photo of a gavel and stethoscope.

Health Justice Legal Practicum

Providing access to justice at several locations across Western New York in two distinct and different ways in Medical-Legal Partnerships.

A person’s health is determined by much more than just access to high-quality health care services. It is also shaped by that person’s environment – where someone lives, works, plays or learns. Low-income and other vulnerable communities have less access to basic needs and opportunities because of the ways in which deep-rooted, inequitable systems and practices shape their environments. In turn, people in these communities do not have an equal opportunity to thrive or reach their optimal health.

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507 O'Brian Hall, North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260-1100

Medical-Legal Partnerships between lawyers and health care providers seek to combine health and legal services for eligible low-income patients/clients at a single site of care. Students in the Health Justice Legal Practicum will work first hand with low-income clients affected by social determinants of health that can be combatted with competent legal services, which would otherwise be unaffordable to them. According to the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership, research shows that 60 percent of a person’s health is determined by social factors, including (but not limited to) income stability, access to health insurance, housing, utilities, education, employment, and personal and family stability.

Students will work in tandem and under the supervision of attorneys from Neighborhood Legal Services, Inc.and clients from the Evergreen Health Services and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center as a multidisciplinary team to address medical and social problems through a legal lens that have an impact on overall health for low-income individuals.

Participation in the Health Justice Legal Practicum will be comprised of attendance at a weekly seminar, including lectures, skill training sessions, and discussion, and at least 10-12 hours a week of experiential, practical and clinical learning out of the classroom (including, but not limited to, live client intakes, advocacy, research, and document drafting).