Legal Help For Medical Needs

The first step to assisting a client with a legal issue that may be negatively impacting his/her health is identification. When a doctor, nurse, social worker, or other Read More

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NFMLP Pro Bono

Attorneys are needed to assist clients with a wide range of legal issues in the following substantive areas: education, guardianship, guardian advocacy, temporary relative custody, social security, social security Read More

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Goal of the Northeast Florida Medical Legal Partnership:

Our goal is to improve the health outcomes of low-income and vulnerable children and adults by providing a multi-disciplinary – medical/legal - team approach to patient care in Northeast Florida.  Physician advocates and pro bono attorneys provide direct services to patient-clients.

What is the Northeast Florida Medical Legal Partnership (NFMLP)?
The NFMLP is part of a nationwide network of projects in which professionals from the medical and legal communities combine resources to produce outcomes for low-income and vulnerable patients (children and adults) that positively impact their health and ability to thrive. All across the U.S., health care providers who care for low-income individuals and families are turning to new specialists to help keep their patients healthy and safe: lawyers.  Not every illness has a biological remedy.  For example, an asthmatic person will never breathe symptom free – no matter how much medication is administered – if he or she returns from the doctor’s office to mold-infested housing.  An attorney can intercede to ensure that housing standards in rented properties are in compliance, ensuring that landlords keep units safely habitable.  There are countless examples in which positive health outcomes are achieved in various areas of substantive law including education, guardianship, social security, public benefits, immigration, and others.

How does it work?

When a doctor, nurse, social worker, or other member of the medical team suspects that an environmental, economic, social, or educational legal issue may exist, that person makes a referral to NFMLP for a legal diagnosis.  Referrals come from various clinics serving the low-income population.  A Jacksonville Area Legal Aid attorney interviews the referred patient and evaluates whether he/she could benefit from legal assistance or another community service.  If legal assistance is recommended the case is placed with the NFMLP for pro bono placement.  Pro bono attorneys receive case summaries and full case information prior to acceptance of the case.  Communication among the medical and legal professionals regarding the status and outcome of the case is authorized by the patient.  (For an editorial overview of the partnership, read the article that appeared in the Florida Times Union:  http://jacksonville.com/opinion/editorials/2010-04-21/story/law-and-medicine-special-partnership)