The Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP) model was founded in the pediatrics department at Boston Medical Center in 1993. Since then, the idea of bringing legal teams into healthcare settings to address health-related legal needs has spread throughout the United States, with programs in 235 health institutions in 38 states. MLP attorneys provide on-site assistance to patients needing legal help in the form of consultations, brief advice, and direct legal representation. For more information about Medical-Legal Partnership, go to www.medical-legalpartnership.org
The School of Law was a critical partner in developing one of the first MLPs in the country, the Rhode Island Medical-Legal Partnership for Children, started at Hasbro Children’s Hospital with Rhode Island Legal Services in 2002. RIMLPC is a partnership among the School of Law, Brown Medical School, Hasbro Children’s Hospital and the Rhode Island Center for Law and Public Policy. Two RIMLPC attorneys work on-site at Hasbro Children’s Hospital to address the legal needs of low-income pediatric patients and their families. Law students have the opportunity to work on-site at the hospital under the direction of the RIMLPC attorneys through the law school’s externship and public service programs. Students may also work at the medical-legal partnership at the Justice Center of Southeast Massachusetts in Brockton which partners with hospitals in Brockton and Fall River.