The VOCA Restraining Order Clinic provides direct legal services to victims/survivors of intimate-partner violence in Dane, Jefferson, Rock and Sauk Counties. Law students assist victims/survivors of intimate-partner violence by completing Restraining Order petitions, representing them at injunction hearings (restraining-order hearings), and providing relevant resources under the supervision of experienced clinical faculty. The Clinic works directly with community groups and agencies throughout the counties to provide services with no cost to the victim/survivor.

The VOCA Restraining Order Clinic exposes students to direct representation of victims/survivors of intimate-partner violence in Dane, Rock, Sauk and Jefferson Counties. The educational goal of the clinic is to train students in litigation skills, research, analysis, client interviewing, negotiation and the dynamics of intimate-partner violence. VOCA Restraining Order Clinic students learn trauma-informed lawyering and work directly with victims and survivors of intimate-partner violence.

Information for Students

VOCA Clinic students will:

  • Provide direct legal services to victims/survivors of intimate-partner violence
  • Assist clients with completing restraining-order petitions
  • Observe and participate in injunction hearings
  • Be knowledgeable of and provide relevant resources to clients

In addition to working on cases and appearing in court, students will participate in a weekly seminar.  The weekly seminars will include:

  • Substantive topics, including trauma-informed advocacy, client-centered advocacy, the intersection of intimate-partner violence and law enforcement and wellness
  • Skill development including litigation skills, interviewing, counseling and writing
  • Community resources

The weekly seminar will also give students the ability to discuss their cases and seek assistance from their peers.

Students interested in learning more about the VOCA Restraining Order Clinic should contact Clinical Director, Ryan Poe-Gavlinski, at ryan.poegavlinski@wisc.edu.

Information for the Public

If you are a victim/survivor of intimate-partner violence and you are in need of getting a restraining order, the clinic can assist you in filing for a restraining order and represent you at your injunction hearing.

the VOCA Clinic Can Help With:

  • Understanding if you have the grounds to file for a restraining order. The clinic can information help you determine if that is the correct course of action.
  • Filing a restraining order and representing a victim and/or survivor of intimate-partner violence in court proceedings.

the VOCA clinic Cannot Help With:

  • Filing or representing you in a divorce or custody custody proceeding.  At this time, the VOCA Restraining Order Clinic can only assist with filing for and obtaining restraining orders in Dane, Jefferson, Sauk or Rock Counties.

Contact Us

Individuals seeking services can call 608-263-9574 or email VOCA@law.wisc.edu. You may also request an appointment by filling out the form linked below:

If you need or would like to request assistance or accommodations for communication or access, please specify so within the "Request an Appointment" form. Or please call our clinic line at 608-263-9574 or email VOCA@law.wisc.edu. Thank you!

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