The mission of the Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project (DV LEAP) is to provide recourse to appeal for victims of domestic violence who were denied justice at trial, and to ensure that victims' interests are considered in other appellate cases which may affect them. Victims of domestic violence have an urgent, unmet need for sophisticated, systematic pro bono appellate representation. Without recourse to appeals, victims and their children have been too often unprotected by over-burdened trial courts. The ability to appeal is a critical element of access to justice, yet before DV LEAP, there was no organization dedicated to providing this service for domestic violence victims.
DV LEAP consults with victims and lawyers, provides technical assistance on trial cases, screens potential appeals, and places suitable cases for representation with attorneys participating in our extensive pro bono network. DV LEAP co-counsels and intensively mentors its pro bono attorneys to ensure that these complex and challenging cases are handled effectively and in a manner that furthers the interests of all domestic violence victims. DV LEAP also provides extensive trainings and presentations to judges, lawyers, mental health professionals and others to improve the delivery of justice, and specializes in protective parent advocacy to keep children in custody litigation safe.