Health Justice Clinic Readings & Assignments

Fall 2015

Our first official class is Tuesday, September 1, from 9:00 until 10:50, in room 3172. However, we will have an hour and a half long orientation session on Friday, August 28.

To participate in the clinic, you will need to be certified by the the North Carolina State Bar. Before you can do that, you must fill out a form certifying that you have read the following

You have been given the state bar forms, as well as some other beginning of the semester forms, in hard copy. Bring those to the first meeting.

Course Materials:

All the course readings and forms are contained in the Clinic Binder, which you will receive at the first meeting.


Note that because we need to start case assignments in the second week of the semester, Drop/Add for clinics ends on Wednesday, September 2. If you have any thoughts of dropping the clinic, please speak with Allison Rice as soon as possible.

Out of Class Activities:

First Week of Classes

Second Week of Classes:

  • Computer/Case Management Software Training: You will need to be trained in our case management software, Clio. This will take place outside of classes. Choose one of the following one-hour sessions:9/1, 9/3, 9/7 -- all from 12:30 - 1:30
  • Training Sign-up
  • Encryption Sign-up  (you must have your laptop encrypted if you want to use Clio or work on client documents on your own laptop.
  • Clinic Intensive: Friday, September 4,  8:45 - 5:00. Breakfast at 8:45; program starts at 9:00. This session is mandatory. We will also provide lunch. The day will include a visit to the Duke Infectious Disease Clinic.

Road Trips

  • Road trips provide students with the opportunity to meet with clients in areas outside of the Triangle. Students always feel that these trips are a high point of the semester. The trips are a great way to help you quickly gain confidence and experience. All travel and client time is counted toward your clinic hours. For each trip, one of the Supervising Attorneys takes a group of about 3-8 students to interview new clients and to prepare and execute advance directives such as a Power of Attorney, Health Care Power of Attorney, Living Will, Standby Guardianship Designation. We also do intakes for Wills. We encourage you to sign up for a road trip. In the fall semester, we will take just one trip:
  • October 2: Greenville
  • Due Dates

  • Journals are due every other Monday. Due dates:
  • 9/7, 9/21, 10/5, 10/26, 11/9, 11/23, plus a final entry due by the end of the semester

Quiz Due Dates:

September 3, 8:00 am (by email to Allison) -- Advance Directives Quiz
September 8, 8:00 am (by email to Allison) -- Wills Quiz
September 15, 8:00 am (by email to Hannah) -- Social Security Quiz (to be posted soon)
September 15, by 5:00 pm (by hard copy to Allison) - Office Quiz/Scavenger Hunt


Readings & Assignments

Friday, August 28
Clinic Orientation & Tour - 12:15 - 2:00, Lunch provided

Bring to Class:
  • Completed forms, which were placed in your mail folder (interest survey; Skills Inventory, etc)


Tuesday, September 1:
Introduction to Health Justice



Friday, September 4:
Clinics Intensive: Advance Directives, Interviewing, Visit to Duke Infectious Diseases Clinic

Advance Directives Quiz due by 8:00 a.m. Email to Allison
Readings, from these Clinic Binder Sections:
Advance Directives Manuscript
Advance Directives Readings & Forms

Advance Directives Statutes: these are primarily for your future reference. Browse them now -- you may need to look at them to answer some of the quiz questions.

-NCGS Chapter 32A, Powers of Attorneys & Health Care Powers of Attorney and
-NCGS 90-320 et seq, Living Wills (Right to a Natural Death)


-Kaiser Health News: Despite Gains in Advance Directives, Study Finds more Intensive End-Of-Life Cancer Care
-JAMA Oncology, Trends in Advance Care Planning in Patients With Cancer Results from a National Longitudinal Survey (focus on the introduction, results and discussion -- no need to worry about the study methodology)
-Health Affairs, Default Options In Advance Directives Influence How Patients Set Goals For End-Of-Life Care (focus on introduction, results and discussion)

Week of September 7: Supervision Meetings and Full Office Hours begin

During your first office hours, please review the office manual and forms in your binder. Over the next week or so, please do the  Office quiz Scavenger Hunt to help you learn your way around the office. Turn in a hard copy of the quiz to Allison by Tuesday, September 15.

Tuesday, September 8
Wills, Introduction to Disability

Wills Quiz Due by 8:00 a.m. (before class) Email to Allison.

Wills Readings, from Binder: 

Wills Manuscript
Wills Exhibits (updated for 2015)  from binder, including statutes, forms, client education materials. Skim the statutes  -- you don't have to read them-- they are for your reference. You will need to refer to the statutes to answer one or more of the Wills Quiz questions.
Plain English Translations to help you talk with your clients about documents

View Wills Lecture (Panopto) (Wills powerpoint to go with Lecture)

Disability Readings from Binder:

"Disability Readings," Section, pp. 1-36 

  • Wettach & Rice, The Determination of Disability within the Social Security System
  • Tom Bush, Chart: The Two Disability Programs & Diagram of Sequential Evaluation
  • Medicaid and Persons with Disabilities
  • HIV as a Chronic Disease (you can browse this article)

"Social Security Law" Section, pp. 1-2

  • Definition of Disability: § 404.1513 Medical and other evidence of your impairment(s)
  • Evaluation of Disability: § 404.1520(b) Evaluation of disability in general

"Social Security Forms" Section, p. 1

  • Case Status Sheet

Tuesday, September 15
Disability (Medical Aspects and Evidence) & Documents Explanation

Disability quiz due by 8:00 a.m (before class). Email to Hannah.
Office Quiz/Scavenger Hunt due by 5:00 pm. Turn in hard copy to Allison


"Disability Readings," pp.37-60

  • Health Justice Project Social Security Protocols (you may skim this for class, but must read it carefully when working on your disability case)
  • Guidelines for Reviewing and Charting Medical Records
  • Medical Chart Example
  • Factual Investigation - Essential Information
  • Using Affidavits in Disability Cases

"Social Security Law," pp. 3-5; 43-46

  • § 404.1525 Listing of Impairments in appendix II Adult Disability Listings (browse Cancer (10.00), HIV (14.00) and Mental Health (12.00) Listings)
  • § 404.1527 Evaluating opinion evidence
  • § 404.1528 Symptoms, signs, and laboratory findings
  • § 404.1529 How we evaluate symptoms, including pain
  • SSR 96-4p: Symptoms, Medically Determinable Physical and Mental Impairments,
    and Exertional and Nonexertional limitations

"Social Security Forms," pp. 7-26; 55-60

  • Disability Interview Form Part I (skim and consider why we are asking these questions)
  • Disability Checklist (you may skim for class, but use diligently on actual casework)

Documents Explanation Exercise: 

You will be given a set of completed documents in advance of class. Please review those documents and be prepared to explain them to your "client" and answer her questions.


Wednesday, September 16 - Friday, September 18
Simulated Interviews

You will interview a simulated documents client (Allison or Hannah). You will receive feedback immediately after the interview. Afterwards, you will review a recording of the interview and give yourself feedback. Also, you will draft all four documents for the simulated client.
Sign up here 
Before the interview, you may find it helpful to review this recording of mock documents interview: Jacob Whiteside interview


Tuesday, September 22
Standby Guardianship & Disability Steps 4 & 5

"Social Security Law," pp.8-11, pp. 13-30

  • § 404.1545 Your Residual Functional Capacity
  • § 404.1562 Medical-vocational profiles showing an inability to make an adjustment to other work
  • § 404.1564 Your education as a vocational factor
  • § 404.1565 Your work experience as a vocational factor
  • § 404.1566 Work which exists in the national economy
  • § 404.1567 Physical exertion requirements
  • § 404.1568 Skill requirements
  • Appendix II: Medical-Vocational Guidelines (“The GRIDS”) (browse and plot your client)
  • POMS DI 90070.050–DAA Material Determinations
  • POMS DI 25020.010 Mental Limitations
  • "Social Security Forms," pp. 27-48; 63-64; 69-79; 84-93

    • Disability Interview Form Part II (browse)

    • Social Security File Review
    • Doctor/Therapist Questionnaires (browse)
    • Social Security Disability Report Appeal (form SSA-3441)

Tuesday, September 29
Discrimination, FMLA, Confidentiality,


Tuesday, October 6
Theory of a Disability Case

In this class, we will work as a group to develop a theory of a disability case. You will review a client file and apply the five step sequential evaluation. You will complete the five-step sequential evaluation for the client, and turn in your analysis before class.

We will organize our discussion around the five steps. Bring your notes to class to facilitate discussion

  • Readings:
  • -Client disability file - saved in Clio under the "case" "AIDS Training"
  • - Review Social Security disability listings, grids, vocational materials, and law to consider possible theories for the client's case.
  • Helpful references:
    -POMS - Medical-Vocational Terms, Physical Limitations, Mental Limitations, (Binder, SS Law, pp. )
    -Components of the Definition Trailer (Binder, Social Security Readings, pp. 190-96)

"Social Security Forms," p. 65

  • Case Theory Worksheet



October 12 - 16: FALL Break


Tuesday, October 20
Case Rounds --

Each student will prepare a one-page summary of one of their cases, to be submitted by 5:00 Monday. In class, we will discuss the cases.


Tuesday, October 27 - To be announced


Tuesday, November 3 - TBA


Tuesday, November 10 - TBA


Tuesday, November 17 -- TBA


Tuesday, November 24:

No Class


Tuesday, December 1:

You are finished with the course when you have completed your hours, brought your cases to agreed stopping points, and had your final exit interview. Instructions will be provided as we near the end of the semester.