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Lost in Translation? Legal and Ethics Challenges Caring for Limited English Proficiency Patients

Two decades ago, a grassroots community advocacy organization, Make the Road by Walking (Now, Make the Road New York), brought attention to the mis-treatment of patients with limited English proficiency (LEP patients) by holding protests outside two Brooklyn hospitals, and then filing formal complaints with the New York State Attorney General’s office. They raised very legitimate concerns about the inadequacy of care being provided to LEP patients who, because of language barriers, could not communicate relevant medical history to their care providers, and could not receive information about their diagnosis, prognosis and treatment plans from those providers, resulting in clinically deficient care. 

In this continuing legal education program, we will describe the legal advocacy initiated by Make the Road by Walking (now Make the Road New York), review the legislative interventions that occurred immediately following that activism and discuss the status of interpretation services to LEP patients as a legally indispensable component of competent and clinically effective medical treatment. The program will close with a discussion of the professional ethical obligation of lawyers to educate and advocate regarding the compliance obligations to LEP patients that exists as a part of the standard of care for their healthcare clients.

This program is eligible for Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits for attorneys licensed in the State of New York.

Information Regarding New York CLE Credits:

Columbia Law School has been certified by the New York State Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Board as an Accredited Provider of CLE programs. Under New York State CLE regulations, this live webinar for transitional and non-transitional CLE Program will provide 1 hour of New York CLE credit in the  Ethics and Professionalism category, and 1 hour of credit in Diversity, Inclusion and Elimination of Bias category. This CLE credit is awarded to New York attorneys for full attendance of the Program. Attendance is determined by an attorney's submission of their Attorney Attendance Affirmation forms with appropriate course codes noted. On submission of the Attorney Attendance Affirmations, attorneys also should submit their completed Evaluation Form, provided by the program organizers. Please note the NYS Certificates of Attendance will be sent to the email address as it appears in the register unless otherwise noted there.

Newly admitted attorneys may receive credit for:

  • Law Practice Management
  • Areas of Professional Practice
  • Cybersecurity, Privacy and Data Protection - General

Newly admitted attorneys may NOT receive credit for:

  • Ethics and professionalism
  • Cybersecurity, Privacy and Data Protection - Ethics
  • Skills 

Newly admitted attorneys (admitted to the NY Bar for two years of less) cannot receive DEI CLE credits at all, regardless of program format.

Instructions on how to receive CLE credits:

Following the completion of the event, please download the CLE Forms (Attorney Attendance Affirmation form as well as the Evaluation form provided below) and fill them out with the necessary information including the two codes provided during the event. Please send completed forms to Athina Fontenot at af3018 [[at]] columbia [[dot]] edu (af3018[at]columbia[dot]edu).

If you are an attorney licensed in another state (not New York), please provide the completed forms as stated above to Athina Fontenot at af3018 [[at]] columbia [[dot]] edu (af3018[at]columbia[dot]edu) in order to receive a certificate of attendance which you may use in order to seek CLE credits in your home state. 

For additional information about program offerings at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies, please contact an Admissions Counselor at 212-854-9666 or inquire [[at]] sps [[dot]] columbia [[dot]] edu (inquire[at]sps[dot]columbia[dot]edu).