Family Justice/DV Practice Area

This practice area, part of the NYC Pro Bono Center, 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.

*Representing LGBT+ individuals? Join the LGBT Practice Area here.

What You Will Find: Area Resources

Staff of the hosts of this practice area are experienced matrimonial and family court practitioners who have represented indigent clients for many years. Join this practice area for:

  • Access to a password protected 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.  This includes listservs to stay up to date and a roster of attorneys.
  • 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.)
  • The news tool, helping you stay up to date, and 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), and don't forget to join the NYC Pro Bono Center!

Join us:

The clients who are looking for assistance in this area are indigent and cannot afford to hire counsel. Many are mothers who are solely responsible for the care of their children, or are victims of domestic violence, or recent immigrants, or HIV positive. Often, a woman will fall into more than one of those categories.

Clients are referred to the host organizations by word of mouth, hospital emergency rooms, police, social services agencies, the courts, bar associations and by domestic violence shelters. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages 15 and 44 in the United States. They need your help.

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

The Library contains sample forms, training manuals, and other materials to assist you when you take a pro bono case, across areas like divorce, domestic violence, immigration & housing.

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.