It also deals with the civil protections available to victims of this type of harm. Federal legislation, most notably the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), recognizes domestic violence as a criminal act. However, the vast majority of domestic violence offenses are prosecuted under state law.

Domestic violence lawyers may spend their careers in direct service helping clients affected by domestic violence through civil legal cases such as protection orders, custody, and divorce or in the criminal context prosecuting domestic violence criminal offenses. Some domestic violence lawyers work in policy writing legislation and regulations that advocate on behalf of abused persons. Though domestic violence work has traditionally occurred in the U.S. legal system, a growing number of lawyers are focusing on preventing domestic violence around the world. Domestic violence lawyers often work in nonprofit organizations or in the government with the Department of Justice or State Attorney General’s offices.

What to do if you are interested in Domestic Violence Law?

Georgetown Law Courses

Advanced Criminal Procedure
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Health Law and Policy
Public Welfare Law
Race and American Law
Family Law

Georgetown Law Seminars

Advanced Tools for Public Interest Lawyers
Homelessness Poverty and Legal Advocacy Seminar
Urban Law and Policy Seminar

Georgetown Law Clinics

Domestic Violence Clinic
Criminal Justice Clinic

Domestic Violence Law Resources for Career Exploration

For a comprehensive list of helpful resources and suggested employers, please see the OPICS Domestic Violence Supplemental Resource List.