Health Justice Project- (4 credit hours)
The Health Justice Project is a medical-legal partnership clinic offering students an opportunity to learn the fundamentals of legal practice, engage in interdisciplinary collaboration, and explore creative upstream problem solving. Through collaborative and holistic representation of vulnerable low-income patients at a federally qualified health center, student attorneys address the social, legal, and systemic barriers that prevent long-term health and stability. Cases may include public benefits, access to health care, disability, education, housing, immigration, family law, and other legal issues impacting health. Students manage cases in teams of two by maintaining client relationships, preparing pleadings, legal correspondence and appeals, attending hearings and court appearances, collaborating with interdisciplinary partners, and tending to all other client matters throughout the semester.
The HJP clinic consists of a weekly two-hour seminar class, case supervision meetings, and office hours. The HJP requires a significant time commitment--students should expect to spend 2-4 hours per week on seminar readings and assignments, 6-10 hours per week on client casework and supervision meetings and must participate in a mandatory full day orientation on the first Friday of classes.
The HJP clinic is open to 2Ls, 3Ls and 4Ls and there are no prerequisites. To participate in the HJP clinic, please apply here.
Advanced Health Justice Project (2-4 credit hours)
Students who have successfully completed the Health Justice Project clinic may enroll in Advanced Health Justice Project with faculty permission. Advanced HJP students will continue to represent clients and complete projects to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable low-income families and individuals in Chicago through holistic, collaborative, and systemic advocacy. To request enrollment in Advanced HJP, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with an explanation of your interest and the number of credits you are requesting (2-4).
Access to Health Care (2 credit hours)
This course will explore the role of racism in the construction of the health care system and public health insurance systems in the United States. The course is intended to expose students to historical perspectives on the impact of racism on our health system, allow for an understanding of how health care and insurance systems work in present day and continue to result in health inequities, and to prepare students to advocate for systems change to create more equitable health care systems and address health inequities in our society. A significant component of the course is participation in the field study to Mississippi during spring break.
Health Justice Lab: Health Housing and Communities (3 credit hours)
This interdisciplinary course uses a health equity lens to explore how housing and communities shape health and wellbeing. It will include reflective and analytical assignments along with experiential opportunities to engage students with topics including substandard and precarious housing conditions, gentrification, and place-based inequalities. In addition, it will explore a range of strategies that promote health equity. Specifically, we will examine theories and methods that lawyers, social workers, and allied professionals can use in collaboration with community organizations to engage in community building, neighborhood development, social action, and legal advocacy. By the end of the course, students will gain a deeper understanding of key concepts relating to housing and health equity and they will develop critical thinking skills relating to problem analysis and interventions.
Health Justice Policy Practicum (3 credit hours)
Health Justice Policy Practicum will explore health justice issues and policy advocacy. Adjunct faculty from Legal Council for Health Justice (“LCHJ”) will guide students through the policy advocacy approaches to improving systems and health and well-being. Students will work on policy projects with LCHJ and other nonprofits engaging in health justice policy work. This course will be offered on the weekends but is open to weekend and full time students.
To participate in the Health Justice Policy Practicum, please apply here.