Wayne State University
Kathryn M. Smolinski
Kathryn M. Smolinski
Director of the Legal Advocacy for People with Cancer Clinic; Assistant (Clinical) Professor of Law
Room 2217
(313) 577-9911
Fax (313) 577-9379


J.D., Wayne State University Law School
M.S.W., University of Michigan
B.A., University of Michigan


Kathryn M. Smolinski is director of the Legal Advocacy for People with Cancer Clinic.

The clinic grew out of a medical-legal partnership Smolinski created through a two-year Equal Justice Works Fellowship she was awarded while a third-year Wayne Law student.

Before attending law school, she worked for 20 years as an oncology social worker, including serving as executive director of the Association of Oncology Social Work and as a senior oncology social worker at The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore.

She earned a bachelor of arts in psychology and English and a master of social work from the University of Michigan, as well as a law degree from Wayne Law.


December 10, 2015
Kathryn M. Smolinski was the keynote speaker at the the 3rd annual Johns Hopkins Cancer Survivorship Conference in Baltimore. Her talk was titled "Hope and Humor." She also presented "Legal Concerns for Survivors" at the conference.

November 20, 2015
Kathryn M. Smolinski was invited to speak at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University's 18th Annual Oncology Nursing Conference. Her presentation was titled, "Decision Making in End of Life Care."

September 19, 2015
Kathryn M. Smolinski represented the Legal Advocacy for People with Cancer Clinic at the fifth annual Prostate Cancer Symposium at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. She provided information about the clinic services available. The event, hosted by Karmanos Cancer Center, was attended by more than 150 cancer patients and their caregivers.

September 2, 2015
Kathryn M. Smolinski co-wrote a chapter, "Educating and training professional social workers in psycho-oncology," in the new third edition of Psycho-Oncology published by Oxford University Press.

November 7, 2014
Kathryn M. Smolinski has been elected to distinguished fellowship in the National Academies of Practice and the Social Work Academy as a distinguished practitioner and fellow. The honor acknowledges outstanding achievement and recognized leaders in their profession. Induction will take place in April at the organization's annual meeting and forum. 

In The News

January 7, 2015
Kathryn M. Smolinski was quoted in The National Jurist article on "The Most Innovative Clinics" as director of the Legal Advocacy for People with Cancer Clinic, which was named to the magazine's Top 10 list.

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Publications of Note

Three chapters - "Oncology Social Work Throughout the Continuum of Cancer Care" with Brad Zebrack and Barbara L. Jones; "Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Individuals Diagnosed with Cancer" with William Goeren; and "Legal Issues that Affect Quality of Life for Oncology Patients and Their Caregivers" with Debra Wolf - in The Handbook of Oncology Social Work: Psychosocial Care for People with Cancer. Oxford University Press (2015)

Advocating for justice, serving the community, revitalizing Detroit and Michigan