Feminist Advocacy: Ending Violence Against Women Clinical Program

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This full year, 9-credit clinical program seeks to respond to the need for high-quality, gender-based legal representation of women who have experienced violence and to facilitate students’ acquisition of the specialized knowledge, skills, and value base required for such representation. The program is a partnership between Osgoode and the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic. The program is situated within a framework of “feminist advocacy,” inviting reflections on what feminism might mean for how we think about lawyering, about legal ethics, access to justice, and the connections between our work with individuals and the structures of power that create and sustain inequality and oppression. The clinical work, of approximately 8-9 hours/week, is comprised of a combination of legal intake shifts at the Clinic, work on Clinic files and law reform initiatives, assisting with a new early advice program for sexual assault survivors, and court and other visits. Students are exposed to the issues and complexities of addressing access to justice for clients in various legal domains—family, immigration, criminal, and child welfare—as well as at the intersections of these areas of law.