Health Justice Clinic Readings & Assignments

Spring 2017

  • Welcome to the Health Justice Clinic. We are looking forward to working with you this semester.

    Our first official class is Tuesday, January 10, from 3:45 until 5:35. The first few weeks are very busy as we get you oriented and trained to serve your clients.  You’ll have forms to fill out, extra meetings to attend, sign-ups, and trainings. It’s important for you to attend to these tasks in a timely manner. We’ve emailed you a checklist to help you keep track of everything.

    Drop/add: We will be making case assignments the first week of the semester. For this reason, we need to know asap if you are thinking of dropping the course.

    Email: Throughout the semester, you’ll need to keep close watch on your Duke email. We use email constantly to communicate about the class and your client representation. You will not be able to keep up your professional obligations if you do not check your email several times daily.  Your responsiveness to clinic communications will also be taken into account in your grade. Because we will often communicate by email about specific client matters, please do not forward your Duke email to another account, such as gmail.

    Course Materials: All the course readings and forms are contained in the Clinic Binder, which you will receive at the initial meeting with Allison & Hannah, and which is linked below. Readings for the first class will be placed in your mail folder.

    Out of Class Activities:
  • You should have received an email from Allison that includes the information below:
      • Initial Meeting with Allison and Hannah:
      • Office hours/Supervision meetings: (Sign up for one supervision meeting and 6 office hours). Office hours & supervision meetings begin the week of 9/5.
      • Student Schedule: (add your schedule so we can find you if we need you)(there is also a paper form on which you are asked to put your schedule).
      • Computer encryption: (required if you want to do client work on your personal laptop). Encryption time slots are available the first two weeks of the semester.
      • Computer (Clio) training: (1-hour training on our client database, Clio)
      • Office orientation: Sandra Pettiford, our office administrator, will give you a tour and orientation which takes about 20 minutes. You should sign up in the clinic office or by emailing Sandra
      • Forms: You will receive a stack of forms in your mail folder. With the exception of the State Bar Forms, these forms should be filled out and turned in at your initial meeting with Allison and Hannah. These include:  Schedule Form, Outside Employment Form, Student Experience and Interest Form, Initial Skills & Inventory, Skills Inventory Form, Confidentiality Form
      • State Bar Form & Rules: You will be certified under the North Carolina student practice rules, which requires that you complete the State Bar Form and read the NC Rules Governing Practical Training of Law Students (placed in your mail folder with first class readings), and NC Rules of Professional Conduct, which can be found here:
  • Clinic Intensive: Friday, January 20, 8:45 - 5:00. Breakfast at 8:45; program starts at 9:00. This session is mandatory. Breakfast and lunch provided. 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 HIV clinics outside 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.

  • Journal due Dates:
  • 1/16, 2/6, 2/27, 3/27, and a final entry by the end of the semester. Please submit the journals by email to both Allison & Hannah, by 8 am on the due date (all Mondays). Final journal is due before your end of semester exit interview.

Quiz Due Dates:

January 17, Advance Directives Quiz
January 20Wills Quiz
January 31,   Disability Quiz

Readings & Assignments

Clinic Binder Sections:

Reference Tab
Office Manual
Office Forms
Course Requirements (to be posted)
Estate Planning (Wills) Manuscript
Annotated Will
Wills Forms
Advance Directives Manuscript
Advance Directives Articles, Statutes & Forms
Planning for Children (Standby Guardianship)
Standby Guardianship Forms
Social Security Readings
Social Security Law
Social Security Forms

Tuesday, January 10:  Introduction to Health Justice Clinic

  • January 16, 8:00 am - Journal 1

  • email Journal to both Hannah and Allison


  • Week of January 16 --- Supervision Meetings and Office Hours begin

During your first office hours, please read and review the office manual and forms in your binder. You will be given one or two cases to start work on.

Tuesday, January 17: Advance Directives, Working with Clients with Serious Illness

Guest Speaker, Vickie Leff, MSW, LCSW, Duke Palliative Care

DUE by email to ALLISON, 9 am: Advance Directives Quiz

Readings, from these Clinic Binder Sections:
Advance Directives Manuscript
Advance Directives Readings & Forms, including ---

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)

Articles (from Binder):

-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)

DUE by email to Allison, 9:00 am, Wills Quiz

Wills Readings, from Binder: 

Wills Manuscript
Wills Exhibits, 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 

  • 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 skim this article)

"Social Security Law" Section, pp. 3-4

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

Office procedures:

  • Intake Sheet (in clinic binder)
  • Office Manual

View Slides: Disability 1


Tuesday, January 24, Standby Guardianship & Interviewing

Standby Guardianship


Wednesday, January 25 - Friday, January 27 -- Simulated Interviews

With a partner, 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.
Sign up here 
Before the interview, you may find it helpful to review this recording of mock documents interview: Jacob Whiteside interview


Tuesday, January 31 - Documents Explanation & Disability 2 (Medical Aspects and Evidence)

  • Due by 9 am to Hannah, via email Disability Quiz

    "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. 7-9; 57-60

  • § 404.1525 Listing of Impairments in appendix II Adult Disability Listings (browse Cancer (13.00), 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
  • Documents Explanation Exercise: 

You will be given a prepared set of documents prior to class. Please review these documents and be prepared to explain them to your "client" and answer her questions.


February 6 - Journal 2 due by 8 am

Email to both Allison and Hannah


Tuesday, February 7 - Disability 3

  • Disability:
  • "Disability Readings," pp. 61-79
  • -Tom Bush, Social Security Practice - RFC and Medical-Vocational Guidelines
  • -Vocational Terms Quick References
  • -DOT Materials (pay special attention to Sample Entry, p. 75)

"Social Security Law," pp.10-14, pp. 35-43

  • § 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)

    • Doctor/Therapist Questionnaires (browse)

    • Social Security Disability Report Appeal (form SSA-3441)


Tuesday, February 28 - 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)
    -Components of the Definition Trailer (Binder, Social Security Readings, pp. 77-79)
  • -Social Security Forms, Case Theory Worksheet, p. 65

Monday, February 27 - Journal 3 Due


Tuesday, March 7 Case Rounds

  • Sign-up here
    Half of the class will prepare a one-page summary of one of a case, to be submitted by 5:00 Monday. In class, we will discuss the cases.

Tuesday, March 21
Case Rounds --

Those who didn't present on March 7 will present. Prepare a one-page summary of one of their cases, to be submitted by 5:00 Monday. In class, we will discuss the cases. Sign-up here



Tuesday, March 21 - TBA

Monday, March 27, by 8 am - Journal 4 due


Tuesday, March 28- TBA


Tuesday, April 4-- TBA


Tuesday, April 11 -- TBA




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.