Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2021




The Problem: Marginalized populations experience health-harming legal needs—barriers to good health that require legal advocacy to overcome. Medical–legal partnerships (MLPs) embed lawyers into the healthcare team to resolve these issues, but identifying patients with health-harming legal needs is complex, and screening practices vary across MLPs.

Purpose of Article: Academic and community partners who collaborate in an MLP at a school-based health center (SBHC) share their process of co-creating a two-stage legal check-up for adolescents.

Key Points: Screening adolescents for health-harming legal needs is challenging. It took ongoing collaboration to refine the process to fit the needs of adolescents and meet the partners’ goals.

Conclusion: Social determinants of health play a significant role in health disparities, and there is a need for innovative solutions to screen and address these in vulnerable populations. Other partners can learn from our experiences to co-create their own approach to addressing health-harming legal needs.

Publication Citation

Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action, Vol. 15, Issue 2, Summer 2021, pp. 203-216.