Legal Advocacy for People with Cancer Clinic Fellowships

To be considered for a summer 2015 Legal Advocacy for People with Cancer Clinic Fellowship award, contact Min Jian Huang in Room 1226 to obtain an application. Submit the application in person to Huang or by email by Sunday, March 15, 2015. Four competitive fellowships of $4,500 will be awarded. Each fellow must commit to a total of 400 hours over 12 weeks.  

This paid fellowship opportunity teaches law students basic lawyering skills, such as client interviewing, counseling and representation; negotiation; research and drafting; and case management. However, it also does so much more.

Legal Advocacy for People with Cancer Clinic is a medical-legal partnership between Wayne Law and Karmanos Cancer Center that provides legal information, resources and representation to low-income adult cancer patients receiving treatment at Karmanos. As part of the national trend of medical-legal partnerships, this clinic helps clients obtain the legal services and support they need as part of their overall health care. Law students, lawyers, social workers, nurses and physicians work together to identify legal issues early, eliminate barriers to care, streamline services and promote policy change.

The summer fellows will meet with clients on site at Karmanos Cancer Center as part of a health-care delivery model that focuses on the overall well-being of individuals with cancer and their families, as health and quality of life are determined by more than just physiology and medical care. Legal interventions can remove those additional obstacles and worries, such as denial of public benefits, planning for periods of incapacity and the complexity of health insurance that interferes with patients managing not only their illness but their lives.

Law students, under direct supervision of Kathryn Smolinski, clinic director, and clinic staff:

  • Represent clients in administrative law hearings.
  • Draft wills and advance health care directives.
  • Help clients understand and exercise their rights in the workplace.
  • Assist clients in obtaining state and federal benefits.

The program already has helped several individuals with cancer successfully appeal their denial of social security disability, remove themselves from debt collection, understand their insurance benefits and memorialize their wishes through estate planning documents.

Training the next generation of lawyers, advocates and leaders

We will create and advance knowledge, prepare a diverse student body to thrive, and positively impact local and global communities.