Criminalized Survivor, Detention, and Justice Clinic

The Criminalized Survivor, Detention, and Justice Clinic (CSDJC) is a 1 or 2-semester clinic in which students will focus on avenues of relief for individuals who have been imprisoned for killing their abusers, or who have committed other crimes arising out of their circumstances as abused persons. These individuals are described as “criminalized survivors.  Most of these incarcerated persons are women who were unable to introduce evidence of their abuse at trial or at sentencing as it relates to the offenses for which they were convicted. Students may  seek sentencing mitigation, clemency, and parole and develop re-entry strategies that focus on the particular needs of this cohort.  They may engage in legislative and policy changes to improve outcomes for criminalized survivors. Students may examine ways to use human rights norms in international and regional settings in their work. Students will have opportunities to develop appellate law-related skills and learn how best to work with and on behalf of incarcerated adults.

Enrollment Options and Credit Hours

• Full year (fall and spring semester) – 4 credit hours per semester
• Fall semester only – 4 credit hours
• Spring semester only – 4 credit hours

Skills Learned

• Client centered, trauma-informed, and culturally appropriate interviewing
• Factual investigation
• Case theory and case planning
• Counseling
• Negotiation
Legal research and application of facts to law
• International human rights law; international and regional forums where they can be applied on behalf of clients
• Review case files, discovery
• Written advocacy
• Drafting pleadings
• Drafting policy papers
• Drafting proposed legislation
• Oral advocacy
• Working with expert witnesses
• Incorporating interdisciplinary fields of knowledge
• Ethical representation
• Collaboration
• Lawyering across cultural divides
• Identifying structural contexts affecting law and legal problems/critical thinking skills
• Case file management


• Pre- or Co-requisite courses: Gender Violence, the Law, and the Criminalized Survivor (RWE)


Reef C. Ivey II Distinguished Professor of Law
(919) 962-5108 |