A few blocks north of Disneyland in Anaheim, California, is an area very different than the idyllic Magic Kingdom. Here, you will find lower income neighborhoods with a high population of immigrants from Mexico, Central America, South America, Asia and the Middle East. Life is not easy or safe, and when domestic violence enters the picture, even the home is no sanctuary. When such victims are undocumented immigrants, options are few.
In 2007, Chapman University School of Law created the Family Violence Clinic to address the unique challenges faced by survivors of domestic violence. Located at the secure new Anaheim Family Justice Center, the clinic is directed by Chapman professor Marisa Cianciarulo, a veteran immigration lawyer and legal clinician. The clinic offers free assistance in immigration, human trafficking and protection order matters for clients who meet income eligibility requirements.
Unlike externships, where student work supports a program director, the Family Violence Clinic gives students primary responsibility for cases and direct interaction with clients. This model is facilitated by special rules that allow students enrolled in clinical courses to do anything a lawyer can do, so long as there is supervision by a licensed attorney. Participating law students will engage in the following activities:
- client counseling and interviews
- fact investigation
- legal research
- preparation of affidavits
- writing legal arguments
- submitting applications for domestic violence-related protection orders and immigration benefits
The clinic offers 3 units for the semester program, with 10 hours of combined classroom and fieldwork.
Each of these areas are covered extensively in classroom components taught by Professor Cianciarulo and other experienced clinical professors that will include interview simulations, student peer review, and case rounds.
The course is open to 2L and 3L students. Space is limited, so register early.
For more information on the clinic, please contact us at:
Professor Marisa Cianciarulo, Director
Phone: (714) 628-2612