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. No permission required.
Health Justice Project Weekend Edition (3 credit hours)
Student attorneys will address the health harming legal needs of vulnerable low-income families and individuals by conducting holistic client intake interviews with patients referred by HJPs health partners, issue spotting, engaging in legal research, identifying appropriate resources, and drafting intake memos and advice and referral letters to clients. Students will also participate in pro se outreach at health clinics if possible due to COVID-19, providing direct support to patients preparing pro se legal documents. Students may handle cases in a variety of areas of law including public benefits, access to health care, disability, education, housing, family law, as well as other areas of law that impact client health and well-being. Enrollment in the Clinic requires a significant time commitment and flexibility in the student’s schedule. Students are required to manage their own intakes, collaborate with HJP partners, and be responsive to supervising attorneys.
The HJP weekend section consists of a bi-weekly four-hour seminar, remote weekly intakes and research on cases, and remote supervision with an instructor. Students should expect to spend 4 hours weekly on intake activities and 3 hours per week on readings and assignments. Students must be available to participate in a mandatory full day orientation on the first Friday of the semester.
The HJP Weekend Section is open to 2L, 3L and 4L part time students only. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Health Justice Lab: Race and Health Equity (3 credit hours)
This interprofessional and experiential course grapples with the relationship between racism, medicine, public health, and law in the United States. It examines how structural racism harms health and provides insight on the roles that medical, public health and law professionals can play in advocating for change. An interprofessional panel of faculty and guest speakers will guide students through discussions, case studies, community outreach, and advocacy to address health inequities. By the end of the course, you should be able to: 1) describe the historical and contemporary role of racism in medicine, public health, and law; 2) engage in current debates about the impact of racism in perpetuating health inequities; and 3) illustrate ways that one can advocate for social justice.
This Health Justice Lab course is a prospective elective course and is open to 1Ls, 2Ls, 3Ls, and 4Ls.
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).