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Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

Medical-Legal Community Partnership Practicum (Spring 2018)

  • Course Number: LAW-808
  • Class Number: 03559
  • Instructor: Barbara Siegel

Course Description

This is a practicum course for law students who are simultaneously enrolled in LAW 698, The Legal and Social Determinants of Health, or who have previously taken either LAW 698 or LAW 808.    Students will work in Medical-Legal Community Partnerships (“MLCP”) settings with attorneys from Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County.  Legal issues will include, but are not limited to, access to medical care including the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare” or its replacement), and addressing community barriers to health (i.e. social determinants of health) such as medical debt, income and food insecurity, employment issues, landlord tenant disputes, immigration and family law. Under the supervision of an attorney, law students will interview clients, draft legal memoranda or advocacy letters, provide legal advice to clients, work on litigation, policy advocacy and resolve cases. Students may also work at the L.A. County + U.S.C. Medical Center Urgent Care Clinic, addressing the unmet legal needs that interfere with patients’ health status.  Medical students are simultaneously enrolled in a full time month long clinical rotation at a community clinic or county hospital that houses a MLCP and will work in conjunction with law students. 

Students may take this course for 1, 2 or 3 units.  Only students who have previously taken LAW 808 or LAW 698 are permitted to enroll in the 1 unit option.  All other students may elect to enroll in 2 or 3 units.  Practicum hours are available on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursday afternoons and Fridays.  Each unit is equivalent to a minimum of 3 hours and students must have 3 to 4 hour blocks of time available to work in the Medical Legal Community Partnership.  All MLCP practicum opportunities are off-campus.  Class size is limited, with Spanish speakers given priority.  There is a required monthly seminar and case review on a day and at a time that will be mutually agreed upon by all students and professors. 

Students complete a self-assessment at the beginning of the semester to assess proficiency on legal research, written and oral communication, client interviewing skills, problem solving and negotiation skills as well as workplace skills.  Students also assess themselves on substantive knowledge in the areas pertinent to the Medical Legal Partnership setting.    In collaboration with professors and a mentor attorney from Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County, students set skill and substantive knowledge goals for the semester.  Case assignments and clinical workload are individualized according to each student’s proficiency and goals.

Permission of the professors is required to enroll in this class.   Contact Professor Siegel at or by calling (310) 890-3069.

Schedule: to be individually arranged with professors:  Available hours are:

Monday AM or PM, Tuesday AM or PM, Thursday PM, Friday AM or PM

Practicum Hours will generally be held at The Wellness Center Medical Legal Partnership, at the Historic LA County-USC General Hospital.  Legal mentorship provided by attorneys with Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County.  Parking will be provided. 

Live-Scan testing is required for all students.  Students will be given specific information about obtaining the Live Scan upon enrollment, and all fees will be reimbursed.  Live Scanning must be completed before the beginning of the semester.



Course Details

  • Unit Value: 1-3
  • Grading Options: Numerical or CR/D/F
  • Schedule: Contact Instructor
  • Exam: None
  • Writing Requirement: No
  • Skills/Experiential Unit Requirement: Yes
  • Participation: Required and graded
  • Enrollment Limitation: 8 students