Professor: Katherine Moore
Offered: Spring 2019; thereafter, fall and spring semesters
The Health Justice Clinic is a new Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP) that will provide free legal services to individuals needing representation in a wide variety of health-harming civil legal matters.
The Clinic will be an innovative, interdisciplinary, and collaborative effort to address the social determinants of health. Students may work alongside health care professionals and medical students to holistically address the legal and social issues that impact health. Through direct legal services, training, and systemic advocacy, students will address the civil legal needs that can profoundly affect health. Social and environmental factors, such as income, access to health care, access to housing, healthy housing conditions, access to healthy food, education, job stability, and personal safety, all have an impact on health. The intervention of the Health Justice Clinic may improve health outcomes for individual patients as well as save health care costs system-wide.
The caseload may include providing full representation to clients in housing cases including landlord-tenant actions and evictions, as well as housing discrimination, accessibility, and housing conditions cases. Students may also serve as advisors to clients seeking to put in place advance directives such as health care proxies or instruction directives, documents which are designed to ensure that the client’s wishes are carried out. Students will collaborate with health care professionals at every stage of their cases. Students may also conduct trainings for health care professionals, identify opportunities for systemic change, and advocate for regulatory and policy reform.
In class, students will explore the policy and theory behind the MLP model, investigating health policy, holistic advocacy, ethical issues, and privacy concerns. Class sessions will cover clinical methodology, substantive law, advocacy strategies, theories of social justice, and current issues in health care.
The work includes interviewing, investigation, legal research, motion practice, discovery, negotiation, preparation of lay and expert witnesses, contested and uncontested trials and hearings, oral argument of motions, and the preparation of trial and appellate briefs. Students work under the supervision of the clinical professor, but assume primary responsibility for their assigned cases, including court appearances.
Clinical Law Practice
Students work closely under the supervision of clinical faculty in all phases of case work from initial client interview through trial, and appeal where warranted. Students will interview and counsel clients, work with interpreters, interview witnesses, conduct factual investigations, engage in legal research and analysis, draft moving papers and legal documents, argue motions, conduct negotiations, prepare clients and witnesses for trial, and conduct trials. Students may conduct and defend depositions and participate in the appeal of cases.
Students are required to spend approximately fifteen hours per week in practice during the spring and fall semesters, and at least thirty hours per week during the summer.
The classroom component will include lectures and simulations reviewing the substantive law in the relevant practice areas, basic practice and procedure, evidentiary issues, and advanced trial advocacy skills.
CRITERIA FOR ADMISSION
Students who have completed or are taking Health Law will be given preference.
Note: You will be required to attend class, office hours and court hearings during the day. If you are employed, you must have flexibility to participate in the clinic during at least some regular business hours.