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Faculty News for Professor Colleen Boraca

Colleen Boraca

Colleen Boraca
Clinical Assistant Professor 

H.B.A., Marquette University
J.D., Loyola University of Chicago School of Law
Email: cboraca@niu.edu
Phone: (630) 229-0752

Professor Boraca Pens Op-Ed for Chicago Sun-Times on Medicaid

Clinical Assistant Professor Colleen Boraca wrote an opinion piece for the January 14, 2017 edition of the Chicago Sun-Times. Her article examines the current situation regarding Medicaid in the United States through the lens of an anonymous person she met as part of her work with Hesed House homeless shelter in Aurora, IL.

Professor Colleen Boraca and Northern Law Health Advocacy Clinic Featured in Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Clinical Assistant Professor Colleen Boraca was the subject of a December 30, 2016 piece in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin written by Lauren Duncan. The story details the history of the NIU College of Law Health Advocacy Clinic along with the work it is currently doing under Professor Boraca's direction. It also features quotes from Northern Law Director of Clinics Anita Maddali, Hesed House Executive Director and Northern Law alumnus Ryan Dowd ('03) and third-year clinical student Heather Skrip.

Professor Boraca Writes Post for Lawyers’ Assistance Program Blog

Clinical Assistant Professor Colleen Boraca wrote a post, "The Need for Self-Care Training in Law School," for the Lawyers’ Assistance Program’s blog on November 7, 2016. The post details why law school is the ideal time for a lawyer to begin recognizing the need for self-care and then states some of the efforts being taken at Northern Law to help law students with this need. The post is also being published by the McLean County (IL) Bar Association. The Lawyers’ Assistance Program helps lawyers, judges and law students get assistance for alcohol dependency, drug addiction and mental health problems.

Professor Boraca Writes Article on Professional Self-Care for Kane County Bar Association’s Bar Briefs

Clinical Assistant Professor Colleen Boraca's article, "Lawyers are Humans: Educating Law Students to Handle the Emotional Side of Lawyering," appeared in the October 2016 edition of the Kane County Bar Association newsletter, Bar Briefs. The article details why attorneys need trauma training and explains efforts at the NIU Health Advocacy Clinic to equip law students with the necessary tools to work with trauma victims.

NIU Law Professors to Participate in Continuing Legal Education Program on Attorney Wellness

Clinical Assistant Professor Colleen Boraca will serve as a moderator and Professor Laurel Rigertas will be a featured speaker at the Kane County Bar Association's 2016 Elder Care, Disability & Mental Health program, "Personal Wellness in the Legal Profession." The event will be held on May 11, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. at the Eagle Brook County Club in Geneva, IL. Professor Rigertas' presentation is called "Introduction to Mindfulness for Lawyers."

Professor Boraca Authors Follow-up Column in Sun-Times on State Budget Stalemate 

Clinical Assistant Professor Colleen Boraca wrote a column in the March 10, 2016 edition of the Chicago Sun-Times updating her concerns over the tragic impacts on those most vulnerable citizens of Illinois without an agreed upon social services budget. Professor Boraca's first column appeared in the Sun-Times in July 2015.

Professor Boraca to Co-Chair Illinois Medical-Legal Partnership Task Force

Clinical Assistant Professor Colleen Boraca has been selected to co-chair an Illinois Statewide Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP) Task Force. The group consists of legal and medical providers who work in Illinois MLPs. The overall goal is to increase the number of partnerships as well as strengthen those already in existence throughout Illinois.

MLPs consist of attorneys, medical providers, social workers and other professionals who work together to remedy the non-medical sources of client health problems. The common objective is to promote the health and well-being of clients by addressing unmet social and legal needs. Professor Boraca directs the NIU College of Law Health Advocacy Clinic located in Aurora which is a partnership between NIU Law, Aunt Martha’s Health and Outreach Center and Hesed House, the second largest homeless shelter in Illinois.

Professor Boraca Presents at Midwest Clinical Conference

On October 3, 2015, Clinical Assistant Professor Colleen Boraca presented at the 2015 Midwest Clinical Conference in Cleveland, OH. The plenary presentation, "The Beginning and the End," examined different ways to structure the first and last classes in a clinic seminar. Professor Boraca presented as part of group which included clinicians from Washburn University School of Law and William Mitchell College of Law. The presenters highlighted various goals of the first and last classes as well as specific strategies for implementation.

NIU Health Advocacy Clinic Featured in Daily Herald

Clinical Assistant Professor Colleen Boraca and the NIU Law Health Advocacy Clinic were the subject of an extensive feature by Harry Hitzeman in the October 2, 2015 edition of the Chicago newspaper the Daily Herald. The article details the process by which the Clinic assists residents of the Aurora, IL homeless shelter Hesed House with both legal and medical issues.

Professor Boraca Instructs Forensic Psychiatry Fellows

On September 16, 2015, Clinical Assistant Professor Colleen Boraca taught a didactic seminar to forensic psychiatry fellows at Northwestern Medical School. Taught for a second year, the seminar examines whether a mental health provider has a duty to warn and protect a third party, focusing on national and Illinois case law subsequent to Tarasoff v. Regents of the University of California.

Professor Boraca Writes Op-Ed for Chicago Sun-Times on Illinois Budget Cuts

Clinical Assistant Professor Colleen Boraca shared her concerns over proposed budget cuts to Illinois Social Services including those services supported by the NIU College of Law Health Advocacy Clinic in an opinion piece for the July 23, 2015 edition of the Chicago Sun-Times.

Professor Boraca Presents on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder at KCBA Seminar

On May 27, 2015, Clinical Assistant Professor Colleen Boraca presented at the Kane County Bar Association (KCBA) seminar titled “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): A Clinical and Legal Perspective.” Her presentation, “When Working Becomes Impossible: Obtaining Social Security Based on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder,” provided an overview of the different types of Social Security benefits as well as the evaluation criteria used by Social Security when granting or denying a claim. Professor Boraca then detailed the specific evidence which is necessary to succeed in a claim based on post-traumatic stress disorder, highlighting examples from some of the clients she has represented who suffer from PTSD.

Professor Boraca Presents on Multi-Disciplinary Clinics at AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education

On May 6, 2015, Clinical Assistant Professor Colleen Boraca presented at the 2015 Association of American Law Schools Conference on Clinical Legal Education in Rancho Mirage, CA. The presentation, "Just What the Doctor Ordered: Multi-Disciplinary Clinics at the Forefront of Change," examined the benefits and challenges of collaborating with other professions in law school legal clinics. Professor Boraca presented as part of group which included clinicians from Loyola University Chicago, the University of Kansas and the University of Memphis who also direct medical-legal partnerships. The presenters highlighted the importance of multi-disciplinary collaboration in light of financial and enrollment challenges facing law schools.

Professor Boraca Presents on Law School-Based Medical-Legal Partnerships

On April 9, 2015, Clinical Assistant Professor Colleen Boraca presented at the Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP) Summit in McLean, Virginia. She displayed an exhibit called "Advancing Population Health: An Overview of Law School-Based Medical-Legal Partnerships" that examined the current landscape of law school-based MLPs and the role they have in the MLP community. Professor Boraca presented as part of group which included clinicians from Loyola University Chicago, the University of Kansas and the University of Memphis. As part of their research, they surveyed law schools participating in the MLP movement, specifically asking questions about structure, staffing, subject matter, caseload and the challenges/benefits of law school-based MLPs.

Boraca Honored as a "40 Under 40" Attorney for 2014 by Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Clinical Assistant Professor Colleen Boraca has been chosen as one of three NIU faculty and alumni named "40 Under 40" attorneys for 2014 by the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. The Law Bulletin Publishing company conducts the 40 under 40 survey annually to identify the “up and coming” young attorneys in Illinois under the age of 40. Forty attorneys are then chosen - from hundreds of nominations each year - based on professional achievements, passion, and a desire to help the community.

Professor Boraca Presents at Statewide Housing Conference

On October 2, 2014, Clinical Assistant Professor Colleen Boraca spoke at the 2014 Housing Action Illinois annual conference in Bloomington, IL. She served on a panel with Amy Marinacci (Attorney, Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago) and Lauren Noll (Attorney, Land of Lincoln). The presentation, “Helping Clients Address Their Legal Needs,” emphasized various advocacy tools and legal services that housing advocates can utilize to assist clients. Professor Boraca explained the medical-legal partnership model and how its interdisciplinary focus specifically benefits those facing housing challenges and homelessness.

NIU Law Clinical Faculty Present at the Midwest Clinic Teachers’ Conference

On September 13, 2014, the NIU Law Clinical Faculty (Professors Anita Maddali, Paul Cain, Wendy Vaughn, Alan Boudreau and Colleen Boraca) presented at the Midwest Clinic Teachers’ Conference at Michigan State University College of Law. The presentation, "Community Lawyering: Looking Beyond your Backyard to Make a Difference," examined the role of community partnerships in developing and expanding clinical opportunities for law students. Faculty members shared how NIU’s legal clinics are working with various community partners to make a difference in multiple communities throughout northern Illinois.

Professor Boraca Writes Article for Kane County Bar Association’s Bar Briefs

Clinical Assistant Professor Colleen Boraca's article, “NIU Health Advocacy Clinic: Reaching Across Professions to Help the Mentally Ill,” appeared in the August 2014 edition of Bar Briefs. The August edition focuses on the legal rights of those facing mental illness, and the article explores the specific ways that medical-legal partnerships can holistically assist this population.

Professor Colleen Boraca Gives Legal-Medical Seminar

On July 30, 2014, Clinical Assistant Professor Colleen Boraca taught a didactic seminar to forensic psychiatry fellows at Northwestern Medical School. The seminar examined whether a mental health provider has a duty to warn and protect a third party, focusing on national and Illinois case law subsequent to Tarasoff v. Regents of the University of California.

Professor Colleen Boraca Presents on Medical-Legal Partnership to Illinois Legal Associations

Clinical Assistant Professor Colleen Boraca presented on “Medical-Legal Partnerships: Working Together to Improve the Lives of the Disabled” at the March 2014 meeting of the Kane County Bar Association's Elder Care, Disability and Mental Health Law Committee. The presentation described the history of medical-legal partnerships, highlighting the benefits of interdisciplinary collaboration between the legal, medical and social work professions. Professor Boraca introduced the NIU Health Advocacy Clinic, a medical-legal partnership between NIU Law, Aunt Martha’s Health Center and Hesed House, the second largest homeless shelter in Illinois.

Then on May 30, 2014, Professor Boraca will speak to the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois at Foote, Mielke, Chavez & O’Neil, LLC. She will provide an overview of NIU Law’s clinical program, highlighting the NIU Health Advocacy Clinic. Professor Boraca will discuss the medical-legal partnership model which includes integrating legal services into medical settings as a way to reduce health disparities.

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