In this collaborative, law students and social work students work side by side to achieve their clients’ legal goals while simultaneously enhancing the clients’ non-legal outcomes. Social work graduate students work embedded within direct services clinics–Community Law, Criminal Defense, Immigrants’ Rights, and Youth & Education–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. 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.
"My team was so appreciative of the support provided by the social work team. Every legal clinic should have social workers!" -Student from the Immigrants' Rights Clinic
Youth and Education Law Project
- Connecting with the social workers at the Santa Clara County Public Defenders’ Office has resulted in sharing of knowledge and resources. This relationship has enabled quicker and closer communication, collaboration, and advocacy on behalf of a YELP client.
- Informal collaborative relationship with Alliant University-CSPP’s Assessment Clinic, which is making low cost, comprehensive evaluations available for MLC clients in YELP, and provides valuable learning opportunities for Alliant University’s psychology interns who are conducting the assessments, and further demonstrates the value of interdisciplinary collaboration.
- Accompanied a parent to a meeting with the school district to advocate for services for her deaf son.
“The social workers were valuable resources during case rounds as they knew of many services being provided in the area.” -YELP Student
“This collaboration is great! Looking forward to continued work together.” -YELP Student
Immigrants' Rights Clinic
- Outreach and advocacy with Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS) in San Mateo county enabled an IRC client to enter residential treatment through criminal justice funding, while his public health insurance eligibility was being determined.
“My team was so appreciative of the support provided by the social work team. Every legal clinic should have social workers.” -IRC Student
Criminal Defense Clinic
- Outreach to the VA and a veterans’ services organization to facilitate assistance in upgrading a military discharge for a disabled veteran client.
- Outreach to an affordable housing program to follow-up on a client’s move-in status.
“Absolutely loved this part of clinic.” -CDC Student
Community Law Clinic
- Linked a disabled client and his team to an expert evaluator in the community to provide a comprehensive assessment and report for his disability benefits hearing.
- Mental Health 101 and De-escalation Training provided to staff.
- Outreach to community agencies to link a disabled senior to concrete services and obtained pre-approval at a core community service agency for their complete array of programs/assistance.
“I think the Legal-Social Work Collaboration is extremely valuable for the Community Law Clinic, especially navigating ethical concerns and dynamics with indigent clients who struggle with mental health.” -CLC Student
International Human Rights & Conflict Resolution Clinic
- Overview of social work collaboration in Human Rights settings and vicarious trauma
- Questionnaire feedback session with clinic student’ prior to client interviews.
- Debriefing for clinic students after fact-finding mission in Mexico (HOPE).
Religious Liberty Clinic
- Case consultation regarding spirituality, mental health, and addiction.
Social work consultations to student teams have also included:
- Diversity/cultural considerations
- Client dynamics
- Preparing clients for testifying
- Differential Diagnosis
- De-escalation presentation
- Mental Illness 101
- CPS reportability
- APS reportability
- Advocacy in non-legal systems
- School/classroom observation
- Vicarious trauma
LSWC Featured on MLC Blog
Our MSW Interns
Stephen (Joey) Irwin | Immigrants’ Rights Clinic
Emily Spencer | Youth and Education Law Project
Canaan Lewin-Welsh | Community Law Clinic
Noor Kayed | Youth and Education Law Project
Steven Pangelinan | Criminal Defense Clinic
- HEEDING GIDEON’S CALL IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY: HOLISTIC DEFENSE AND THE NEW PUBLIC DEFENSE PARADIGM
- BEYOND LAWYERING: HOW HOLISTIC REPRESENTATION MAKES FOR GOOD POLICY, BETTER LAWYERS, AND MORE SATISFIED CLIENTS
- DEFINING SOCIAL WORK WITHIN HOLISTIC PUBLIC DEFENSE: CHALLENGES AND IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE