The Medical-Legal Partnership, a collaboration between the Florida State University Colleges of Law and Medicine, is an innovation in interdisciplinary education. Law students partner with medical students, social work students, lawyers and physicians to examine patients’ social determinants of health. Students work inter-professionally to ascertain the best methods to resolve the health and related legal problems of impoverished patients. Each semester, eight law students meet with potential clients at the Neighborhood Health Services, and tackle the disability rights and immigration cases that the clients present. The effort combines service learning education with collaborative approaches to holistic problem solving for indigent individuals. Clinical Professor Wendi Adelson directs the Medical-Legal Partnership.
- "I was honored to be a part of the inaugural class of the Medical-Legal Partnership. My partner and I had clients with a range of needs so we gained invaluable experience working in a number of areas of the law. We learned how to navigate and communicate with the agencies and social organizations that provide services to our clients. Each of our clients had a complex situation that challenged us to get creative and develop problem-solving skills."
- "Being in the clinic is a real opportunity to gain comprehensive experience working on behalf of clients while still in school. Professor Adelson and the other students and staff of the clinic were extremely supportive and I knew that I could go to anyone for advice. It is extremely rewarding to know that you have made some difference in a person’s life and it means a lot for people to know that you’re fighting for them. You’re not only learning about the “Law,” but you’re also learning your community and about what it takes to be in the public’s service."
- September 15, 2011: Professor Wendi Adelson was quoted in The Florida Bar News article, “Bar Children’s Committee Focuses on Child Trafficking.”
- October 1, 2011: The Medical-Legal Partnership was featured in The Florida Bar News article, “FSU program forges medical, legal partnership.”
- November 8, 2011: Professor Wendi Adelson’s book signing was featured in the Tallahassee Democrat article, “Law professor’s book spotlights the toll of human trafficking.”
- February 1, 2012: Professor Wendi Adelson and her book This is Our Story were featured in The Florida Bar News article, “Advocating for modern-day slaves inspires novel.”
- May 13, 2013: Professor Wendi Adelson was featured by WCTV during an interview discussing the Medical-Legal Partnership.
- April 15, 2014: The clinic's Alternative Spring Break was featured in The Florida Bar News article, "Alternative Spring Break: Hope on the ground in Immokalee."
Medical-Legal Partnership Alternative Spring Break in Immokalee, Florida
Introduce law students to the life of migrant farm workers through an immersion experience during Spring break. The goal is to help students understand the psychosocial realities and legal challenges that impact health in this population and help them acquire legal skills that will better equip them to work with this population.
Students spend a week providing legal assistance at the community health center with FSU College of Medicine and College of Law faculty, doing outreach legal assistance at health fairs with other agencies in Immokalee and learning about the migrant lifestyle through home visits, visits to the fields and packing houses and other agencies.