Community HeLP is an in-house legal services clinic in which law students advocate on behalf of low-income clients with a variety of health-harming legal needs. In recent years the clinic’s docket has focused primarily on helping community members in the Athens area with immigration, access to food stamps, and other benefits. Students have also regularly engaged in case-work involving disability rights, advanced care directives, housing, and other issues. Working under the supervision of Associate Professor Jason Cade, students have direct responsibility for all aspects of client representation in cases undertaken by the clinic, including: interviewing and advising clients; conducting research and drafting legal documents; advocating in court proceedings and administrative hearings, and collaborating with legal and medical professionals in the community. Clinic students periodically develop or update training materials for medical providers, legal advocates, and patients, and engage in related systemic policy work. The clinic has downtown office (located very close to campus).
The weekly seminar component of the clinic provides skills training and substantive instruction in the clinic’s primary practice areas. The seminar also includes clinical “case rounds” designed to develop reflective advocacy, collaborative problem solving, and a framework for skills-transfer across issue areas. The clinic is structured so that students receive significant supervision, training, and guidance in the first semester, enabling more independent, advanced, and systemic work in the second semester.