The Domestic Violence Project (DVP) began as an experiment and has become my favorite model for teaching law students about domestic violence work. The heart of the course is its emphasis on developing awareness of and compassion for the personally and emotionally challenging dimensions of this work. I achieve this (i) through a dialogue between students’ journals and my written responses, (ii) by inviting students to produce a creative project, and (iii) by teaching reflexively about vicarious trauma. Many students experience this course as an oasis of holistic professional and personal growth within the often dispiriting experience of law school.
GW Paper Series
GW Law School Public Law and Legal Theory Paper No. 2015-47; GW Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2015-47
Meier, Joan S., Teaching Lawyering With Heart in the George Washington University Law School Domestic Violence Project (2016). Violence Against Women 2016, Vol. 22(12) 1484 –1495; GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2015-47; GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2015-47. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2685926