Our Story, Our Services
The Domestic Violence Prosecution Hybrid Clinic (DVPH) equips tomorrow’s attorneys, prosecutors, gender equity activists, and criminal justice reformers with the knowledge, skills, and culturally aware habits essential to ending gender-based violence.
Using a trauma-informed approach, law students are admitted to limited practice in prosecution and in specialized domestic violence courts under the joint supervision of Professor Mary A. Lynch and experienced Special Victims prosecutors.
Immersed in the specialized substantive and procedural law and the phenomena of intimate partner violence, students practice a series of simulated criminal law exercises to prepare for their live encounters, while also learning about bail reform, the prosecutor’s obligation to disclose evidence, the pandemic of violence against women, and the harmful consequences of mass incarceration. Former students and alumni return to provide feedback, act as opposing counsel, and serve as career mentors.
Coordinated Community Response (CCR)
The clinic is an important partner in the region’s Coordinated Community Response (CCR) to intimate partner and family violence. CCR ensures that courts, prosecutors, health systems, advocates, law enforcement, not-for-profits, and other community stakeholders provide survivors with more accessible justice processes, and safety support. CCR coalitions support fairer, safer, and more inclusive processes as well as survivor autonomy.
By the numbers
- Participating counties include: Albany, Schenectady, Saratoga and Rensselaer
- Over 70% of supervising attorneys are Albany Law School alumni, 25% (and growing!) are also DVPH clinic alums
- Albany County Coalition Against Domestic Abuse (ACCADA)
- Albany City Court Domestic Violence Court Advisory Group
- Rensselaer County Integrated Domestic Violence Court Stakeholders Group
- Unity House
- In Our Own Voices
Students learn to
- interview special victims and police witnesses
- analyze appropriate charging of crimes
- negotiate a plea deal
- engage in fact investigation and fact-gathering
- conduct oral argument, hearings and/or trials
Case types students work on (under supervision)
- sexual assault and abuse
- criminal trespassing
- violation of protection orders
- sexual conduct against a child
- disseminating indecent material to minors