Emily A. Benfer is a senior fellow and distinguished visiting scholar at the Yale Law School, Solomon Center for Health Law and Policy. Prior to joining the Yale Law School, Benfer was a clinical professor of law at Loyola University Chicago School of Law and Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Department of Public Health. Benfer founded and directed of the award-winning Health Justice Project, a fully integrated medical-legal partnership clinic that engaged providers, medical residents, graduate students, and lawyers to address the social determinants of poor health for more than 3,000 families and individuals through direct representation and policy change. As a teaching fellow and supervising attorney in the Federal Legislation and Administrative Clinic at the Georgetown Law Center, she served as a legislative lawyer in the successful campaign to pass the ADA Amendments Act and represented Workplace Flexibility 2010 in legislative advocacy involving low-wage workers and family and medical leave. In practice, Benfer has engaged in direct representation, class action litigation, grassroots organizing, and federal and state policy reform in multiple areas of public interest law, including homelessness, special education, housing, disability, and public benefits, at civil legal aid and nonprofit organizations. As co-principal of Health Justice Innovations, LLC, she has supported numerous hospitals, law schools, and nonprofits in starting interprofessional partnerships to advance community health and engaged in pro bono advocacy to advance lead poisoning prevention measures. She served as an equal justice works fellow and a Peace Corps volunteer. Benfer was named one of Chicago’s top 40 lawyers under 40 by the “National Law Journal,” legal freedom fighter by Rocket Matter, and received the Health Innovator Award and the inaugural Schweitzer Leadership Award for her work to achieve health equity and social justice, among numerous commendations for her commitment to social justice. Benfer earned her JD from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law and LLM from Georgetown Law Center. Benfer’s health justice scholarship is available at: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/cf_dev/AbsByAuth.cfm?per_id=1309580


Recent Posts by Emily A. Benfer

Contaminated Childhood: The Chronic Lead Poisoning of Low-Income Children and Communities of Color in the United States

The end of the lead poisoning epidemic requires addressing its underlying causes, such as housing quality, poverty, racial inequity, and environmental injustice.