A Medical-Legal Partnership
The Health Law and Policy Clinic is offered for second, third and fourth year students as both a two-semester course for 4 graded credits each semester, and as a one-semester course for 4 graded credits.
The course is designed to meet two needs: to provide law students with a clinical program that teaches some of the practical and substantive problems arising in a health context and to partner with the FIU College of Medicine’s Green Family Foundation NeighborhoodHELP program (“NHELP”). NHELP features an interdisciplinary approach to health care in which the law clinic participates in a medical-legal partnership to serve households in four low-income neighborhoods in Miami-Dade County to improve health outcomes. Students will interview clients, to the extent possible, within clients’ homes and will work closely with students and faculty from FIU’s medical, nursing and social work schools. During the course seminar, case rounds and through weekly supervision sessions, students will learn about and solve issues concerning laws that affect health, including the implementation of the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, share developments and issues in cases, and sometimes engage in joint medical-legal rounds. The case discussions expose students to issues that may not arise in each individual case and involve discussion of ethical and other practice issues.
Students enrolled in the clinic gain experience in three areas:
- Direct legal services: Students will represent clients in a number of health-related areas, including: health care access; Medicaid eligibility and services; Social Security disability and other disability benefits; public benefits; living wills and advance directives; wills and power of attorney; elder law issues; and some consumer and housing issues. Your experience will include interviewing clients, investigation, legal research and analysis, case planning and strategy, practice management, negotiation and administrative advocacy including some hearings. Students also learn to work with other professionals through joint case rounds and projects with the medical school.
- Policy work: Students engage in health policy advocacy at the local, state and national levels. Skills learned include health policy analysis, legislative advocacy, media advocacy, group facilitation, and strategic planning.
- Community education: Students may deliver community education presentations related to legal issues and also present training sessions for the interdisciplinary partners at the medical, nursing and social work schools related to identifying legal issues and health care policies.
- Credits: 4 graded credits per semester
- Time Commitment: Average 14 hours a week including case and policy work, supervision and the seminar.
- Recommended: Professional Responsibility
- Certified Legal Intern Certification Required: No, but available through the Clinic
- Selection Criteria:
- Fourth-year part time students and Third-year full time students.
- Second-year full-time students.