Equal Justice America Disability Rights Clinic

Student interns advise and represent disabled and elderly clients and their families in a variety of transactional matters and administrative proceedings, as appropriate. The Clinic considers inquiries from disabled individuals and their families with low to moderate income and limited assets who cannot afford a private attorney.

The Clinic caseload is broad, with the common theme that each case involves significant issues of health law and requires the utilization of health law practice skills. Examples include challenging denials of access to health care, Social Security disability benefits, Medicaid, and Medicare. Student interns also represent clients in the preparation of a range of legal documents, including wills, health care proxies, “living wills,” powers of attorney, supplemental needs trusts, and other specialized legal instruments. Student interns assist families seeking guardianship of disabled adult children and planning for the future of family members with disabilities.

Students develop sophisticated interviewing, counseling, negotiating, and drafting skills, as well as the ability to deal with legal problems often encountered by the elderly, disabled, and their families. The Clinic seminar includes preparation for utilizing statutory and regulatory systems central to health law practice, as well as negotiation, administrative hearing simulations, and case rounds. Students will learn about reasonable accommodations needed by the elderly and disabled in housing and other matters.

Case assignments will accommodate the schedules of evening and part-time students. Some off-campus meetings with clients may be necessary. Permission of the professor, based upon application and interview, is required. Professional Responsibility is a pre- or co-requisite.

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