2012 Equal Justice Works Fellow, Keegan Warren-Clem

Keegan Warren-Clem

Name of Host Organization: Texas Legal Services Center
City, State: Austin, Texas
Issue area: Health Care/Medical-Legal Collaborative
Sponsors: Texas Access to Justice Foundation

The Project

Not all medical problems can be solved solely by medicine. For those of modest income, it is often impossible to navigate our complex legal system to obtain non-biological remedies. The MLP will eliminate or mitigate the socio-legal factors that negatively impact health by: (1) providing direct or referral legal services to patient-clients in the clinical setting; (2) training healthcare students and professionals to recognize legal issues underlying medical problems; (3) educating the community through outreach; and (4) undertaking to have a positive impact on policy. This project aims to improve access to legal services in a way that produces better health outcomes.

The Inspiration

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“Got a referral for you,” the doctor sang as he passed the attorney in the hospital hall. The attorney grinned as the doctor went on, walking backward, too busy to use sentences: “Asthmatic kid. Slumlord. Moldy home.” The attorney frowned, then perked up as she accepted the challenge: legal action to fix the housing violation would assuage the asthma in a way that an inhaler only could not.
That exchange was my first glimpse of an MLP in action-- and I was sold.

Biography

Hometown:

Clarksville, Missouri

Law school:

Surviving law school:

Being a little bit older made me appreciate the opportunities that law school would bring more than I would have at a younger age. Most important to surviving law school is to remember that it is a job and that you must customize the experience to fit your goals and needs.

Recommended books:

The Earth's Children Series by Jean Auel provides a lengthy and complex read that so affected me as a teenager that one of my daughters bears the same name as the heroine.

Favorite website(s):

The Huffington Post is a great site for an overview of the day's hot political topics-- and a little bit of silliness, too.

Words to live by:

An opinion should be the result of thought, not a substitute for it. - Jef Mallett

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