Kathy Ho is developing the Legal-Social Work Collaborative at the Mills Legal Clinic at Stanford Law School. MLC launched the legal-social work collaborative with the goals of enhancing law student learning and preparation for professional practice, especially as to interdisciplinary collaboration. In this collaborative, social work graduate students work embedded within direct services clinics as members of the legal teams to provide social work services to clients. Law students learn how to collaborate with social work professionals, honing skills that will enable them to more easily work with experts and other non-lawyer professionals. Law students learn, for example, how social work students approach interviewing and assessing clients and case management. Social work students contribute to law student understanding of their clients through psychoeducation, providing referrals and linkages to community resources and services, and exposing law students to social science research and research on evidence-based best practices. As the legal profession moves toward a holistic services model—in which all of the needs of clients are addressed in combination—clinical students learn how they can collaborate to address the needs of the whole client. Law students and social work students work side by side to achieve their clients’ legal goals while simultaneously enhancing the clients’ non-legal outcomes. In short, law students receive hands-on experience in inter-disciplinary collaboration through clinical education that is keeping pace with the most innovative models of professional practice.
Kathy received her BA in Psychology from the University of California at Los Angeles, her MSW from University of Southern California, and PhD in social work from NYU. She is a Cantonese bilingual social worker licensed in California and New York. She has extensive experience in cross-cultural social work and interdisciplinary practice. Her professional clinical experience includes working with diverse populations in outpatient mental health, mobile crisis, inpatient psychiatry and pediatric medical settings. Her research interests include language access and cross cultural practice. She spent nine years teaching holistic representation and supervising MSW students as the Supervising Social Worker & Adjunct Clinical Professor of Law at Fordham Law School’s legal clinic.