SMNR: Health Justice and the Medical-Legal Partnership

Course Information

Registration Information

Meeting Times

Day Time Location
MON 3:45 - 5:35 pm TNH 2.138

Evaluation Method

Type Date Time Location


From the redesign of complex medical care to population health management, law and policy inform every aspect of our health care system. Individually and systemically, increasing health equity depends not only on access to medical care for vulnerable populations, but also on addressing the social determinants of health—how the socioeconomic conditions in which people live, work, and play affect health and well-being. One promising approach is medical-legal partnership, which makes lawyers members of the healthcare team to collaboratively improve the health of vulnerable individuals and their families, as well as entire communities, by advocating for rights and reducing barriers. The class takes an interdisciplinary, inter-professional approach, making it valuable to law students and students in social work, nursing, pharmacy, public affairs, business, and medicine. Using interactive lectures, case studies, and simulations, students will learn to recognize and begin to collaboratively consider the relationship among medicine, law, and wellness. Through such topics as poverty and public benefits, safe and affordable housing, effective and appropriate education, and chronic conditions and public health law, we will consider how lawyers and health care providers can jointly engage in creative problem-solving. The class also provides an introduction to (1) the systems of individual and population health in the United States; (2) the role of law, policy, and legal services in informing social determinants of health; (3) diverse professional cultures and responsibilities of interdisciplinary practice; and (4) value-based metrics for evaluating the health and social benefits of legal interventions.

UPDATE:  We are pleased to report strong interest in the class among Dell Medical School students, creating special opportunities for real-world collaborative projects with law and social work students.  It should be a terrific class! 

Important Class Changes

Date Updated
01/23/2020 Room(s) changed