Conference explores ways medical and legal specialists can work together to help those in need
Public Relations - Published: April 20, 2009
MedicalLegalPromoWidener Law will host a daylong program that looks at the issue of how peoples’ unmet legal needs may be contributing factors to their health problems, and how medical-legal partnerships can aid indigent patients and underserved populations.

The program, “Medical Legal Partnerships,” will be presented Friday, April 24 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the law campus at 4601 Concord Pike, Wilmington. It is presented by the law school and its nationally-ranked Health Law Institute.

The medical-legal partnership was created in 1993 by a Boston pediatrician who realized many of his repeat patients would be unable to achieve long-term good health unless some of the legal problems they faced were remediated. For example, apartments that lacked heat or were filled with mold called for legal – not just medical – responses. The insight spawned the creation of the Medical-Legal Partnership for Children, and, since then, medical-legal partnerships have sprung up across the country, including in Delaware and Pennsylvania.

The conference will bring together legal service providers, academics and national leaders of the medical-legal partnership movement for an animated discussion on these vital initiatives. The speaker list includes Ellen Lawton, the executive director of the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership.

The day will begin with a welcome from Law Dean Linda L. Ammons and Health Law Institute Director and Professor John G. Culhane. The panel schedule includes:
  • 9:45 a.m. An introduction and overview of the medical-legal partnership.
  • 10:45 a.m. Lessons from urban and rural populations on starting a medical-legal partnership.
  • 1:30 p.m. The law school clinical teaching model for medical-legal partnerships.
  • 2:30 p.m. A mock classroom exercise for a law-medicine seminar.
Attorneys who attend will be eligible for four continuing legal education credits (including one ethics credit) in Pennsylvania and 4.3 credits (including one ethics credit) in Delaware. The registration fee for those who attend for credits is $100, and $75 for Widener Law alumni. Those who attend, but not for credits, will be charged a $50 registration fee. The registration fees include lunch. Students may attend for free without lunch or conference materials. To register, contact Karla Harris at 302.477.2704 or kmharris@widener.edu.