Laurel House provides certain civil law (i.e., not criminal law) legal services for victims of domestic violence. Laurel House’s legal project provides legal assistance, and in some cases, direct representation to victims of domestic violence in civil cases arising out of that violence, such as stay away orders (PFAs), child custody, and child or spousal support.
Laurel House’s Hotline is the entry point for victims/survivors of domestic violence who are seeking help from Laurel House. The hotline operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 1-800-642-3150
LAW SCHOOL EXTERNSHIP PROGRAM (One semester: Fall or Spring)
Under the close supervision of Colleen F. Coonelly, Laurel House Director of Legal Services, enrolled students provide civil legal assistance to clients escaping violent relationships and seeking protective orders, child custody and child support.
Only second- and third-year students who have obtained Certified Legal Intern status under Pa.B.A.R. 321 (the student practice rule) from their law school will be considered. Externs receive exceptional training and the opportunity to learn and develop skills in domestic violence and family law. Assignments include legal research and writing; drafting briefs and other court documents, preparing intake forms; reviewing, analyzing and summarizing cases; and interviewing clients and witnesses. Externs also gain practical experience through shadowing attorneys at meetings and court appearances. Externs will assume the role of lawyer in court, pursuant to the rule. Ms. Coonelly serves as Supervising Attorney under the standard practice rule. At each school’s discretion, students dedicate a set number of hours per week (typically twenty) for academic credits (typically seven). Interested students must obtain law school approval and must submit by 4/30 for the following fall semester or by 9/30 for the following spring semester, a cover letter; a resume, two references with email addresses and phone numbers, and a writing sample to: