Feminist Advocacy: Ending Violence Against Women Clinical Program

The Feminist Advocacy Clinical Program seeks to respond to the need for high-quality legal representation of women-identified survivors of gender-based violence and facilitate students’ acquisition of the specialized knowledge, skills, and value base required for such representation. The Program is situated within a framework of “feminist advocacy,” inviting reflections on what feminism might mean for how we think about lawyering, legal ethics, and access to justice.

What You Will Do

Through a partnership between Osgoode Hall Law School and the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic, you will spend approximately 7 hours/week throughout the year at the Clinic and approximately 2 hours/week on Clinic projects. The program also includes court visits, “case rounds” to reflect collectively on your experiences, and a program seminar that meets roughly every other week over the fall and winter semesters.  As a program student you will be integrated into the work of the Clinic, providing support to clients through legal intake and follow-up legal support, and working on case files in either family or immigration law. Through your work at the Clinic you are exposed to a unique practice environment that is responsive to both the legal and non-legal needs of clients, and to the particularly complex legal issues that arise at the intersections of multiple legal domains (criminal, family, child welfare, immigration, social assistance). The seminar draws from examples of feminist advocacy in action to critically examine the connections between our work with individuals and the structures of power that create and sustain inequality and oppression and to critically assess the transformative potential of law and its capacity to meaningfully address gender-based violence.

What You Will Learn

  • a trauma-informed, anti-oppressive approach to legal practice
  • to situate clients’ legal issues within an analysis of systems and structures of power
  • the complexities of addressing access to justice for women-identified survivors of violence in various legal domains and at their intersections
  • effective collaboration with other professionals to meet women’s needs
  • theories of gender-based based violence
  • legal drafting, file management, and advocacy

Program Directors

Professor Sonia Lawrence

Adjunct Professor Deepa Mattoo