NYLAG has been a Program Partner with the Courtroom Advocates Project (CAP) since its inception in 1997. CAP is a unique program that provides trained, supervised law students to assist domestic violence victims in a range of services including direct in-court advocacy and referrals to counseling and shelter.
As of January 2012, NYLAG has helped train over 9,000 students how to advocate for victims seeking an order of protection in Family Court. Under the supervision of NYLAG’s CAP attorney, students help victims draft petitions for an order of protection, and advocate on their behalf in the courtroom. Students also follow up with the victim after intake and prepare her for the next court date, when the abuser is supposed to appear in court. CAP students use their knowledge of the law and courtroom skills to obtain additional relief, such as temporary child support. This helps the victim achieve economic independence, a key factor in preventing further abuse.
In more complex cases, NYLAG’s CAP attorney provides direct representation for victims in actions that are crucial to long-term resolution of the conflict and economic sufficiency. These include:
- Child and spousal support
- Equitable distribution of marital property (in addition to the order of protection)