For lawyers

  • Lawyers play an essential role in women's access to justice. Luke's Place has training, resources and pro bono opportunities to support your work.

Training on family violence

Luke’s Place offers both in-person and online training for legal professionals who wish to increase their knowledge and skills when representing survivors of family violence in family law proceedings.

Training currently available

Our popular online course for lawyers, “Effective lawyering with clients leaving abusive relationships”, is accredited by the Law Society of Ontario. Learn more about this training or purchase your access now. The information contained in this course does not constitute legal advice. The materials may be subject to legislative change as well as updates to case law and as such the precise accuracy of the content should not be relied upon.

Customize a training

We will work with you to adapt content and format to meet your needs. In-person trainings can be designed as single-topic seminars of one to two hours’ duration or as half- or one-day sessions covering multiple topics and offering participant interaction. Online trainings can be self-directed or interactive webinars or longer multi-module courses.

Topics we can build into a training for lawyers, include:

  • Understanding family violence: dynamics, typologies, tactics, cycle of violence, post-separation abuse, why women stay/return
  • Identifying family violence:  screening tools, risk assessment
  • Managing family violence files: trauma-informed practice, common red flags
  • Best practices: interviewing techniques, discussing legal options, taking instructions, communication, case management, office set up
  • Managing client safety: legal bullying, self-representing opposing party, safety planning for court
  • Serving diverse communities: rural, Indigenous, newcomer, Francophone, lesbian and transgender, young, older, disabilities, men
  • Working collaboratively
  • Self-care

Our lawyer training work is led by our award-winning Director of Advocacy, Pamela Cross and our Legal Director, Emily Murray. Contact us to discuss your training needs.



All lawyers who provide pro bono services through Luke's Place have free access to our online accredited training.

  • Donate pro bono time to our legal advice services by volunteering with our Legal Clinic, which provides free family law summary advice to women across Ontario who are dealing with abuse. If you are a Durham-based lawyer, you have the option of volunteering for in-person clinic appointments and/or virtual appointments. All other lawyers will be providing summary legal advice to women using web-based video conferencing or telephone.
  • Participate in our Legal Advisory Group. This is a group of family law lawyers and administrators of family law services who provide consultation about our legal work. Our Legal Advisory Group is currently on pause.
  • Provide public legal education to women by speaking on a topic at one of our legal information sessions, which are currently being held virtually for women throughout Ontario.
  • Assist us in preparing or updating resources for women or support workers throughout the province of various family law topics.
  • Get involved in our law reform and advocacy work

Contact us to learn about our pro bono opportunities.

Preparation of clients in Durham Region

If you have a client living in Durham Region who may have been subjected to abuse in her relationship, please connect her with us.

We help women work effectively with lawyers. To accomplish this, we offer the following:

  • Emotional support and support to improve a woman’s coping skills to assist her in working effectively with her lawyer
  • Safety planning which facilitates requests for appropriate restraining orders
  • Compiling historical information and third party information to provide to the lawyer
  • Accompanying the woman to lawyer’s appointments to assist her in understanding what her lawyer has said and needs from her
  • Support for a woman to follow through on her lawyer’s requests
  • Assistance to a woman to cope with tactics used by her abusive spouse during the litigation process
  • Accompanying the woman to court for support
  • Assistance that may be requested by the woman’s lawyer (i.e. review of court documents)
  • Referrals to other needed community supports (i.e. housing, income support, etc)

Support our services

Our services are provided free of charge to abused women and their children. If you would like to make a charitable donation, we appreciate your support.