Yael Cannon is the founding co-director, with Professor Vicki Girard, of the Georgetown University Health Justice Alliance, a cross-campus collaborative engaging in research, service, and academic efforts to train the next generation of attorneys, doctors, and healthcare professionals to advocate to improve social determinants of health for low-income families.  Professor Cannon also established in 2017 and directs the Health Justice Alliance’s law clinic, which brings law and health students and professionals together to provide holistic legal services in a range of civil poverty law practice areas to secure housing, education, public benefits, and family stability for patients living in poverty in Washington D.C.

The law clinic embeds students in MedStar Georgetown Community Pediatrics health clinics at a homeless family shelter, a high school health center, and a pediatric mobile van, where patients are screened for unmet legal needs.  Law students partner with healthcare providers and students to advance their casework.  Georgetown University medical students participate in a one month rotation within the law clinic, which provides intensive learning and advocacy collaboration opportunities across disciplines.  Professor Cannon also works closely with cross-campus research partners to develop and implement assessment tools to evaluate the impact of the Health Justice Alliance’s service and academic initiatives on learners, patients, clients and health providers.  In its first year, the Health Justice Alliance team was recognized by Georgetown University and the Fox 5 Morning News as “Campus Heroes” for its work serving families in need in Washington, D.C.

Professor Cannon previously taught clinical poverty law courses and doctrinal courses at the University of New Mexico School of Law, where she was an Associate Professor.  She led a successful effort there to secure a $2.6 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to develop a new law school initiative, the Center for Child and Family Justice, which prepares and mobilizes law students and graduates to pursue justice, equity, and health for New Mexico’s most vulnerable families. While in New Mexico, Professor Cannon co-chaired the state legislature’s John Paul Taylor Early Childhood Taskforce and served by appointment on the New Mexico Supreme Court’s Children’s Court Rules Committee.  Professor Cannon began her law teaching career at the American University Washington College of Law, where she served as a Practitioner-in-Residence and Acting Director of the Disability Rights Law Clinic and taught doctrinal courses.

Prior to teaching, Professor Cannon was an attorney at the Children’s Law Center’s medical-legal partnership providing legal services at Washington, D.C. pediatric clinics and engaging in policy advocacy on behalf of low-income children and families.  She is a co-author of the textbook Special Education Advocacy, the treatise AIDS and the Law, and articles in law journals and other periodicals, including a study conducted with the New Mexico Sentencing Commission of trauma among youth in the state’s juvenile justice system.  Her research focuses on the ways in which the law can address social determinants of health to ensure better outcomes for children and families living in poverty.  Professor Cannon graduated with distinction from Stanford Law School and summa cum laude from the University of Maryland with B.A. degrees in History and African American Studies.


Contributions to Law Reviews and Other Scholarly Journals

Yael Cannon, The Kids Are Not Alright: Leveraging Existing Health Law to Attack the Opioid Crisis Upstream, 71 Fla. L. Rev. 765-830 (2019).
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Yael Cannon, A Mental Health Checkup for Children at the Doctor's Office: Lessons from the Medical-Legal Partnership Movement to Fulfill Medicaid's Promise, 17 Yale J. Health Pol'y L. & Ethics 253-307 (2017).
[WWW] [Gtown Law] [HEIN] [W] [L] [SSRN]
Yael Cannon & Andrew Hsi, Disrupting the Path from Childhood Trauma to Juvenile Justice: An Upstream Health and Justice Approach, 43 Fordham Urb. L.J. 425-493 (2016).
[WWW] [Gtown Law] [HEIN] [W] [L] [SSRN]
Yael Cannon, Michael Gregory & Julie Waterstone, A Solution Hiding in Plain Sight: Special Education and Better Outcomes for Students with Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Challenges, 41 Fordham Urb. L.J. 403-497 (2013).
[HEIN] [W] [L] [SSRN]

Selected Contributions to Other Publications

Yael Cannon, George Davis, Andrew Hsi & Alexandra Bochte, Adverse Childhood Experiences in the New Mexico Juvenile Justice Population (New Mexico Sentencing Commission, Feb. 2016).
[WWW] [Gtown Law] [SSRN]