Learn to lawyer while serving low-income people facing cancer, changing the way health care is delivered, and advocating for population health.
The HJC is the legal partner in LegalCare at Roswell Park, a medical-legal partnership serving patients of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center who otherwise would not have access to a lawyer.
In addition to functioning as the lead lawyers in a variety of civil legal matters, HJC student attorneys work on the "social determinants of health" - everything that contributes to health status that isn't genetics or biology - in both individual representations and projects aimed at health-enhancing systems change.
The HJC is a medical-legal partnership -- a service delivery model that places lawyers in the health care setting to collaborate with front-line providers on health-harming legal needs that disproportionately affect low-income and other vulnerable populations. LegalCare at Roswell Park was developed by HJC students in the 2014-15 academic year and went "live" at Roswell in Fall 2015.
HJC student-attorneys work regular weekly daytime rotations in our dedicated office at the Roswell Park campus downtown, provide ongoing representation to individual clients, train Roswell Park staff to recognize legal issues, deliver community legal education to Roswell Park patients, and work on research and advocacy projects related to population health.
In seminar twice a week, we develop and practice a variety of lawyering skills that are directly applicable in client work. At the same time, we think broadly about how U.S. legal, healthcare, and social service systems support – or fail to support – good health and quality of life across the lifespan. As part of this broader conversation, we learn about population-level health disparities, discuss whether such disparities constitute injustice, and consider how and why lawyers can contribute to alleviating health disparities.
With all these responsibilities, the Clinic experience is intense but rewarding! Student-attorneys enrolling in their first semester of HJC must take the clinic for 6 credits (240 recorded hours over the course of the semester, or an average of 15-20 hours per week).
Student-attorneys enrolling in a second or third semester of HJC may take the clinic for fewer credits with approval of the director.