Public Health Advocacy Clinic
Clinic students work on real-world projects with attorneys and gain experience in public interest law, public health law and the use of litigation to effect changes in public health policy. Student projects support the research and drafting needs of practicing PHAI attorneys and partner organizations.
The clinic instructor supervises students, serving as a writing coach and mentor. The course includes guest lectures on tobacco control and public health research methodology. Class time focuses on the legal foundations of public health law, practical legal research and writing skills, and how to convey legal information to lawyers and the public.
Student projects have included multi-state surveys of school drinking water requirements and consumer protection laws to limit junk food marketing to children, analysis of tobacco litigation documents, research into emerging legal issues around energy drink consumption and marketing to children, and legal strategies to support physical activity friendly infrastructure. Students also work together to complete a data collection exercise in support of an ongoing public health effort. In 2011, students surveyed tobacco retailers in the City of Boston to assess the availability of e-cigarettes for use by the Boston Public Health Commission.
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