Earlier this year, a local news channel praised the University of Miami’s Health and Elder Law Medical Legal Partnership in a piece entitled “Joining Forces.” The clinic, run by Dr. Pat Caralis of the VA hospital and JoNel Newman of the University of Miami School of Law (an ETL Consortium school), takes an innovative approach to treating the legal and medical issues patients face when seeking care by assigning both a medical student and law student to each case. For example, Bob Barker, a veteran who sought treatment for sudden paralysis in his lower extremities, was featured in the article because he was forced to deal with the medical aspects of his condition as well as the legalities of getting food assistance and approval from the housing authority—both of which were services that the Medical Legal Partnership could provide. Operating on the premise that medical and legal issues often operate in tandem, the clinic at the University of Miami helps patients resolve their issues while also providing innovative, experiential learning to the students who participate.
The course portfolio for the Health and Elder Law Medical Legal Partnership is available through the Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers resource collection, and includes videos, implementation strategies, learning materials, and other helpful information for practitioners looking to replicate the clinic’s success.
Katherine Kirk is a third year law student at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and contributes to IAALS Online. Please direct inquiries about this post to firstname.lastname@example.org.