JOB OPENING: Medical-Legal Partnership Staff Attorney



Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program Staff Attorney —Texas Children’s Medical-Legal Partnership


Summary of Responsibilities

The Texas Children’s Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP) promotes the health of vulnerable, low- income populations by allying lawyers and health care professionals and using legal, policy, and educational interventions/strategies to help low-income people meet their basic needs. The Texas Children’s MLP will focus on three key strategies in pursuit of its mission:


  • Direct Legal Assistance: Advocating for low-income patient-families on legal issues that materially impact certain health conditions of  Texas Children’s Hospital patients, such as housing and utilities, immigration, education, family law, and income support (including health coverage, disability-, and nutrition-related benefits). Through this work, identifying opportunities to reform internal (health care delivery) and external (policy) systems.
  • Internal Systems Reform: Developing tools, techniques, and approaches to change the practices of medicine and law. Training and educating clinicians on the connections between poverty, legal needs, and health (thereby changing their attitudes and behaviors) is a key component of this work.
  • External Systems Reform: Uniting the health and legal professions to jointly pursue systemic changes in rules, policies, procedures, and laws outside clinical boundaries.


The Texas Children’s MLP will also be supported by law firms that provide pro bono assistance.


Detailed Responsibilities

This staff attorney will be responsible for coordination of HVL's medical-legal partnership at Texas Children’s Hospital.  His or her primary role will be to nurture and sustain a successful program at TCH, including leading Texas Children’s internal and external systems reform efforts in collaboration with Texas Children’s leadership.

Direct Legal Assistance

  • Meet with and interview patient-clients
  • Provide direct legal assistance to patient-clients when necessary and prepare cases for referral to pro bono counsel
  • Provide substantive mentoring to pro bono volunteers who are providing direct legal assistance to patient-clients
  • Maintain timely documentation of all legal assistance activities in central case management database

Internal Systems Reform

  • Build and strengthen relationships with key Texas Children’s administrators, physicians, nurses, and social workers; maintain visibility within the Texas Children’s community in a variety of ways, including but not limited to on-site presence and regular attendance at key clinical meetings
  • Deliver advocacy trainings to clinical and allied professional audiences
  • Develop and update advocacy curricula in coordination with training staff
  • Support real-time telephonic/email case consultations with health care staff who have identified a possible legal need on behalf of a patient
  • Design and disseminate advocacy tools appropriate for clinical staff
  • Support clinician-driven integration of MLP screening and response practices in the Electronic Medical Record and other Quality Improvement contexts

External Systems Reform

  • Identify opportunities to influence policy in ways that will promote the health of vulnerable Texas Children’s patient populations
  • Communicate those opportunities to Texas Children’s Government Relations team; engage in external systems reform activities under the direction of that team
  • Bring a health disparities reduction lens (on behalf of all disparities populations) to the role, including collaboration with appropriate coalitions in Houston


  • Maintain regular communication with, solicit input from, and develop standardized reporting and oversight protocols with Texas Children’s MLP Steering Team
  • Support research and evaluation activities, including efforts to demonstrate return on investment to the institution
  • Support best practice dissemination within the national MLP Network, including participation in conferences and publication efforts
  • Support fundraising through grant proposal and report drafting, participation in funder site visits, etc.
  • Supervise student interns


Minimum Education and Experience:

  • Graduate of an accredited Law School
  • Licensed to practice in Texas or qualify for reciprocity
  • Bilingual (Spanish and English)
  • Prior healthcare and healthcare advocacy experience preferred
  • Masters in Public Health preferred
  • Prior legal services or public interest experience preferred

Minimum Skills and Abilities:

  • Strong legal skills, both written and oral, and litigation experience
  • Demonstrated client service orientation
  • Strong ability to communicate effectively at multiple levels throughout organization
  • Expertise in building programs and quality metrics to measure program effectiveness
  • Skilled in interviewing, assessment, problem solving and negotiation
  • Strong ability to work under pressure and make decisions quickly
  • Demonstrated ability to pursue the rights of the client community
  • Energetic, motivated and self-starter

The successful applicant may supervise and coordinate activities of other legal, clerical, volunteer, or student workers. He or she will be expected to handle a service case load, and participate in community, clinical staff and physician education. Bilingual (Spanish & English) strongly preferred.

Location: This position is based on-site at Texas Children’s, primarily at the Main Campus location. Position requires travel to other Texas Children’s sites as program needs require.


REPORTS TO: Executive Director, Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program

SALARY: Salary commensurate with experience, plus benefits including 100% employer-paid health, dental, life, and disability insurance premiums for the employee, 401(k) matching, and parking.


How to Apply

Please send a cover letter and resume to 

Detailed Job Description25.46 KB
Posted: January 23, 2017