Program (Clinic) for Legal Aid for Women in Family Law
Prof. Ruth Halperin-Kaddari: Academic Supervisor
Attorney Yossi Mendelson: Professional Supervisor
Attorney Oasnat : Program Director
Attorney Adi Raz: Program Director
Attorney Naama Safrai-Cohen: Program Director
The Ruth and Emanuel Rackman Program for Legal Aid for Women in Family Law works towards the following goals:
1. Providing quality legal aid to women in family law (divorce, custody, maintenance, property division or other disputes in family matters and related topics, excluding domestic violence). There are two types of legal aid provided: full legal representation and preliminary consultation.
2. Training the future generation of family law lawyers towards awareness and commitment to promoting women and gender equality.
3. Influencing the advancement of women’s status in society and achieving real gender equality through legal changes, including setting precedents in family law and drafting and presenting bills.
Full legal representation is provided to women of low means who are ineligible for state-sponsored legal aid, according to the program’s criteria. The aid is free of charge, excluding court fees and handling expenses. Preliminary legal consultation is given to all women free of charge.
Student Training Program in the Clinic:
The program has students accompany the lawyers in their work in representing the clients. The students are a part of the entire legal process from preliminary meetings, to handling negotiations and presenting pleas, as well as judicial proceedings in the various courts. In addition, students attend lectures on the theoretical and practical aspects of representing women in family law and participate in a bill-drafting project in family law.
Why do students choose the Rackman Center?
Sarah just completed her training at the clinic and applauds the project:
”One of the main reasons why I chose to study law was because of the importance I attributed to two bid challenges in family law: domestic violence and "get refusal". Such topics have always been important to me and therefore it was easy for me to decide to sign up for the training program at the Rackman Center's legal aid clinic.
Thinking back to what a challenging, interesting and enriching year at the clinic, I can say without a doubt that I made the right choice in signing up for the program. During the course of the year we heard lectures on various topics related to family law in Israel such as domestic violence, the delicate relationship between law and Jewish law , prenuptial agreements , divorce refusal , and more. We heard a lot of personal stories, toured a shelter for women at risk, sat in court hearings and Rabbinical Family Courts, and held a mock trial .
I was particularly impressed by the willingness of the lawyers who run the clinic to provide us with a range of opinions, arguments and view points to give us real perspectives on family law issues, as well as numerous ways to solve the problems .
While I learned so much from the lessons and lectures, I think I gained even more from the actual work done with the clinic's lawyers. We assisted in writing pleadings and accompanied the lawyers to meetings with clients. Besides the fact that I learned to write pleadings and gain real understanding of case management, I was exposed to the direct issue of civil law. As the year went on I was more and more impressed by the dedication , perseverance and professionalism of the staff at the clinic. They demonstrated devotion to their client's best interests, faithful representation for the welfare of the children and empowerment of women coming to the clinic.
My experience at the clinic taught me things I could never learn in a regular university course and I will take what I have learned with me in the future as a lawyer.
Thank you to the Rackman Center for the remarkable opportunity to work at the legal aid clinic."