Mount Sinai Medical-Legal Partnership
Going Beyond Health Care

Mount Sinai Medical-Legal Partnership provides legal services to help our patients combat the legal barriers that threaten their health. MSMLP assists Mount Sinai’s most vulnerable populations with free legal services, in areas such as education, housing, immigration and more, aimed at ensuring that they have the best possible chance at a healthy life.

Make a Donation

Mount Sinai Medical-Legal Partnership is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Your tax-deductible donation enables us to coordinate and fund legal services for Mount Sinai’s most vulnerable and indigent patients. Thank you for supporting the mission and work of Mount Sinai Medical-Legal Partnership.

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What We Do

Excellent medical care is critical to good health, but it doesn’t end there. With seven hospitals, each year Mount Sinai serves tens of thousands of New Yorker’s living well below the poverty line. These patients are plagued by a variety of social and environmental conditions that are barriers to good health. Unless we target those conditions, health problems will only persist. To that end, Mount Sinai Medical-Legal Partnership was established to provide Mount Sinai’s most vulnerable patients with free legal services to prevent and remedy the social and environmental conditions that are rooted in legal issues, such as housing, education, personal safety, and access to health care.  Bringing together lawyers and healthcare teams, Mount Sinai Medical-Legal Partnership implements integrated approaches to caring for Mount Sinai’s patients.  By taking legal action, we are improving the health and well-being of our communities.

Our Projects

Lawyers from LegalHealth of New York Legal Assistance Group, The Legal Aid Society, and Youth Represent are on-site throughout Mount Sinai’s healthcare system and are dedicated to providing legal consultations and representations for Mount’s Sinai’s most vulnerable patients. Recently, Mount Sinai Medical-Legal Partnership also has created targeted programs to identify and address the numerous legal issues these patients face.

Child and Family Services at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Roosevelt

Through the Manhattan DA’s Criminal Justice Investment Initiative, The Legal Aid Society recently was awarded $1.33M to begin a legal program under Mount Sinai Medical-Legal Partnership. With this grant, full time attorneys from The Legal Aid Society provide free legal services for patients at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Child and Family Services, who are at high risk of poor life outcomes, including eventual justice system involvement. The program focuses on legal screenings for families; education advocacy for parents and guardians of the patients; training to case managers; advocating special education supports and services in schools; and representing youth in suspension hearings.

Mount Sinai Palliative Care Institute

Because losing a parent is one of the most devastating events for a child and can leave unclear who their next caretaker will be, Mount Sinai Medical-Legal Partnership has created a program with volunteer attorneys and The Legal Aid Society to provide standby guardianship for minor children of dying patients.  In addition to providing greater stability for these children, this program aims to provide dying patients greater solace and dignity in their final days.

Mount Sinai Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery

Transgender people are often subjected to widespread discrimination and stigma simply because they want to live an authentic life. To increase their safety and well-being, the Mount Sinai Medical-Legal Partnership has created a legal program with Transcend Legal, a national New York City-based organization cultivating social, medical, and legal recognition of transgender people, and The Kurland Group, a boutique LGBTQ-owned general practice firm. Through our partnership, we provide legal services in the areas of discrimination, housing, police misconduct, Medicaid, and health insurance. In addition, the Mount Sinai Medical-Legal Partnership offers name and gender marker changes for patients through the assistance of pro bono attorneys from Hodgson Russ, Schulte Roth & Zabel, and Latham & Watkins. Without legal name and gender changes, transgender people are forced to use IDs that do not match who they are, which creates barriers to accessing employment, housing, and education.

The Legal Aid Society (the Society) HIV/Aids Representation Project (H/ARP)

H/ARP provides comprehensive, quality client services to individuals and families infected or affected by HIV/AIDS at five clinics under the Mount Sinai Health System’s Institute for Advanced Medicine–the largest provider of HIV primary care in New York State. Under the H/ARP project, Society attorneys provide advice and representation in the areas of, among other things, family law and matrimony, housing, standby guardianships, consumer matters, entitlements and end of life planning. Attorneys also provide substantive legal educational trainings and workshops for both Mount Sinai staff and clients in a host of legal areas including: housing, government benefits, transition to work issues, advanced medical and financial directives, family, estate and confidentiality law. The goal is to ensure that legal services are available and integrated into the continuum of care for families and their collaterals who are infected with or affected by HIV.

To volunteer your services with Mount Sinai Medical-Legal Partnership, please contact us below.

Who We Are

image of Barbara Berger Opotowsky

Barbara Berger Opotowsky, President

Barbara is the new President of Mount Sinai Medical Legal Partnership.  She follows Sena Kim-Reuter who stepped down this fall in order to return to the direct representation work she loved doing.  Barbara joined MSMLP after serving for 15 years as the Executive Director of the New York City Bar Association where she was responsible for the operation of this 24,000 member organization which accomplishes much of its work through its 150 committees, each dealing with specific areas of law or the legal profession.  The Association provides access to justice programs locally and internationally through its sister organizations, the City Bar Justice Center and the Vance Center for International Justice. MSMLP allows Barbara to continue to work to increase access to justice . Prior to the City Bar, Barbara was the President of the Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan New York, Assistant Commissioner of the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs and in private practice. She received a BA degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a JD from Fordham University School of Law where she served on the Law Review.

Board of Directors

Bettina Plevan, Esq., Co-Chair
Proskauer Rose LLP

Allison Charney, Esq., Co-Chair
Foley & Lardner LLP

Avitai Gold, Esq., Treasurer
Gold Health Strategies, Inc.

Harris Mufson, Esq.
Proskauer Rose LLP

Anna Brown, Esq.
Baker & McKenzie LLP

Make a Donation

Mount Sinai Medical-Legal Partnership is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Your tax-deductible donation enables us to coordinate and fund legal services for Mount Sinai’s most vulnerable and indigent patients. Thank you for supporting the mission and work of Mount Sinai Medical-Legal Partnership.

Contact Us

If you are interested in learning more about Mount Sinai Medical-Legal Partnership, future events, or volunteering your services, please feel free to contact us.

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