Students in this clinic will provide legal services at the Phillips Neighborhood Clinic, the Community University Health Care Clinic and Hope Lodge to help identify and resolve legal issues affecting patients’ care and wellbeing. Students will develop skills that can be used in any number of practice settings, including interviewing and counseling, case management, problem-solving, persuasive fact analysis, legal drafting, negotiation, effective oral communication, and interdisciplinary collaboration. Students will also be introduced to the legislative or rule-making process that can address patient health on a systems-wide level. In the second semester, students will be able to choose a focus on client work or legislative efforts.
Guest speakers from the legal profession will offer expertise in various areas of the law. Community leaders will provide important knowledge of the citizens of the Phillips neighborhood and the legal needs of cancer patients. Designated classes will be devoted to “case consultation” to solve client issues and learn from one another’s perspectives and experiences.
Through participation in this course, students will be given the opportunity to change clients’ lives by helping them assert their rights and obtain necessary benefits and services. Students will learn about legal issues that affect people with health issues, the complex intersection of law and health, the medical-legal partnership (MLP) model of legal services delivery, and client-centered and holistic approaches to the lawyer-client relationship. Students will learn their own style of lawyering and ways to improve time management, client management, and communication and advocacy skills.
Students will receive an orientation to the clinic and will be trained in intake and referral procedures early in the fall semester. Subsequent classroom sessions will combine substantive legal topics and skills development. Class sessions are highly interactive and full participation is expected.
- Phillips Neighborhood Clinic Partnership: Phillips Neighborhood Clinic (PNC) is a community health clinic run by University of Minnesota medical, nursing, pharmacy, physical therapy, public health, and dental students. The clinic provides a range of free services, and patients are accepted on a walk-in basis without residency, income, insurance, or immigration status requirements. Teams of students will be expected to attend at least one evening clinic per month and occasional Law Nights which are evenings devoted to providing pertinent legal information to the PNC patient community. Additional cases may be assigned from PNC affiliated programs or Cancer Legal Line.
- Community University Health Care Clinic (CUHCC): CUHCC is a CUHCC is a federally qualified health center and also a department within the University of Minnesota's Academic Health Center. The clinic offers medical, dental, mental health, advocacy, legal, and other programs. CUHCC serves nearly 11,000 patients a year through over 55,000 visits annually. The patient population comes from over 12 different racial and ethnic groups that span five continents.
THE HOURS FOR THE THREE CLINICS VARY FROM MONDAY EVENING TO TUESDAY AFTERNOONS. STUDENTS WILL ROTATE THEIR ATTENDANCE AT THE CLINICS FOR A TOTAL OF APPROXIMATELY 4 SESSIONS PER SEMESTER.
- What to expect when working on cases and with clients: Students will screen clients at PNC, CUHCC and Hope Lodge at their clinic time and will provide extended representation as those matters may arise. Those contacts will be in person, by phone and through correspondence.
- What to expect in legislative work: Students will receive a legislative proposal from a non-profit, research the matter and draft a rule or bill to address that issue. In the second semester, students who choose this focus will further refine the legislation and lobby for its passage.
NOTE: This course requires certification pursuant to the student practice rule and is open to JD students only.