The Evolution of Social Welfare Reform

By Peter Nielsen, HeLP Fall 2017 Student Intern

The first major era of social welfare expansion was born from the economic pressures of the Great Depression. This welfare revolution established a social safety net in two general areas: social insurances based on what people pay into them, and social welfare based on applicant financial need. Social security, workers’ compensation, and unemployment insurance form the bulk of the modern social insurance network. Welfare, on the other hand, consists of a broad range of programs such as Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for disabled individuals, and housing assistance. Continue reading

The Fight for Representation: Small Voices Need Big Funding

By: Christina Scott, HeLP Fall 2017 Student Intern

Life in the clinic can seem very insulated. Students have partners, dedicated supervisors, and a team of professors and other professionals at the ready to ensure success. Though HeLP Clinic students are required to spend time at the children’s hospital and sit in meetings with HeLP senior staff, they are mostly protected from needing to look under the hood of a lightly funded, interdisciplinary non-profit. There are many forces outside the clinic, however, that could affect its longevity. Politics, both local and national, have noticeably shifted in the last year, and it is safe to wonder how things would be different if the 2016 election had turned out differently.

Many, and probably all, of the clinic’s clients cannot withstand the full force of their medical bills. If they were required to pay them in full out of pocket, our clients simply would not be able to get the medical help they need. Further, many of our clients have conditions that might negatively affect their ability to get a healthcare plan on the open market, if they were even given the opportunity to do so. They simply and totally rely on government-funded health care.

Further, the demographics of our clients put them at a distinct disadvantage in the current political climate in other ways. An African-American client whose children have a Latino last name will certainly face two-fold discrimination. Their full citizenship doesn’t guarantee them freedom from the discrimination that comes from that fully charged mixture of circumstances beyond their control.  Clinic clients are poor—poorer than almost any student who has the ability to attend law school (or who even had the reason to dream they could). Poor people are under fire in this administration. Those most targeted by the bigoted remarks and actions of the administration are also almost always the poorest and the least likely to help themselves. They also have the smallest voices even when their own futures are on the chopping blocks. Continue reading

Hands-on Experience from the HeLP Legal Services Clinic

By Raina Azarkhail, HeLP Fall 2017 Student Intern

The HeLP Legal Services Clinic is by far one of the best opportunities afforded to me at the Georgia State University College of Law.  It has enabled me to grow as an individual and an aspiring lawyer, which is something that cannot be experienced in a regular classroom setting.

For example, a situation likely to occur when I am a practicing attorney is the transfer of cases from one attorney to another.  Luckily, I have had this opportunity already in the HeLP Clinic.  The first few weeks of the beginning of the semester we are encouraged to look through the files pertaining to our clients’ cases (my group had three cases).  These files are usually a couple inches thick, so it is best to get a head start on them.  The memorandums written by the previous teams are very helpful in trying to ascertain the nature of the case, the relevant law, and where they left off.  My team and I had three Supplemental Security Income cases, which rely heavily on medical information, so doing some outside research in order to familiarize ourselves with the medical terminology and gaining some background knowledge of the illnesses was imperative.  Doing this also made reading the medical records in the files much easier.  Continue reading

Translate This!: Real Estate Tends to be an Illiquid Asset

By: Julio Perez, Graduate Research Assistant

So now you have your shares of stock in a public company, you have it in a diverse portfolio, and you hedged it just to make sure you don’t lose out on too much profit. Now what is liquidity, how does it apply to your stocks, and why does it matter to you? Continue reading

The Tortoise and the Hare

By: Megan Makuck, Fall 2017 IAC Student Intern

There once was an actively managed portfolio who bragged about how fast he could grow. Tired of hearing him boast, Slow and Steady, the passively managed portfolio, challenged him to a race. All the investments in the market gathered to watch.

The actively managed portfolio ran down the road for a while, investing in all the stocks that were expected to have quick growth, attempting to sell them shortly thereafter for a quick profit, then repeating the process.  Eventually, he paused to rest. While he rested, his stocks were so volatile that some of them lost money, while only a few others continued to grow. Continue reading

Open-Ended Advice

By Scott P. Robertson, HeLP Fall 2017 Student Intern

Amongst the traditional professions of medicine and law, the initial interview is regarded as one of the most important phases of the overall professional-client interaction.  Within this primary stage of inquisition, the professional has the potential and capability to effectively make or break the entire case moving forward by either obtaining all of the relevant information or missing out on key facts.  Whether the professional happens to be a pediatrician investigating a patient’s respiratory symptoms or an attorney probing a homicide suspect, he or she needs to obtain the whole story in order to advise the patient or client on the appropriate course of action.  Despite the vast difference in the line of questioning between what one might ask a sick child about the origins of his cough or wheeze and what one might ask an alleged murderer about the night in question, there is a common theme amongst the professions when it comes to interviewing: open-ended questions are invaluable tools in obtaining a comprehensive picture of the patient or client’s surrounding circumstances, leading to a deeper understanding of his or her issues. Continue reading

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

By: Megan Makuck, Fall 2017 IAC Student Intern

There once was a penny trader who was bored as he sat at the computer watching the penny stocks move.  To amuse himself, he took a deep breath and sang out, “There’s a new penny stock! Everyone come see!”

The villagers came running up to his office to invest in the penny trader’s new discovery.  They each invested $1,000 in the new penny stock, only to see the stock crash and burn before the day ended.  The penny trader laughed at the sight of their angry faces.

Don’t cry ‘wolf’, penny trader,” said the villagers, “when there is no penny stock that will go up in price soon.”  They went grumbling down the hallway. Continue reading