Florida State Hospital (Legal Services) Chattahoochee

Credit: 6, 9, or 12 credits
Number of Positions: 2

Students externing at Florida State Hospital work under the supervision of the managing attorney of the Patient Legal Services program at Florida State Hospital in Chattahoochee, Florida. Work consists of providing legal services to a population of 1700 patients residing at the Florida State Hospital, including approximately 400 patients confined to the forensic unit. This office is contractually prohibited from suing the hospital and therefore is limited in its ability to engage in mental health advocacy. Duties include the interviewing of clients, counseling clients, legal research, drafting of legal documents, and representation of clients in general administrative and civil proceedings.

Students have an opportunity to develop competency in fact gathering and field investigation, identifying and applying facts to law, developing case strategy, interviewing, counseling, and writing and research skills. Cases involve divorces, landlord-tenant matters, probate, credit collection, bankruptcy, competency and guardianship amongst other general civil cases.

Prerequisites: Externs must have satisfactorily completed Civil Pretrial Practice, Evidence, Professional Responsibility, and be certified pursuant to the Student Practice Rule.

Recommended Courses: Alternative Dispute Resolution and Mediation.

Selection Process: The selection of externs is handled by the faculty supervisor and the managing attorney of the Patient Legal Services program at the Florida State Hospital. Selection is based on student's overall record, courses, grades, career goals, expected graduation date, and other externships taken.

Expenses: A travel expense reimbursement may be available, depending on student need and grant availabilities.

Miscellaneous Requirement: The hospital requires that all externs complete a physical examination conducted at the hospital at the hospital's expense.

Objectives and Methods