The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Law school tackles domestic violence

As part of the school’s effort to help students, learn howattorneys can play a significant role in addressing domesticviolence, the Dedman School of Law held its fifth annual domesticviolence prevention symposium this week.

“The goal of the symposium is to educate law students ofthe need for legal advocacy in the domestic violence arena,”said Rebecca Greenan, director of the Public Service Program.”Domestic violence takes a toll on the most vulnerablemembers of the community, and it occurs at every socio-economiclevel.”

Dedman requires all law students to complete 30 hours oflaw-related public service prior to graduation. This requirementwas implemented in 1992, after the school studied the University ofPennsylvania and Tulane’s public service programs for theirlaw schools.

SMU then adapted the concepts from other schools that would bestfit its needs.

For the past five years, law student organizations and thePublic Service Program have been bringing experts in the field ofdomestic violence to campus to speak about prosecuting domesticviolence and child abuse cases Greenan said.

It is important for students to give their time and knowledge topeople who can’t afford legal aid.

Although not required to do so, a number of students who attendthe symposium go on to complete their public service in programsthat deal with domestic violence, such as the D.A.’s familyviolence unit and the Court Appointed Special Advocates program,among others.

Wednesday’s focus was on child abuse, with guest-speakerCarol Duncan, executive program director of the Dallas Child AbusePrevention Center.

Duncan spoke to students about the importance of their publicservice.

“I think that in order to have a healthy society, it is soimportant to invest our resources to support and protect childrenin a non-violent society,” Duncan said.

The public service program benefits both the organization aswell as the student.

The organization gets legal aid from the student that it wouldnot otherwise receive, and in turn, the student experiences the”real world” of law and applies what he or she learnsin the classroom.

Guests throughout the week included Cindy Dyer, chief prosecutorand Dallas County assistant D.A. for the Family ViolenceDivision.

Abi Khang, director of the Battering Intervention and PreventionProgram at The Family Place will speak Friday from 12 to 1 p.m.

In addition, law students are sponsoring a clothing drive forthe Genesis Woman’s Shelter throughout the week.

Women’s business and professional attire is especiallyneeded and clothes can be dropped off at the first floor of theUnderwood Law Library.

This year’s program is being co-sponsored by theAssociation for Public Interest Law, the Asian American LawStudents’ Association, the Black Law Students’Association, the Hispanic Law Students’ Association, PhiAlpha Delta, the Family Law Association and the Corporate LawAssociation.

For additional information or questions, contact Rebecca Greenanat (214) 768-2567.

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