UC Law Student gets invaluable family law experience with DV Clinic

Woman in professional attire smiling at camera

3L student Claire Cooperrider

For third-year law student Claire Cooperrider, the Domestic Violence and Civil Protection Order Clinic provided a key experience in developing her skills for the professional world.

“I spent three years teaching first grade in New Orleans,” she says, “and that really shaped my future and interest in lawyering. I knew I wanted to do something with children and families.”

As such, Cooperrider decided to pursue a law degree at UC because it provided a multitude of opportunities for working with public interest law. She also missed living in the Midwest, having attended the University of Dayton in undergrad.

The clinic provided a meaningful and important learning experience for Cooperrider, who really enjoyed seeing the hard work she put in for her clients come to fruition.

“Getting to see things with the clinic in action was really important for me. It was a unique way to meet clients directly and help them out,” she says. The clinic provided a great opportunity to see a more diverse collection of cases and expanded her ideas of what cases could be like and contain.

Just being a presence and a voice for your clients can really help them get through this tough process and time in their lives.

Claire Cooperrider

Cooperrider says this experience has reinforced how important it is to just listen to the people they work with.

"Just being a presence and a voice for your clients can really help them get through this tough process and time in their lives. The power of listening can do so many wonderful things for their confidence," she says.

The third-year law student has also had a multitude of experiences prior to the clinic. “Last summer,” she recalls, “I interned at the Hamilton County Court of Domestic Relations, where I worked in the family law clinic which offered free legal services to clients.”

She also clerked at a family law firm and is a court-appointed special advocate, or CASA, which allows her to work with children in foster care and juvenile court. For her, the clinic represented a part of family law she had never experienced before.

Looking to the future

All of those experiences add up to Cooperrider’s desire to continue working in family law after she graduates, and the DV Clinic in particular has helped her attain more experience in working in the area of domestic violence.

“Using the lessons that I’ve learned in the clinic about client counseling, supporting people through tragic times and how to best advocate for them means I’m learning the skills to do domestic violence work and help people out as best as I can," she says.


Featured image at top: from Burst.

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