Yale Law School offers many ongoing projects relating to health care, health disparities, policy, and disabilities through clinical offerings as well as one of the best experiential learning programs in the country. Learn more below.

Medical-Legal Partnerships

The medical-legal partnership (MLP) model combines health and legal services at a single site of care to address social determinants of health and provide holistic care.

Our work spans across the continuum of care and life experiences serving eight patient populations. YLS students who participate in an MLP are supervised by an MLP attorney and collaborate across disciplines with physicians, nurses, social workers, community health workers, and other experts, and meet with patients at local health clinics to help address legal needs like access to government programs, housing, employment, immigration, and family law matters.

Several of these MLPs partner with legal service organizations in the area, including New Haven Legal Assistance Association, the Center for Children’s Advocacy, and Connecticut Veterans Legal Center.

The Solomon Center coordinates student participation in the following MLPs:

Geriatric MLP
The Geriatric MLP targets legal services to the elderly in collaboration with medical providers, elder service organizations, and elder justice policy advocates. Doctor Richard Marottoli of the Adler Clinic and Doctor James Lai, the Associate Chief of Clinical Affairs for Geriatric Affairs at the Yale School of Medicine, serve as the medical partners for the clinic, screening their patients for social legal needs and refer them to this MLP. The major health-harming legal issues the MLP aims to address are elder abuse, public benefits, housing conditions, and estate planning.

Haven MLP
The Haven MLP is a partnership with HAVEN, a free clinic operated by Yale medical students every Saturday for uninsured patients, the great majority of whom are also undocumented immigrants. Law student volunteers work onsite at the clinic and meet directly with patients to conduct legal screenings.  Volunteers provide advice, referrals, or representation, depending on the situation.  Common legal issues include immigration, wage theft, landlord/tenant concerns, and domestic violence. Law students also provide legal training to other Haven volunteers and collaborate with community organizations on campaigns for structural change.

Oncology MLP
The Oncology MLP works with breast cancer patients at the Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven Hospital.  Students in the Oncology MLP work with social workers and nurses to screen patients for legal needs.  This MLP addresses a wide range of legal issues, including employment, public benefits, immigration, and housing.

Palliative Care MLP
The Palliative Care MLP works with NHLAA and a pro bono lawyer to provide civil legal services to palliative care and cancer patients at the Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven Hospital (YNHH). Students in the Palliative Care MLP conduct intake interviews with clients and draft desired documents, such as wills, power-of-attorney agreements, and advanced health care directives. Depending on patients’ needs, students may also work on real-estate transactions and guardianship issues.

Pediatric Care MLP
In 2013, the Center for Children’s Advocacy (CCA) established an MLP in the pediatric primary care center at Yale-New Haven Hospital (YNHH), focusing on issues of childhood poverty and access to services. One student each semester participates in this MLP and works directly with a CCA attorney, Alice Rosenthal. Students engage in both direct client services—working with physicians in the clinic to identify patient-specific and systemic issues, as well as policy research and advocacy.

Pediatric Gender MLP
One of the first gender MLPs in the country. This MLP, in partnership with the Yale Pediatric Gender Clinic, assists patients and families with consultations and training on name and gender marker change, education on gender expression, and provides legal support for families with children receiving gender-based care at Yale New Haven Hospital. 

Transitions MLP
The Transitions MLP is based in the Transitions Clinic in the adult primary care center at Yale-New Haven Hospital (YNHH) that serves those returning home from prison. Law students screen patients for health-harming legal needs, train residents, patients, and other medical providers on the rights of patients, and participate in community campaigns for structural change.

Veterans MLP
Connecticut Veterans Legal Center (CVLC) operates an MLP at VA Connecticut’s Errera Community Care Center (ECCC). Students work directly with the attorneys at CVLC to provide direct client services and to engage in research and advocacy on relevant policy issues.


2017 MLP Symposium and Special Issue of the Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law & Ethics

On March 3, 2017, the Solomon Center hosted a symposium on medical-legal partnerships: Building an Academic Agenda to Enhance MLP Practice. The articles emerging from this symposium were published in a special issue of the Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law, and Ethics: Symposium, "Medical Legal Partnerships" 17 Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law & Ethics 251 (2017):

Publications & News

Yale-New Haven Hospital General Counsel Externship

Externs have the opportunity to design an externship according to their personal interests and the needs of the YNHH General Counsel team. Past externs have worked on projects as diverse as conducting contract review to drafting memoranda examining the impact of federal policy proposals for undocumented patients in the hospital system to contributing to amicus briefs.


National Academy of Social Insurance Fellowship

The National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) Fellowship at Yale Law School provides an opportunity for Yale Law students to explore contemporary legal issues involving the evolution of social insurance in a rapidly changing economy. Individuals selected as fellows will have broad latitude to work with legal scholars affiliated with NASI from around the country to develop policy solutions of relevance state and national policymakers examining the economic risks facing workers and their families.

NASI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization based in Washington, DC. Founded in 1986, the Academy is comprised of the nation¹s leading experts on social insurance. The Academy's mission is to advance solutions to challenges facing the nation by increasing public understanding of how social insurance contributes to economic security. Social insurance encompasses broad-based systems that help workers and their families pool risks to avoid loss of income due to retirement, death, disability, or unemployment, and to ensure access to health care.

Social insurance is an interdisciplinary field. The selected NASI Fellow will have the opportunity to establish relationships and gain invaluable insights from a diverse network of policy analysts, advisors, and researchers; political scientists, economists, and academics from other related disciplines; actuaries; congressional staff; business and industry leaders; labor union members; financial advisors; program administrators; policy advocates and grassroots organization leaders. In addition, Academy staff will provide guidance and support through the course of the fellowship.


The Global Health Justice Practicum

The GHJP leads a clinical course, the Global Health Justice Practicum, which allows Yale Law students to work with Public Health students and others on practical projects designed to advance health justice. Recent projects had students travelling to Southern Africa to develop a policy paper on comparative approaches to compensate miners for the health consequences of mining, working with groups such as Doctors Without Borders on access to medicines issues, working with a Congressional office to help shape domestic legislation promoting women’s health in sub- Saharan Africa, and working with students in another clinic on a project addressing UN accountability for introducing cholera to Haiti. Projects can also have a domestic focus, such as a project on the implications of free speech cases on the FDA’s regulatory structure, and the quality of our evidence base for pharmaceuticals.



Many of the Law School’s clinics have ongoing projects related to health care, health disparities, health policy, and disabilities, including the Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic, Veterans Legal Services Clinic, Legislative Advocacy Clinic, Housing Clinic, Immigration Legal Services, and Legal Assistance Re-entry Clinic.