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Pepperdine | Caruso School of Law

Restoration and Justice Clinic

Our Work

The Restoration and Justice Clinic represents victims of domestic violence, human trafficking, sexual assault and other gender-based crimes. The Clinic is housed in the law school and partners with legal and social service agencies in Southern California to facilitate comprehensive services for our clients and to provide experiences in multidisciplinary practice for our students.

The Clinic's approach to gender-based violence cases is a holistic one, encompassing civil and criminal law remedies and advocacy to ensure that the survivor's legal needs are met. Pro bono legal services are provided in a variety of matters - both civil and criminal - including, 

  • Family law
  • Domestic violence restraining orders
  • Legal remedies available under the Violence Against Women Act
  • Advocacy for victims and witnesses
  • Dismissal of criminal convictions

Student Experience

Under the supervision of Professor Tanya Cooper, students in the Clinic are trained to provide direct services to clinic clients, develop sensitivity and competence for representing low-income survivors, and conduct outreach and educational advocacy to inform survivors, service providers, and other interested stakeholders (law enforcement, courts, agencies, legislators, etc.) about victims' legal rights and remedies designed to address gender-based violence.

Client Intakes

Students carry and manage their own caseloads, starting with participation in client intakes. In the initial intake interview, students gather information about the potential client's situation, including information about experiences with gender-based violence, and work with the potential client to identify legal needs.

Seminars and Case Staffing Conferences

Students present their intakes and cases at a weekly case rounds in the seminar portion of the Clinic. At case staffing conferences with the Clinic director, students discuss their intakes and cases, assess factual and legal issues, and are assigned cases.


Clinic students have legal and ethical responsibility for their cases and, under California's law student practice rule, certified law students may appear in court and handle motions and trials on behalf of their clients. Once assigned, the case is the responsibility of the student, but all students practice under the Clinic Director's California law license, meet on a regular basis with the Clinic Director to discuss their cases, and are supervised at court hearings by the Clinic director.


Professor Tanya Cooper directs the Restoration and Justice Clinic and supervises students' work. For more information about the Clinic's course or practice, contact Professor Cooper at tanya.cooper@pepperdine.edu or 310-506-4646.