What We Do

Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project
What We Do


Despite the reforms of recent decades, battered women and children continue to face unfair treatment and troubling results in court. Appeals can overturn unjust trial court outcomes – but they require special expertise and are often prohibitively expensive.

We empower victims and their advocates by providing expert representation for appeals; educating pro bono counsel through in-depth consultation and mentoring; training lawyers, judges, and others on cutting-edge issues; and spearheading the DV community's advocacy in Supreme Court cases.

To learn more about DV LEAP's programs, click here. To get involved or to make a tax-deductible contribution, follow this link.  



DV LEAP believes that real and lasting change in legal and social responses to domestic violence requires great patience and persistence. DV LEAP provides victims with the continued support needed - often for years - to take a case through the appellate process, in order to advance justice and achieve both system and perpetrator accountability.  More specifically, DV LEAP: 

  • Empowers victims and their advocates by providing expert representation for appeals in collaboration with our pro bono partners;
  • Educates and supports its pro bono counsel through in-depth consultation, mentoring, and access to domestic violence experts and resources; 
  • Furthers community education and awareness by training lawyers, judges and others on cutting-edge issues crucial to effective advocacy; 
  • Speaks for the national and local domestic violence communities in significant cases through its “friend of the court” briefs; 
  • Organizes and spearheads the domestic violence community’s advocacy in Supreme Court domestic violence cases; 
  • Supports law reform and policy initiatives in D.C. and nationally to further the rights of victims of domestic violence; and 
  • Provides consultation and mentoring to lawyers and litigants in domestic violence cases around the country.

By focusing on the more powerful level of our justice system, appellate courts, DV LEAP seeks to hold trial courts to the promise of fairness embodied in the law, and to create long-term and more fundamental change in the legal system.