CWRU Health Law Clinic Students Fight in Court for Clients’ Disability Benefits

Melanie Fuenmayor

The CWRU Health Law Clinic hit the ground running with the first of seven Social Security Appeal Hearings it has scheduled for this semester.
Melanie Fuenmayor, a 3L enrolled in the clinic, started working on her case before the school year began to prepare to be the first chair at the hearing. Her hard work showed during the hearing, and now we wait for the decision of the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). 
According to a GAO report, individuals appealing social security decisions in front of ALJs are 3 times more successful when they have a legal representative. “These hearings are a great opportunity for students to practice and refine their legal skills while improving the odds of success for our clients,” said Laura McNally-Levine, Associate Dean for Experiential Education.  “It’s a win-win for all!”
The Health Law Clinic is one of ten clinics at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. To fulfill their capstone requirement, every third year law student at Case is required to undertake an intensive clinic or externship. Case Western Reserve is ranked 5th in the nation in practical training ​​(PreLaw Magazine 2022).