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Equal Justice Works Fellowship

Justice Projects

Mary Claire’s Equal Justice Works fellowship focuses on students with unmet special education needs. Approximately 80,000 Arkansas students have special education needs. Low-income special education students are particularly vulnerable to mistreatment or illegal treatment.  There are many legal protections available to special education students. Some of  the students and their families may not know about their rights or options. Additionally, the students may not have access to legal services. Mary Claire’s project focuses on getting students the help they need by giving medical providers the right tools.

In general, healthcare providers are trained to focus only on the presenting medical problem. Because of this, sometimes providers overlook social and economic concerns. Additionally, providers experience time pressures that limit their ability to screen. Some healthcare providers need training to look for and address legal needs of their patients.  Mary Claire’s project will provide special education training for healthcare providers.

The training enables providers to better identify medical or legal needs. It improves the accuracy of the information collected by providers. It enables providers to connect students to the right legal resources.

The training focuses on making sure students with unmet special education needs

  • get information about their rights,
  • get advocacy to protect those rights,
  • and get referrals to the Medical-Legal Partnership.

Mary Claire Hyatt is an Equal Justice Works Fellow. The mission of Equal Justice Works is to create a just society by mobilizing the next generation of lawyers committed to equal justice. Equal Justice Works provides leadership to ensure a sustainable pipeline of talented and trained lawyers are involved in public service. Her two-year project is sponsored by Walmart and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.

For more information about Mary Claire’s project, visit her Equal Justice Works profile here.