Shifting the Lens: A Primer for Incorporating Social Work Theory and Practice to Improve Outcomes for Clients with Mental Health Issues and the Law Students Who Represent Them

Mental Health Law & Policy Journal, Volume 3, Issue 2, 2014

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law Research Paper No. 2014-32

35 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2014 Last revised: 31 Oct 2014

See all articles by Susan W. McGraugh

Susan W. McGraugh

Saint Louis University - School of Law

Carrie Hagan

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Lauren Choate

Saint Louis University - School of Law

Date Written: February 28, 2014

Abstract

This Essay is an effort to promote the inclusion of interdisciplinary practice in our work as attorneys and in our roles as clinical legal professors. As the legal community continues its renewed emphasis on skills training, law schools should look to other professions in order to produce more lasting solutions for our clients and for more satisfactory outcomes for our lawyers. In this Essay, the authors discuss their work incorporating social work theory and practice into clinical legal education when dealing with clients who have serious mental illness. With some studies reporting up to 64.2% of inmates in the United States having a diagnosed mental illness, it is becoming imperative that law students acquire the skills necessary to adequately represent them. Two pillars of social work practice, Strengths Theory and Systems Theory, are discussed with an emphasis on the role they play in working with this demographic of clients.

Keywords: interdisciplinary, law clinic, social work, systems theory, strengths theory, mental illness, therapeutic jurisprudence

Suggested Citation

McGraugh, Susan W. and Hagan, Carrie and Choate, Lauren, Shifting the Lens: A Primer for Incorporating Social Work Theory and Practice to Improve Outcomes for Clients with Mental Health Issues and the Law Students Who Represent Them (February 28, 2014). Mental Health Law & Policy Journal, Volume 3, Issue 2, 2014, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law Research Paper No. 2014-32, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2507874

Susan W. McGraugh

Saint Louis University - School of Law ( email )

100 N. Tucker Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63101
United States

Carrie Hagan (Contact Author)

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law ( email )

530 W. New York Street
Suite 111
Indianapolis, IN 46202
United States
317-274-1911 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://mckinneylaw.iu.edu/faculty-staff/profile.cfm?Id=442

Lauren Choate

Saint Louis University - School of Law ( email )

100 N. Tucker Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63101
United States

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