Students in this Clinic work with organizations and agencies at the front line of direct representation of Domestic Violence clients. In addition to work on individual cases, students research roots causes of domestic violence, its intersections in criminal/civil and family law practice, contemporary legislative and judicial responses, and the impact of domestic violence on diverse communities within the greater Houston metropolitan area.


This Clinic exposes students to the range contemporary social and legal issues found in domestic violence cases. It has direct future relevance for students intending to enter criminal law or family law practice. This clinic was created in response to student driven requests for an experiential avenue to explore the current practices and limitations when domestic violence presents in a client’s life. It further addresses the larger societal context by investigating and suggesting systemic change when appropriate.


Catherine Burnett
Vice President,
Associate Dean,
Director of Clinical Programs,
and Professor of Law
Elizabeth A. Dennis
Director of
Academic Internships
Professor of Law


This Clinic pairs the Law School with various non-profit agencies in the greater Houston area, including:

  • Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse, our founding partners in this project

  • Resource and Crisis Center of Galveston County

  • The Rockwell Fund, which encouraged our initial forays into domestic violence representation through the law school’s family law clinics

Significant Achievements

In addition to working with area service providers, students assisted clinic faculty with three in-house claims for special immigration status based on a pattern of domestic violence. Two of the client are from Central America, and one from Mexico. Each case involved extensive interviewing and fact gathering.