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College of Law

Domestic Violence

Course Number: 6635
Professor: TBA
Credit Hours & Type of Credit: 3
Semester Offered: Fall
Required: No
Prerequisites: Students must have completed their first year of law school.
Recommended Courses: None

Course Overview: As a result of the prevalence of domestic violence in our society, attorneys, regardless of their area of expertise or practice will find themselves confronting cases in which domestic violence is an issue. Domestic relations lawyers, criminal defense lawyers, labor lawyers, corporate lawyers, bankruptcy lawyers, tort lawyers, and real property lawyers, regularly represent victims or perpetrators of domestic violence. Due to the prevalence of domestic violence and the frequency with which it finds its way into the legal system, all actors within the legal system should be properly educated.

The Domestic Violence and the Law Class has been offered since 1999 by Professor Dona Playton. Professor Playton has trained and consulted extensively, including consulting with the ABAs Commission on Domestic Violence, the Wyoming Supreme Court and the Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. The course covers subjects from the history of relationship violence, cultural issues, including immigration and tribal concerns, economic impacts, women as defendants, law enforcement and prosecutorial roles, civil protection orders, stalking, sexual assault and batterer intervention programs, working with people with disabilities, the impact on children, as well as state and federal legislation that impacts domestic violence in criminal and civil cases. Guest speakers, valuable hand-outs and practice tools created by the instructor and other experts in the field, as well as videos are integrated throughout the course. The Domestic Violence class helps prepare students to take part in the Legal Services Program, and the Domestic Violence Legal Assistance Project. Students having taken the class will go on to represent victims effectively, make well-informed legal decisions, create effective legislation, and further educate judges, attorneys and other professionals on the dynamics of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking and on the critical importance of applying the law in a safe and effective fashion when handling such cases.

Course Materials: See the current Book List located under Courses and Curriculum.
Course Format:
Written Assignments: Research Paper
Type of Exam: None
Basis for Grading Student Performance: Paper, satisfies advanced writing requirement
Other Comments: Recommended as a prerequisite for Domestic Violence Clinic

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