Novel Perinatal Medical-Legal Partnership Development and Pilot Implementation to Address Health-Harming Legal Needs.

Published In

Journal of Perinatology: Official Journal of the California Perinatal Association

Document Type


Publication Date



Medical-Legal Partnerships (MLPs) are evidence-based, interdisciplinary collaborations between health systems and legal service organizations designed to address health-harming legal needs among low-income patients and their families. MLPs provide civil legal services and advocacy around health-harming needs, such as substandard housing, food insecurity, benefit denials, education and employment barriers, legal status, custody, and child support. Widely implemented in pediatric health settings, research supports MLPs ability to positively impact the health trajectories of children and their families. This manuscript describes our health system's innovative development and pilot implementation of the first MLP in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). We share our MLP integration strategies, scope of practice, screening processes, workflow, and challenges. We conclude with anticipated areas of growth and future direction for this program, which we believe will address health-harming legal needs for our patients in their earliest weeks of life.


© 2024 Springer Nature Limited



Persistent Identifier