Become a Volunteer

Join our team of volunteer lawyers and become a voice in court for a domestic violence victim or at-risk child!

The DC Volunteer Lawyers Project provides all you need to become a volunteer lawyer including intensive training, in-court supervision and mentoring by an experienced DCVLP Supervising Attorney, a weekly newsletter, an online legal library and many other resources so you can effectively represent domestic violence victims and at-risk children in the District of Columbia. No DC Bar license required!

Scroll down for information what we do and click the links on the right for more details. Thank you for your interest and we look forward to having you join our team!

For my client, it took her from feeling lost and forgotten, to feeling like she had a purpose and a place in this world.
A DCVLP volunteer lawyer on on representing her child-client

Domestic Violence

Representing Victims in Court

Civil Protection Orders

DCVLP volunteers help survivors of domestic violence achieve safety and stability in their lives by obtaining civil protection orders (CPOs) against their abusers (also known as “stay-away” orders). CPO cases in DC Superior Court are handled as emergency proceedings to ensure the safety of the petitioner and her children. CPOs order the abuser not to harm or harass the victim. They may also grant temporary custody and child support to the victim, and order the abuser to obtain counseling for domestic violence or drug abuse. Representing a domestic violence victim in a CPO case is an excellent opportunity to gain in-court, supervised litigation experience in a very short time. CPO cases typically require 15 hours of work over a period of only two weeks.

Family Law

They say it takes a domestic violence victim seven tries to leave her abuser. When DCVLP represents domestic violence survivors in family law cases, they have made the decision to leave their abuser for good. Most of DCVLP’s family law clients have already obtained temporary relief through a civil protection order. Volunteers then help the client obtain a more lasting separation from the abusive relationship, through a permanent divorce or custody arrangement that will protect the client and her children from harm. Volunteering on a family law case is a great opportunity for volunteers seeking experience in civil litigation. Family law cases involve a full range of litigation tasks, including discovery, negotiation, motions practice, and often trial.

I’m just a regular person, and I believe regular people should take a stand against domestic violence. We need to add our voices in support of survivors. And so, I do.
A DCVLP volunteer lawyer on representing victims in court

Child Advocacy

Representing At-Risk Children as Court-appointed Guardians ad litem

Judges appoint DCVLP volunteer lawyers as Guardians ad litem to represent children living with abuse, neglect, domestic violence, or parental drug abuse, or other dangers to help ensure they grow up in safe and stable homes. DCVLP’s Guardian ad litem volunteers investigate, review reports, interview parties and witnesses, negotiate with other parties, speak in front of the judge and make recommendations for custody and social services. Our volunteer attorneys serve as a voice in court for these vulnerable children.


Representing Survivors in Immigration Cases

Volunteers help immigrant survivors of violence and their families find relief through a variety of means, such as asylum, special visas for victims of crime, standby guardianship, and adjustments in status.

To hear the stories of volunteers and clients, click on the video.