5 Lincoln Mem'l U. L. Rev. 1 (2017-2018)

handle is hein.journals/lmulr5 and id is 1 raw text is: 





              LINCOLN MEMORIAL UNIVERSITY
                               LAW REVIEW




                   VOLUME 5         FALL  2017         ISSUE  1





              SURVIVORS REPRESENTING SURVIVORS:
  SHARED EXPERIENCE AND IDENTITY IN DIRECT SERVICE LAWYERING



                                 Kelly Jo Popkin



I. INTRODUCTION'

       The statistics regarding the prevalence of gender-based violence in the United

States suggest that a significant percentage of attorneys, including those working

professionally on this issue, are survivors themselves.2 In fact, many zealous advocates

are drawn to direct service work because of their personal experiences. (see Part 2, IV.

Effects on outlook and perception, ii. Empathy and passion, infra). Though much has

been written on legal ethics in theory and in practice, there is very little scholarship on

the ethical dilemmas  that might  arise when  a survivor of gender-based  violence


1 This survey was conducted in conjunction with the Domestic Violence and Family Law Clinic at
the WilmerHale Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School. Many thanks to clinical supervisor
Stephanie Davidson, Esq. for the original idea, as well as the brilliant insights and guidance she
provided along the way.
2 See Joan S. Meier, Notes from the Underground: Integrated Psychological and Legal Perspectives on
Domestic Violence in Theory and Practice, 21 HOFSTRA L. REv. 1295, 1351 (1993) ([A]ssuming an
incidence rate of at least one incident in 250% of households, 'at least four of the fifteen or more
actors in an average criminal action-jurors, judge, and attorneys-probably will have experienced
or committed at least one domestic assault.). For statistics on the prevalence of gender-based
violence in the United States, see Violence Against Women in the United States: Statistics,
National Organization for Women, available at http://now.org/resource/violence-against-
women-in-the-united-states-statistic/ (Last visited Dec. 4, 2016).

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