Family Justice/DV Practice Area

This site is part of the NYC Pro Bono Center and supports advocates working on cases in the area of family/domestic violence, cases under the federal Violence Against Women Act, and involving immigration and asylum law. The practice area is a resource not only to lawyers who are volunteering to take cases from host organizations, but also for family law and domestic violence advocates in legal services programs in New York City.

The site is supported by Pro Bono Net's New York Program and was previously hosted by legal services organizations in New York, including Her Justice, the City Bar Justice Center Immigrant Women and Children Project, NYLAG, Sanctuary for Families, and Safe Horizon.

What You Will Find: Area Resources

Join this practice area for:

  • Access to a password protected archived library of resources, including online training materials, manuals, model pleadings and sample documents, as well as an archive of past webcasts.
  • A network of legal professionals with whom you can share ideas, strategy, and work product.  See our listserv recommendations below to stay up to date on field updates. 
  • Access to the award-winning NYS Family Offense Petition Program, which enables approved domestic violence advocates to e-file orders of protection in Family Court. (Advocates, click here to login.)
  • Upcoming events and trainings offered by our public interest community shared on the calendar.

If you are interested in searching for available pro bono opportunities in the area of family law, use our Pro Bono Opportunities Guide to search by location, client community and volunteer type (e.g., attorney, law student). 

Listserv Groups 

  • Domestic Violence News Listserv - This listserv, hosted by the Western New York Law Center, allows DV survivor legal advocates to communicate ideas and information, raise questions, and share successes throughout the state. Members of inMotion, the City Bar Justice Center, Legal Services NYC, the Legal Aid Society, and the Empire Justice Center assisted in founding this discussion group. Click here to join this list.

  • Domestic Violence Clinic Listserv - A listserv for domestic violence law clinicians, hosted by Washburn University School of Law. Click here to subscribe.

Types of Pro Bono Cases

The cases for volunteers run the gamut from simple uncontested divorces that are only a matter of preparing and filing papers with the court, to more complex contested divorces and cases in Family Court involving custody, child and spousal support and family offenses for victims of domestic violence.  

Read our volunteer profile about Rebecca Algie, a Her Justice pro bono volunteer, and see an example of the type of work you might be involved in!

How to Join

You can join us right now by clicking here and filling out our application form. After we review the requested information, you will be provided with a response. We are certain that you will have a rewarding experience. Thank you for your interest! We hope to work with you soon.


Featured Resources

New York Crime Victims Legal Network (CVLN) was founded by Empire Justice Center, Pro Bono Net, the Center for Human Services Research at the University at Albany, and the NYS Office of Victim Services (OVS) as a partnership of organizations working together to connect victims of crime with civil legal assistance (non-criminal assistance) through the use of this online resource. CVLN makes it easier for victims of crime to get information and services to help with these civil legal needs.

Filter for the "Family Justice/DV" topic tag in the Training Calendar. The calendar curates information about relevant pro bono and public interest trainings and events, often with CLE credit and usually for free.