Teaching Tomorrow’s Lawyers Through A (Semi-) Generalist, (Mostly-) Individual Client Poverty Law Clinic: Reflections on Five Years of the Community Health Law Partnership

25 Pages Posted: 14 Jun 2019 Last revised: 1 Aug 2019

See all articles by Jason A. Cade

Jason A. Cade

University of Georgia School of Law

Date Written: June 3, 2019

Abstract

Design options when starting a live-client clinic from scratch can be somewhat overwhelming. Should the clinic focus on systemic impact or individual representation? Appellate work or hearings? Should the clinic specialize or cover multiple legal issues? Another set of issues concerns how the clinic should find and accept its clients, and whether students should have a role in the intake process. The list of choices goes on. In this Essay, written for the Georgia Law Review’s Online Issue celebrating 50 years of clinics at the University of Georgia School of Law, I describe how I have navigated these and other choices in designing the Community Health Law Partnership Clinic (Community HeLP), which just completed its fifth year of operation. My experience suggests that there may be significant pedagogical benefits to forging a middle-path through some of the central divides in clinic design. Specifically, there are deep service and learning opportunities for students who engage in a combination of individual representation and larger advocacy projects concerning multiple — but not unlimited — areas of poverty law. This Essay unfolds as follows. Part I describes the origin and development of Community HeLP in its first five years. Part II outlines the trade-offs between specialization and generalization, and evaluates the middle path thus far taken by Community HeLP. Part III then explores the value of a clinic that primarily engages in individual representation, but in which students also take on larger advocacy projects that flow from the clinic’s case work.

Keywords: clinical education, individual representation, systemic advocacy, impact litigation, pedagogy, combined advocacy, health law, medical-legal partnership, immigration

JEL Classification: I1, I14, I21, I31, K37, K36

Suggested Citation

Cade, Jason A., Teaching Tomorrow’s Lawyers Through A (Semi-) Generalist, (Mostly-) Individual Client Poverty Law Clinic: Reflections on Five Years of the Community Health Law Partnership (June 3, 2019). 53 Georgia Law Review Online 143 (2019); University of Georgia School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2019-24. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3398672

Jason A. Cade (Contact Author)

University of Georgia School of Law ( email )

225 Herty Drive
Athens, GA 30602
United States
(706) 542-5188 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.uga.edu/profile/jason-cade

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