Health Rights Law Clinic

Faculty Supervisor: Suzanne H. Jackson

This clinic enables students to explore health law while serving as counselors in the Health Insurance Counseling Project, a legal services organization within the Law Clinics that responds to over 3,500 requests for assistance each year. Students may negotiate payment plans or persuade providers to forgive medical debt; advocate for clients who need medical care that an insurer, public or private, is unwilling to provide; untangle a problem preventing a pharmacist from dispensing needed medicine; or help a client understand the extent and limitations of a public health benefit. Students develop skills in interviewing and counseling clients, investigating facts, identifying relevant law, framing case theory, and refining written and oral advocacy. The classroom component focuses on Medicare, Medicaid, and private health insurance laws and procedures, as well as client and advocacy skills. Students can expect to work with at least five to six clients in one semester.

HICP services are offered through:

  • A telephone information helpline (202-994-6272) is available Monday-Friday, 9 am–5 pm
  • In-person office visits
  • Home visits
  • Community education seminars

HICP staff

HICP services are provided by full-time staff members and a number of part-time and volunteer workers. Law and undergraduate students from The George Washington University participate in the program, as do volunteers from the community.

Students in this clinic provide advice and information and assist in providing legal representation to older DC residents who are having difficulty with Medicare, Medicaid, and other health insurance issues. Students perform client interviews, assist clinic attorneys in developing legal remedies, and represent clients at administrative hearings before federal administrative law judges.

Information for Students

Students will be selected based on their potential to provide high quality, client-centered legal services to our client population. Faculty will consider students’ interest in and commitment to health law, public interest, and legal services work, although such interest is not required.  Every year, the clinics hold an Open House where faculty are available to answer questions about their respective clinics. Students may also contact Professor Jackson to discuss the clinic or ask specific questions.

For more information, please login to the Portal.  A complete set of application instructions is posted approximately one month prior to the registration period for the following semester on the Clinics portal page.

The Jacob Burns Community Legal Clinics were founded in 1971, and were dedicated in 1991 to acknowledge the generous support of Jacob Burns (LL.B. '24, LL.D. '70). Burns was renowned for his philanthropy, through which he "contributed significantly to the expanding boundaries of knowledge," and left an enduring legacy that improves the lives of many today.

Spotlight Item: Professor Suzanne H. Jackson is the director of the Health Rights Law Clinic

Professor Suzanne H. Jackson is the director of the Health Rights Law Clinic

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