Health Law and Policy Project (HeLPP)
The Health Law and Policy Project (HeLPP) provides opportunities for students to gain practical experience in the field of health law and policy.
What we do:
We train and connect students with direct service opportunities addressing health-harming legal needs facing low-income Philadelphians and those with disabilities or chronic health conditions. We currently offer two direct service opportunities: the Administrative Advocacy Project and the Medical-Legal Partnership.
We also provide students with the opportunity to strengthen their legal research and writing skills by partnering with local organizations and conducting health-related legal research.
This year, we are offering two direct service projects:
Administrative Advocacy: Students will be paired with attorneys at Community Legal Services, one of the nation’s premier legal aid providers, to help clients access and maintain federal- and state-funded public benefits. Students will do this by assisting clients with navigating the processes of the Social Security Administration and PA Department of Human Services. Potential tasks include interviewing clients to develop evidence, reviewing medical and educational records, and communicating with administrative agencies.
Medical-Legal Partnership: Students will be embedded in healthcare sites in Philadelphia where they will work alongside attorneys from Legal Clinic for the Disabled, encountering a diversity of legal issues. Students will gain experience interviewing and counseling clients, preparing legal documents, providing brief legal advice and referrals, and other skills critical to working directly with vulnerable clients. Travel is required for this opportunity, but sites are accessible by SEPTA.
All direct services volunteers will receive training in the specific areas of law that they will encounter, as well as training on implicit bias and trauma-informed lawyering.
Potential Research Opportunities:
HeLPP partners with projects such as the Healthcare Quality Improvement Platform (HQUIP), Community Legal Services (CLS), Disability Rights Pennsylvania, Medicare Rights Center, Pennsylvania Health Law Project, and the Eidos LGBTQ+ Health Initiative. In collaborating with these organizations, students research and write memos on various health law issues to support these organizations in their work.
How and when can I join:
What skills will I develop:
Legal analysis, legal research, legal writing, policy advocacy, community engagement, client counseling, interview and intake, working with vulnerable clients, access to government/social services, community engagement, presentation skills, and public speaking.
The work is likely to be New York Bar eligible.