Jennifer Goodwin

  • Hosted by Legal Aid of Arkansas
  • Sponsored by Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, Walmart, Inc.
  • Service location Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Law school University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law
  • Issue area Medical-Legal Partnership
  • Fellowship class year 2017
  • Program Design-Your-Own Fellowship

The Project

Jen provided legal advocacy and outreach to children and their families at Arkansas Children’s Hospital through medical legal partnership and work to solve social/legal needs for patients who are newly injured or newly diagnosed to ease their transition back home.

Sixty percent of a person’s health is determined by social and environmental factors including housing, access to healthy food, health care, education, and income. The American Bar Association reports that low-income individuals in the U.S. generally have 2-3 unmet civil legal needs that can be harmful to health. The benefits that enable low-income families to access these necessities are often wrongfully denied or under enforced, which can directly affect health. Through Medical Legal Partnership, these social determinants of health can be addressed with a profound effect on the overall health of patients.

Fellowship Highlights

In the past two years, Jen has:

  • Worked with the NICU team to establish an inpatient screener so that each family will be screened prior to discharge for any legal needs
  • Provided extended representation to over 40 clients in the areas of education, social security, divorce, custody, adoption, and guardianship, as well as provided advice and brief services to an additional 125 individuals
  • Presented at the Psychosocial Grand Rounds and The Schwartz Rounds at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and to the healthcare team at Arkansas Children’s Northwest
  • Organized an Advanced Planning Clinic at Arkansas Children’s Hospital with volunteers from her sponsors, which provided 14 clients with over 50 estate planning documents

What’s Next

Now that the Fellowship is complete, Jen plans to continue her legal advocacy in the public interest sector as a staff attorney with Disability Rights Arkansas.

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