Miami Law Clinic Exchange

For the third year, the University of Strathclyde Law Clinic sent four students to the Health Rights Clinic at the Miami School of Law in Florida.

Ben Brown, Jennifer Rowlinson, Beth Kelly and Miranda Hughes all travelled to America to learn about access to justice and discover more about our sister clinic’s work across the Atlantic.

The Miami clinic deals with health rights as well as immigration work and the four students sat in on interviews with clients during their exchange. Beth Kelly stated that, “It was an eye-opening experience which highlighted the problems many Americans and immigrants have in obtaining medical care and assistance.” As well as sitting in on client interviews, the students took part in deciding which clients the Health Rights Clinic can take on. Beth described this as giving her an insight into the laws which govern welfare access and immigration opportunities in Florida. The four also saw work being carried out at the South Florida Aids Network. The SFAN provides advocacy for people with HIV/AIDs.

Ben stated that our clinics “differ markedly” from each other, but that “it was an interesting process to observe.” The Miami clinic only takes on 15 case advisors per academic year, and their level of supervision is more resource intensive than our model. Ben stated that this allowed him to study different approaches to securing access to justice for clients: “it taught us about a society with different problems, and allowed us to see a different way of working.” He noted that the Miami clinic’s approach towards vulnerable clients would provide a helpful example to some of our own work, such as the immigration project.

Ben said that the trip was informative as well as being good fun, and recommended it to other advisors within the clinic. Beth agreed, saying: “The exchange program was a once in a lifetime opportunity which I was very proud to be a part of.”

Professor Donald Nicolson OBE commented:

“It is very pleasing to see an exchange that was first put in place three years ago continue to go from strength to strength, producing an ever higher quality of new ideas to be used in the two clinics. As a Clinic with relatively limited resources, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to the University of Strathclyde Law School, who cover the costs of this exchange and without whom it could not go ahead.”

You can read more here.