DV Clinic provides UC Law student opportunity to make a difference

Woman with hands on hips standing by sign that reads "college of law"

For third-year student Alexa Edwards, the Domestic Violence and Civil Protection Order Clinic proved to be a valuable experience. Her desire to be involved with the clinic stemmed from a passion for helping others.

“I studied communication and psychology at the University of Louisville,” she recalls, “and I didn’t exactly know what I wanted to do until after the 2016 election, when I knew I wanted to do something with law.”

Edwards was highly interested in the clinic because it was a way to get involved in public interest law and, in particular, women’s issues. Through this experience, she learned just how important it was to listen to clients, especially because they have a lot to say. Lawyers, and even law students, can be the person who just listens to the client, which is an important part of being a good advocate for them.

“Law can be intimidating,” she says, “especially for people who already have things going against them, like their gender and race.” Edwards expresses how glad she is that there are programs like the DV Clinic that help and advocate for people who are caught up in the complex environment of law.

I believe all human rights issues are affected by gender inequality.

Alexa Edwards

Furthermore, the clinic was a good way to get experience in the field.  

She says, “it was great to sit in on civil protection order hearings, and hopefully, eventually, I’ll do a hearing myself.” Her favorite part has been meeting with clients and providing them the resources to get through this tough time in their lives. “I’ve learned a lot that way, by meeting and speaking with the people I work with.”

Edwards also found the clinic to be an excellent outlet to practice everything she’s learned at UC Law. “Learning by doing is really important, so I’m excited to actually work on my skills in a practical forum. I really enjoyed the clinic, and I look forward to finding more ways in which I can help people with my law degree.”

While many areas of the law represent human and civil rights issues, Edwards has always been interested in the intersection of gender with other aspects of identity. 

”I believe all human rights issues are affected by gender inequality,” she says, “and I hope to follow a path that may one day allow me to assist individuals in fighting against oppression they deal with because of their identities or other outside forces.”

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