April 01, 2014

Chinese Law Professors Take Part in Trainings on Managing Domestic-Violence Legal Clinics

April 2014

In December 2013, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) trained 44 Chinese law professors on the management of domestic-violence legal clinics.

Catherine Carroll, cofounder of the Sexual Violence Law Center in Seattle who has also previously served as an expert for ABA ROLI’s domestic violence programming in China, led the first training, which focused on legal strategies for assisting domestic-violence survivors. Carroll discussed the United States’ experience developing domestic-violence laws over the years.

Developed jointly by professor Camille Carey of the University of New Mexico School of Law and ABA ROLI staff, the second training focused specifically on the operation and management of law school-based domestic-violence legal clinics. Topics ranged from creating a domestic violence clinic syllabus and supervising students to interviewing and representing domestic-violence survivors.

“I now have a very complete understanding of what to do when collecting information from and providing assistance to a domestic violence victim, including how to approach them,” said one of the training participants. “[I learned] skills for obtaining many kinds of evidence and [how] to teach these same skills to legal clinic students.” The interactive training methodology, which required participants to engage in group debates and exercises, was also well-received.

The December trainings were conducted ahead of the launch of China’s first specialized domestic violence legal clinics. A pilot clinic was launched at Wuhan University School of Law in March, and ABA ROLI will work with other schools to open at least two more clinics by 2016.

The launch of these clinics is expected to help to expand the range of practical legal education methods used in China and to provide a support mechanism for domestic violence survivors across the country.

ABA ROLI has provided domestic violence-related trainings to Chinese lawyers since 2008.

To learn more about our work in China, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at rol@americanbar.org.