Health Justice Clinic Readings & Assignments

Spring 2016

Our first official class is Tuesday, January 12, from 3:45 until 5:35, in room 4055. In addition to class meetings, you will have several other obligations in the first several weeks of the semester, which are explained below.

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. If possible, bring those forms to the initial meeting with Hannah & Allison

Course Materials:

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


Note that because we need to start case assignments in the second week of the semester, Drop/Add for clinics ends on Friday, January 15. If you have any thoughts of dropping the clinic, please speak with Allison Rice as soon as possible.

Out of Class Activities:

  • Initial Meeting with Allison & Hannah: We meet with each student individually for about a half hour to share important information and get to know you: :
    Office Tour: Schedule with Sandra Pettiford in clinic office. Available times: 1/11, 11:00 am; 1/12, 10:00 & 3:00; 1/13, 10:00; 1/14, 11:30 & 4:00; 1/15, 12:30. Email Sandra:
  • Health Justice Clinic Forms: Will be in your mail folder. Turn in at your initial meeting with Allison & Hannah
    Office hours and meetings sign-up: On Google docs . Follow this link to sign up
  • Student Schedules: please provide your schedule on our google doc by following this link. (we also ask for your schedule on a paper form that has been distributed)
  • Computer Encryption Encryption Sign-up  (you must have your laptop encrypted or use Windows remote desktop if you want to use Clio or work on client documents on your own laptop.
    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 three one-hour sessions:  Training Sign-up 
  • Clinic Intensive: Friday, January 22,  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. Choose one of these dates:
  • February 5, Depart 8:00 am, return by 3:30 pm: Winston-Salem (Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center)
  • February 12, Depart 7:30 am, return by 4:00 pm: Hickory (Catawba Valley Medical Center)

    Due Dates

  • 1/19, 2/9, 3/1, 3/29, and a final entry by the end of the semester. Please submit the journals by email to both Allison & Hannah, before our scheduled class time. Final journal is due at your end of semester exit interview.

Quiz Due Dates:

Office Quiz/Scavenger Hunt
January 19, Advance Directives Quiz
January 22,  Wills Quiz
January 26  Disability Quiz


Readings & Assignments

Tuesday, January 12:
Introduction to Health Justice Clinic


Week of January 18 --- Supervision Meetings and Office Hours begin

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

Tuesday January 19:
Advance Directives Law; Working with people with serious illnesses

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

Advance Directives Quiz -
due via email to Allison, before class
Journal 1 - due before class, by email to Allison & Hannah before class

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)


-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)

Friday, January 22: Clinic Intensive, 8:45 - 4:30
All-Clinic session; Wills, Introduction to Disability; Visit to Duke Infectious Diseases Clinic

Wills Quiz Due by 8:45 a.m. - email to Allison

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 

  • 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, January 26
Disability 2 (Medical Aspects and Evidence) & Interviewing

Class - Wills, Disability Overview, Interviewing


"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)

Wednesday, January 27 - Friday, January 29 -- 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, February 2, Standby Guardianship & Documents Explanation

Documents Explanation Exercise: 

Documents Explanation Assignment -- Please review these documents and be prepared to explain them to your "client" and answer her questions.

Tuesday, February 9
Disability 3

  • Disability:
  • "Disability Readings," pp. 61-76
  • -Tom Bush, Social Security Practice - RFC and Medical-Vocational Guidelines
  • -Vocational Terms Quick References
  • -DOT Materials (pay special attention to Sample Entry, p. 74)

"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, February 16
Discrimination, FMLA, Confidentiality,


Tuesday, February 23
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. Sign-up here

Tuesday, March 1
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



Tuesday, March 8
Case Rounds --

Those who didn't present on Feb 23 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.


March 14-18 - SPRING BREAK


Tuesday, March 22 - TBA


Tuesday, March 29 - TBA


Tuesday, April 5 -- TBA


Tuesday, April 12:




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.