Medical-Legal Partnership Clinic

“The determinants of health are beyond the capacity of any one practitioner or discipline to manage... We must collaborate to survive, as disciplines and as professionals attempting to help our communities and each other.”1

Every day, low-income families in central Pennsylvania face health challenges that cannot be solved in an exam room or with a prescription. Often, the underlying cause of a health problem is a legal issue. Students in the Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP)Clinic work to address health-harming legal needs of community members through joint advocacy with providers at Penn State Health, Hamilton Health Center, Sadler Health Center, and other locations.

The MLP Clinic is committed to improving the health and well-being of vulnerable populations through joint medical-legal advocacy; the professional preparation of those who will serve the legal and health needs of others; and the discovery of knowledge that will benefit all. Currently, the Clinic focuses on direct representation of individuals in public benefits and limited immigration matters. The Clinic may also engage in policy and institutional projects that arise from our collaborations with medical partners.

The classroom component of the MLP Clinic is designed to provide students with the training that necessary for their successful participation in the MLP. Classes may include lecture, facilitated group discussions, case rounds, or skill-based simulations.

The Clinic is aligned with Professor Medha D. Makhlouf’s Guiding Principles, which are the foundation of her work to advance health equity through law and policy. These principles are: being deliberate, intentional, and clear; seeking combination and commonality in seemingly siloed disciplines, experiences, and perspectives; being passionate about removing barriers to potential; and believing that everyone has the ability to create a life of positive impact.

Learn more about the Medical Legal Partnership Clinic:


1 Institute of Medicine, Reducing the Burden of Injury: Advancing Prevention and Treatment (1999).