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DVCC Civil Legal Clinics

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“Your services are an island of hope and direction to improve a sad and confusing situation.”

This is one among hundreds of positive comments by DVCC clients who have consulted with attorneys during our monthly Civil Legal Clinics. Established to provide clients with legal consultation on matters such as divorce, housing, child custody and visitation, child support, immigration, paternity and wills, the first clinic was held at the Stamford office in March 2011.

Since then, DVCC has hosted ten clinic sessions, during which over 140 legal consultations were provided to clients currently working with the agency. The clinic is staffed by DVCC’s three staff attorneys and eight volunteer attorneys from the local legal community who generously donate their time and expertise. Additional DVCC staff members assist with filling out forms and providing translation service when necessary.

Kieran Costello, whose firm Costello & McCormack, P.C. has provided volunteer attorneys for nearly every session, said the legal consultations were an extremely worthwhile endeavor.

“Too many times we see self-represented victims of domestic violence in court, and it’s heartbreaking to watch them struggling alone in a confusing and intimidating court system,” he said. “The DVCC clinic is an invaluable service provided to these women who cannot afford their own counsel. We, as volunteers, answer all different types of questions on a range of topics from divorce and custody to eviction and debt. The experience of volunteering with the clinic has been very personally satisfying for me and the other attorneys I work with because we leave the DVCC office each month knowing that, but for this service, important legal questions would go unanswered and victims would be left to navigate the system all alone.”

Other volunteer attorneys include Christopher Brennan, Claire DeVidas, Merrie Hawley, Jon Jessen, Karen McCormack, Mayra Rios, Edward Sinclair, Heather Spaide and Elizabeth Zessman.