Places that Help: Federal
Lawyer and Advocate Support
Updated: October 18, 2018
WomensLaw cannot vouch for the information or services provided by these organizations.
*DC, IL, MD, MA, NY, TX, VA ONLY* Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project (DV LEAP)
DV LEAP represents domestic violence survivors on appeals from the following states: Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Texas, Virginia, and The District Of Columbia. They consider all kinds of DV-related appeals, including civil protection order issues, family law (custody, divorce, property, etc.) Hague Convention issues, and criminal issues (e.g., self-defense, admissibility of expert testimony, etc.). They sometimes provide friend-of-the-court (amicus) briefs in appeals if the party already has a lawyer.
Battered Women's Justice Project (Part of the Domestic Violence Resource Network)
(800) 903-0111, prompt 1
The Battered Women’s Justice Project staff may be able to provide helpful information about the legal system and referrals to local and national legal resources. They can help you focus your questions about the criminal and civil legal system which may facilitate your communication with the agencies or courts about your case. They can also refer you to other resources that are available locally and nationally, and explain what they might have to offer you. Many callers are simply grateful to speak with someone who listens, understands, and can provide some feedback and context about their situation. Staff who take calls are sensitive to the frustrations of victims of abuse and make every effort to listen actively and with compassion. Callers can reach an advocate during normal business hours (M-F 8:30-4:30 Central Time) at 800-903-0111, prompt 1. You can also reach BWJP through this email contact form.
Health Resource Center on Domestic Violence
This national clearinghouse provides support for those interested in developing a comprehensive health care response to domestic violence in all health care settings. Provides resource and training materials, technical assistance, information and referrals, and models for local, state and national health policymaking. Part of the National Health Initiative on Domestic Violence, a program of the Family Violence Prevention Fund, and part of the Domestic Violence Resource Network.
1 (212) 714-2904
Immigration Equality is the nation’s leading LGBTQ immigrant rights organization. They represent and advocate for people from around the world fleeing violence, abuse, and persecution because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or HIV status. Information is available in English, Spanish, French, and Russian.
Legal Momentum takes a select number of cases per year, including cases regarding Title IX and also provides referrals to victims. Victims must fill out a legal assistance form found here. Legal Momentum also provides information about immigration and support to lawyers representing battered women in immigration cases.
Legal Resource Center on Violence Against Women
The Legal Resource Center on Violence Against Women (LRCVAW) helps advocates and lawyers with issues of interstate custody where domestic violence is involved. The LRC can also try to assist survivors of domestic violence to find legal representation for interstate custody cases. They do not help with international custody cases.
National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women
800 903-0111 ext. 3
The National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women is resource and advocacy center for battered women charged with any crime in which their history of abuse is relevant (or potentially relevant) to their legal defense. Through its work, the organization aims to increase justice for — and prevent further victimization of — arrested, convicted, or incarcerated battered women. Staff provide customized technical assistance to battered women charged with crimes and to members of their defense teams (defense attorneys, advocates, expert witnesses and others). Please contact them via telephone; they accept collect calls from incarcerated battered women at (215) 351-0010.
National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, Family Violence Project
(775) 784-6012 Business calls
Operates the Resource Center on Domestic Violence and other ongoing projects, including ones on: improving the court system’s response to family violence cases; providing training for judges and court workers nationwide; and developing and promoting model state legislation on domestic and family violence.
National Crime Victim Bar Association
Lawyer Referral Line: 800-FYI-CALL
The National Crime Victim Bar Association offers information and lawyer referrals to crime victims seeking to sue offenders and responsible third-parties.
National Crime Victim Law Institute
The National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI) pairs crime victims with free attorneys who fight to secure their rights. They do this through their national network of legal clinics and their National Alliance of Victims’ Rights Attorneys (NAVRA). They also ensure that every attorney and advocate can make the best arguments for the victims they serve by providing them with legal technical assistance in the form of legal research, writing, and strategic consultation. In addition, they file amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs in victims’ rights cases nationwide. NCVLI rarely provides any legal services directly to victims. When a victim contacts NCVLI they work to pair that victim with support services in his or her area, and to find a lawyer in their pool of pro bono attorneys who is willing to provide free or low cost legal services focusing efforts on active criminal cases and protecting victims’ rights during investigation, prosecution and post-conviction. They will then partner with those volunteer lawyers to ensure top quality advocacy on behalf of the victim. If you are seeking assistance with referrals, please fill out their online referral request form on the website.
National Legal Aid & Defender Association
NLADA is the nation’s leading advocate for front-line attorneys and other equal justice professionals, representing legal aid and defender programs, as well as individual advocates.
National Network to End Domestic Violence
The National Network to End Domestic Violence is a membership and advocacy organization of state domestic violence coalitions, allied organizations and supportive individuals.
National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, (Part of the Domestic Violence Resource Network)
TTY: (800) 553-2508
Provides comprehensive information and resources (including videos, publications and information packs), policy development, and technical assistance designed to enhance community responses to and prevention of domestic violence.
This national, public interest law firm offers cutting-edge legal briefs and news on public interest issues, including civil rights, elder law, reproductive freedom, violence prevention, and women’s rights. This is the only site on the Internet where you can find complete contact information for all legal aid, legal services, and poverty law offices in the U.S.
The Hague Domestic Violence Project
The Hague Domestic Violence Project provides information for mothers, lawyers, judges, and advocates involved in a domestic violence case brought under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. Their goal is to help mothers, attorneys, judges and advocates incorporate child exposure to domestic violence as a defense to the otherwise required return of the child to his home country.
VAWnet Library is an online resource for advocates working to end domestic violence, sexual assault, and other violence in the lives of women and their children. VAWnet is a project of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV) and the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV).
Vera Institute of Justice
Vera plans and demonstrates solutions often building nonprofit organizations from successful demonstrations studies social problems and current responses, and provides the advice and assistance leaders need to change their own systems. Vera addresses the issue of domestic violence through its Consulting Nationally project.
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