SMNR: Legal/Medical Services for Vulnerable Populations

This class gives both law students and students from other disciplines the knowledge and skills base to work with underserved individuals and families who have both medical and legal needs. Built around the Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP) concept – an integrated, interprofessional health care delivery model operating in approximately 500 communities nationwide – the class is co-taught by Prof. Sage and (Ms.) Keegan Warren-Clem, a recent UT Law graduate who is the founding attorney of the Austin Medical-Legal Partnership. The course begins with an overview of individual and population health in the United States, emphasizing the social determinants that result in disparities in health, and in access to health insurance and health care services. The class then introduces the concept of interprofessional teams, exploring the professional cultures and responsibilities of attorneys, physicians, social workers, nurses, and other key contributors to MLPs. Next, it considers in detail the legal areas commonly handled by MLPs, including income and insurance, housing, education and employment, legal status, and personal and familial stability, and how resolution of each tends to mitigate the social determinants of health and promote health equity. Through case studies and simulations, students will learn to recognize and begin to address these issues. Students will also consider the broader problem of measuring the health and social benefits from legal interventions, which is an increasingly important part of designing advocacy programs for the underserved.

Class Details

Meeting Days Time Location
Wednesday 3:45 - 5:35 pm JON 5.206/207
Exam Type Date Time Alpha Range Room
Paper

Additional Information

Course Type
Grading Method
Pass/Fail Allowed

Textbooks

  • POVERTY, HEALTH AND LAW: READINGS AND CASES FOR MEDICAL-LEGAL PARTNERSHIP - Tobin Tyler, Elizabeth
      Carolina Academic Press , edition: 2011
      ISBN: 978-1-59460-779-0   (required)