Advocating for Access to Health Care

Health Law Clinic

In the Interdisciplinary Mental and Physical Health Law Clinic at Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, students earn credit, hone their legal skills and gain valuable hands-on experience while serving the physical and mental health needs of the community.

One of only a handful of its kind in the country, the Health Law Clinic teams law students and Villanova College of Nursing graduate students together to help low-income clients navigate the health care system. Law students act as lead counsel under the supervision of a faculty member to provide legal representation, while nursing students use their medical expertise to break down barriers to health services and treatment. The Clinic places special emphasis on service to persons with mental illness, including those who face incarceration or anticipate release from prison.

“My participation in the Health Law Clinic was an invaluable experience and a great lead-in to my legal career,” said Elizabeth Justison ’13, Associate at Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP. “I had one-on-one interactions with clients from diverse backgrounds and gained valuable real-world experience in handling a case. The interdisciplinary aspect offered a unique perspective into the healthcare world.”

“This kind of interdisciplinary collaboration doesn’t always exist in a meaningful way in the professional world, and yet the needs of low income clients call out for it,” said Michael Campbell, Director of Clinical Programs and of the Health Law Clinic at Villanova Law.

Since its launch in spring 2013, the Clinic helped a quadriplegic child obtain a motorized wheelchair, fought to maintain home health nursing for an elderly person with Parkinson’s disease and secured wraparound services for a child with autism spectrum disorder—individualized community-based services focused on the strengths and needs of the child and family.

Click here to learn more about Villanova University School of Law’s six clinics.