence, including at the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia and Break the Cycle. She has taught at Colorado Law at the University of Colorado Boulder, and also practiced for four years at Steptoe & Johnson. In addition to teaching clinical legal education, Professor Katirai also teaches family law and a seminar on legal approaches to children who have experienced intimate partner violence. She received her B.A. from Wesleyan University and her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
- Provide law students with a high-quality legal education.
- Empower survivors of intimate partner violence so they can pursue their own goals.
- Serve the community by providing free, high-quality legal services to survivors of intimate partner violence and their families who would otherwise lack access to counsel.
Legal Education Goals
- Provide students with ownership of their cases, meaning primary responsibility in making case-related decisions and implementation, under skilled supervision by a licensed and experienced attorney.
- Help students become familiar with the law, procedures, conflicts, customs, institutions, and ethical problems that makes representing IPV survivors distinctive.
- Provide students with an education in the practice of law that will provide tools and insights for being effective in any area of legal practice.
- Provide students with an opportunity to hone skills such as interviewing, case planning, legal research and writing, witness examination, and oral argument.
- Improve students' problem-solving skills by emphasizing a model of systematic decision-making based on
- a client-centered approach to lawyering;
- identification of all possible options and assessing relative advantages and risks of each;
- appreciation of the effects of time pressures, interpersonal factors, and emotions on decision-making; and
- Promote a trauma-informed approach to lawyering that can be applied to any client who has experienced trauma;
- Promote cross-cultural awareness, an appreciation of the way in which cultural differences may affect attorney/client interactions and case development, and an understanding of how to identify and help clients navigate language, cultural, racial and other barriers that come with accompany marginalization;
- Encourage responsible handling and thorough exploration of ethical issues;
- Encourage professional creativity;
- Help students improve their ability to successfully collaborate with colleagues; and
- Assist students in pursuing their personal goals for the course and future legal careers .
Legal Services Goals
- Provide individual attention to IPV survivors and their families.
- Provide legal representation to IPV survivors and their families wishing to obtain an order of protection against their abuser;
- Provide legal advice and counsel to IPV survivors and their families in other types of cases;
- Work in partnership with local attorneys and IPV survivor service organizations to identify individuals particularly in need of pro bono representation;
- Provide referrals to IPV survivors and their families in areas of the law outside the scope of the clinic’s mission and expertise;
- Require all students be supervised by at least one licensed attorney, closely supervising student work (e.g., requiring drafts of all written work and hearing preparation, including witness examinations and oral arguments);
- Limit the number of student participants in the clinic; and
- Limit the number of individual cases handled by each student (usually assigning two students to cover one case jointly).
Natalie Cafasso, J.D., Class of 2018
The experience of working with domestic violence survivors that needed support through the most difficult times of their lives was most valuable to me. I gave them a voice that they may never have had before. The best part was how relieved and happy the clients were after the hearings were over and seeing a positive result by giving the clients back some control of their lives.
- Students must have completed one year of law school and have taken or be taking concurrently Evidence and The Legal Profession/Ethics. Courses such as Family Law and Domestic Violence Law are helpful.
- Students new to the clinic must take the clinic for 4 units of credit. Returning students can take the clinic for 2, 3, or 4 units of credit.
- The law school requires 50 hours of work for each credit of a clinical course.
- All students must participate in an all-day Boot Camp which usually takes place before or at the start of the semester. In addition, all students must attend the classroom component of the clinic, which meets for two hours once a week Tuesday 10-12 a.m.
- The classroom component is partly a skills seminar (covering topics such as interviewing, brief writing, and oral advocacy) and partly a substantive law seminar covering topics in domestic violence law. Issues students confront in their casework are integrated into the classroom discussions so that students may learn from each other’s experiences and explore legal and practical issues in context.
- Students also must attend regular meetings relating to their clients.
- All students also prepare for and attend regularly scheduled individual and group case meetings with the clinic's director. The purpose is to develop and review action plans; ensure thorough preparation and evaluation of all options in casework; and examine ethical, moral, cultural, and legal issues that arise while working on behalf of our clients.
- In addition to attending class and completing the required number of hours per credit, students must complete all responsibilities they have undertaken on behalf of the clinic's clients and must complete all paperwork necessary to complete case files.
Resources for IPV Survivors
SAAF Anti-Violence Project
375 South Euclid Avenue
Tucson, Arizona 85719
Living Out Loud LGBTQI Health & Wellness Center
3130 E Broadway Blvd
Tucson, Arizona 85716
The ANCHOR Project
The ANCHOR Project is a UA-SIROW project, in
partnership with SAAF and
Phone: 547-6106 or 624-1779
375 S Euclid
Tucson, AZ 85719
Tucson Police Department (TPD)
270 S. Stone Avenue
Non-emergency: 520-791-6813 (8 a.m. to 10 p.m.)
Information Line: 520-791-4444
Special Victims Unit/Domestic Violence Unit
Pre-trial interview requests
Public Record Review Unit
911 audio, interviews, body-cameras, dash-cams, recordings of transport to jail
Independent Police Auditor (TPD)
Pima County Sheriff’s Office (SO)
1750 E. Benson Highway
Tucson, AZ 85714
Pima County Sheriff’s Department
Civil Unit - Civil Service of Process
32 N. Stone Ave., 16th Floor
Tucson, AZ 85701
Southern Arizona Legal Aid
2343 E. Broadway Blvd., Ste. 102
Tucson, AZ 85719
(All civil matters)
Step Up To Justice
320 N. Commerce Park Loop, Suite 100
Pima County Bar Association
Lawyer Referral Service
(including QUILT modest means program)
Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Legal Advocacy Hotline
Never Again Foundation (civil tort claims)
Pima Council on Aging
8467 E. Broadway
Tucson, Arizona 85710-4009
Office of the Mexican Consulate
3915 E Broadway Blvd.
Tucson, AZ 85711
Office of the Pima County Public Fiduciary
32 N Stone Ave. 4th Floor
Tucson, AZ 85701
(Probate and adult guardianship)
Tohono O’Odham Nation
(Civil and criminal matters for members only)
Arizona State Bar Association
Catholic Community Services (Immigration)
Phone: 623-0344 ext. 7012
140 W. Speedway Ste. 130
Tucson, AZ 85705
(Family Based Petitions & Citizenship)
Arizona Center for Disability Law
177 North Church Ave., Suite 800
Tucson, AZ 85701
(mental and physical health)