Health and Disability Law Clinic
These needs include public benefits claims (including Medicaid, Social Security, Medicare and other benefits); insurance coverage; obtaining access to mental health or rehabilitative services; and seeking justice for the mistreatment of seniors and those with disabilities in various contexts.
This yearlong clinical course is offered in partnership with the Legal Aid Justice Center, and course meetings are held onsite at the firm. LAJC’s clinics are designed to educate students about the range of strategies used by attorneys to identify, investigate and attack systemic injustices, encouraging holistic and community-partnered approaches to lawyering.
Representation may include appearing in legal proceedings, negotiations, administrative hearings and court proceedings (to the extent permitted by law). Students also will address systemic issues related to the provision of community-based services, the rights of the institutionalized, access to healthcare for incarcerated individuals, and racial inequities in access to and outcomes in healthcare. Instruction in the substantive law of these areas is provided in a classroom component throughout the clinic as dictated by the needs of the clients.The classroom component provides a forum for students to learn mental health, disability, public benefits, medical debt and elder law pertinent to the cases they are handling, as well as for the discussion of practice and ethical issues arising in those cases. Under the supervision of an attorney, students directly perform all the lawyerly functions associated with their cases, including client and witness interviews, factual development, legal research, preparation of documents and pleadings, and negotiation and advocacy in administrative forums and courts (to the extent permitted by law). Students meet weekly with the supervising attorney to discuss the readings, if any, assigned for that particular week and to receive case supervision, along with instruction concerning client interviewing and counseling, negotiation and case preparation. The supervising attorney accompanies each student to all administrative proceedings and court appearances.
Of the eight credits awarded for this yearlong clinic, four credits are allocated to the fall semester and four credits to the spring semester for academic load purposes.