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Courtroom Advocates Project

The Courtroom Advocates Project (CAP) is a unique program that trains law students to advocate for victims of domestic violence who seek Orders of Protection against their abusers in family court. Fordham's DVAC is one of ten New York City law schools that comprise the CAP consortium with six legal service agencies.

Victims of domestic violence and law school students benefit greatly from the CAP program. Victims are usually frightened and unaware of their legal rights and the remedies available to them upon entering court. CAP students provide support and education to domestic violence victims and assist them in an otherwise intimidating arena.

Student advocates staff a Petitioners Assistance Table, where they interview domestic violence victims and help them draft their petitions. The students then accompany and advocate for the petitioners when they appear before family court judges. The student advocates also accompany petitioners to court on their adjourn dates and assist them with their cases as they move forward. Additionally, the students provide victims with safety planning and referrals to community resources such as shelters and counseling.