Skip to main content

Domestic Violence Action Center

The members of the Domestic Violence Action Center (DVAC) recognize that domestic violence is a pervasive and ongoing threat to the lives of many women and children. DVAC is a student-run organization that provides advocacy and assistance to survivors of domestic violence. DVAC works with supervising attorneys at Sanctuary for Families (SFF) to provide orders of protection (Courtroom Advocates Program), uncontested divorces (Uncontested Divorce Project), and public benefits advocacy ( Public Benefits Initiative). Students also provide online legal information and support through Womenslaw.org. In addition to providing legal advocacy, law students also participate in educational and community service activities.

DVAC is run by a student Board of Directors. Our office is located in Fordham's Public Interest Resource Center (PIRC). DVAC enjoys both administrative and financial support from the Law School. 

2021-2022 Board Members

Alex Forgione,  Senior CAP Coordinator

Rebecca Rychik ,Senior CAP Coordinator

Phoebe Huth,      Womenslaw Coordinator/Junior CAP Coordinator

Shayna Michalowski,  UDP Coordinator

Zoe Kalos,               Outreach/Communications

Grace Rawlins,         PBI Coordinator

Anisa Rahaman,     PBI Coordinator

Email | dvac@fordham.edu 
Instagram | @dvac.fordhamlaw

(Please note we no longer use the Gmail account and we accidentally misstated the Instagram handle)

 

 

Courtroom Advocates

The Courtroom Advocates (CAP) is a unique program that trains, supervises, and mentors law students to act as advocates for domestic violence victims seeking orders of protection in NYC family courts. After attending a one-day training session, students can volunteer to advocate in Family Court under the supervision of an attorney and interview domestic violence victims, draft petitions for orders of protection and accompany the petitioner to their hearing. 

You do not have to be seeking a career in family law to benefit from this program. The skills that you learn are transferable to almost any career path you might choose, and provide you with a unique talking point  during job interviews. CAP provides eager students with an excellent opportunity to gain valuable skills in legal writing and courtroom advocact and exposure to New York civil procedure, client interaction, and court experience. Volunteering with CAP may also count towards the 50-hour pro-bono requirement of the NY Bar. 

To be eligible to participate, all interested candidates mush attend a 4-hour training. Trainings will take place once a semester at Fordham but students have the opportunity to attend a training at another NYC law school if they cannot make it. Please email us (capfordham@gmail.com) with any questions. 

 

Uncontested Divorce

The Uncontested Divorce Project ("UDP”) offers law students the opportunity to assist domestic violence victims in their uncontested divorces. Divorcing an abusive spouse can be one of the most liberating moments for a survivor of domestic violence. For many clients, a divorce allows them to reclaim their pre-abuse identity and empowers them by severing their legal and financial ties to their spouse. For more details, visit www.sffmat-ejp.weebly.com/udp.html

The UDP Coordinators at your school are Caroline Schulte & Leah Zweig. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Caroline at cschulte@fordham.edu or Leah at lzweig@fordham.edu

 

Womenslaw

WomensLaw is a national website and hotline dedicated to providing easy to understand legal information and resources to women living with or escaping domestic violence. By reaching out through the Internet, WomensLaw empowers women and girls to lead independent lives, free from abuse. The website publishes state-specific legal information for domestic violence. WomensLaw also provides help through email, directly to women and advocates, throughout the U.S. The WomensLaw email hotline receives hundreds of emails each week – more than the staff in New York can handle. The emails have questions regarding protection orders, custody, and immigration, just to name a few of the issues. Each volunteer responds to approximately two to five hotline emails per week, a time commitment of not more than one hour per week.

 

The Public Benefits Pro Bono Initiative

The Public Benefits Pro Bono Initiative (PBI) addresses the needs of Sanctuary's public benefits clients.  Students help clients to secure and retain Temporary Assistance (cash, utilities, and rental assistance) and/or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits through advocacy (e.g., letter writing, phone calls, accompanying client to interviews) or representation in administrative fair hearings. For more details, visit https://sffmat-ejp.weebly.com/pbi.html   

 

PIRC Student Groups Office

Fordham University School of Law
150 West 62nd Street, Lower Level,
Room LL-101, New York, NY 10023