Law students represent real clients with real legal issues. Certified Legal Interns (CLIs) and Advanced Certified Legal Interns (ACLIs), under the supervision of Director Teresa Drake, represent indigent survivors of intimate partner violence (domestic, dating, and sexual violence) with civil issues surrounding their abuse in Florida Circuit Civil court and with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Students learn and practice fundamental advocacy skills, including interviewing, counseling, mediation and negotiation. Additionally, students write petitions and motions, respond to pleadings, engage in discovery, take depositions and speak in court as lead counsel in hearings and trials. Students sharpen their understanding of professional responsibility and learn to respect and work collaboratively with social workers, outreach counselors, members of the medical treatment team, and community-based advocates.
Certified Legal Interns (CLIs) enroll in IPVAC as a single semester, six-credit clinical course that is graded pass/fail and offered fall, spring, and summer each year. Students must attend a three day orientation the week before classes begin covering the dynamics of domestic abuse, safety planning, dangerousness assessments and instruction in legal skills. During the term, formal classes meet Monday and Wednesday 9:00 a.m. to 10:50 a.m. An hour multidisciplinary meeting is scheduled each week. In addition to the formal classes and the multidisciplinary meeting, each week students spend 15 office hours at the Virgil Hawkins Clinics and/or Shands and its out-patient clinics. This totals 20 hours per week.
Extra hours may be required some weeks to accommodate client schedules, legal research, and court hearings. Students are responsible for their clients’ cases even after formal classes end until the next semester begins and cases can be transferred to the new IPVAC intern.
Advanced Certified Legal Interns (ACLIs) opportunities are available to law students who successfully complete a full term as a Certified Legal Intern and have the approval of the Director. ACLI credit hours range from 2-4 and the class is pass/fail. ACLIs engage in advanced legal work, supervision of clinical cases, and research.
IPVAC takes several law school externs each term. Please see http://www.law.ufl.edu/academics/academic-programs/externships.