JoNel Newman

Professor of Clinical Legal Education & Director, Health Rights Clinic

Social Justice/Public Interest Concentration Affiliated Faculty
J.D., Yale University
B.A., University of Missouri

Phone: (305)284-4125
Office: E259

JoNel Newman, professor of clinical legal education, received her B.A. with honors, summa cum laude from the University of Missouri where she was awarded the William E. Kemp Prize in Literature.  She received her J.D. from Yale Law School, where she was a senior editor of the Yale Law Journal. After clerking for Judge R. Lanier Anderson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, she was a partner in the firm of Garrison, Silbert & Arterton in New Haven, Connecticut where she had a civil rights, plaintiff’s employment law and labor practice. Professor Newman subsequently worked at the Connecticut Civil Liberties Union Foundation and the Florida Justice Institute, acting as lead counsel in numerous First Amendment political and civil rights, law reform, immigration and prisoner litigation cases, as well as at Florida Legal Services, where she was responsible for providing litigation support to legal services organizations throughout Florida and for the litigation of Migrant Farmworker Justice Project cases. In 2001, she received the John Minor Wisdom Public Service and Professionalism Award from the ABA Section of Litigation and the Steven M. Goldstein Award for Excellence from the Florida Bar Foundation for her advocacy on behalf of disabled immigrants.

Professor Newman has held numerous leadership positions in the Law School, on Appointments and as Chair of the Curriculum Committee, and with the University, on the Faculty Senate and as Chair of the Faculty Senate’s Student Affairs Committee. She also has a history of service in professional leadership positions with the American Bar Association, its Section of Litigation and as a Commissioner on Immigration. She is an American Bar Foundation Fellow as well as a Florida Bar Foundation Fellow. She presently serves on the Board of Directors for the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida.

Professor Newman teaches professional responsibility, civil procedure and directs the Health Rights Clinic at the University of Miami.  Since 2005 this medical-legal partnership has successfully represented over two thousand indigent clients who receive care in through the Medical School’s Comprehensive AIDS Program, the Pediatric Mobile Clinic and the Public Health Trust’s Community Medical Center. The Clinic’s response to the Haitian earthquake by providing direct and immediate legal services to Haitian nationals in south Florida seeking TPS status was recognized in 2010 by the Clinical Legal Education Association as the year’s outstanding public interest project, and by Alejandro Mayorkas, Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services as an “extraordinary effort.” In 2015 Professor Newman was honored by her peers in the American Association of Law School’s Section on Clinical Legal Education with the M. Shanara Gilbert Award for her commitment to social justice, creative pedagogical approaches and to serving marginalized communities in the Miami area and beyond.


In Times of Chaos: Creating Blueprints for Law School Responses to Natural Disasters, with Jeffrey Baker, Christine Cerniglia, Davida Finger, Luz Herrera, 80 La. L. Rev. 421 (2020).

Theater and Revolution in Clinical Legal Education, with Fergus Lawrie, Donald Nicolson, Melissa Swain, 26 Clinical L. Rev. 465 (2020).

A Tale Of Two Clinics: Similarities and Differences in Evidence of the 'Clinic Effect' on the Development of Law Students’ Ethical and Altruistic Professional Identities, with Donald Nicolson, 35 Buff. Pub. Int. L.J. 1 (2017).

Identity and Narrative: Turning Oppression Into Client Empowerment In Social Security Disability Cases, 79 Alb. L. Rev. (2016).

Miami’s Medical-Legal Partnership: Preparing Lawyers and Physicians for Holistic Practice, 9 Ind. Health L. Rev. 473 (2012).

Helping Haiti in the Wake of Disaster: Law Students as First Responders, with Melissa Swain, 6 Inter. Hum. Rights L. Rev. 133 (2011).

Redefining Human Rights Lawyering Through the Lens of Critical Theory: Lessons for Pedagogy and Practice, 18 Geo. J. on Poverty L. & Pol’y 337 (2011).

Re-Conceptualizing Poverty Law Clinical Curriculum And Legal Services Practice: The Need For Generalists, 34 Fordham Urb. L.J. 1303 (2007).

Ensuring That Florida’s Language Minorities Have Access to the Ballot, 36 Stetson L. Rev. (2007).

Voting Rights in Florida, (2006).

Unfinished Business: The Case for Continuing Special Voting Rights Act Coverage in Florida, 61 U. Miami L. Rev. 1 (2006).

Encouraging Race-Based Advocacy in Legal Services Practice, with Charles Elsesser, 36 Clearinghouse Rev. 80 (2002).

 Media Appearances

"Supreme Court ruling frees Florida from federal voting bias oversight for now" in The Palm Beach Post. 2013

Health Rights Clinic in "UM offers dual medical-legal degree program" in the Miami Herald 2013

Health Rights Clinic on WSVN Channel 7 News 2013

Phone: (305)284-4125
Office: E259
Faculty Assistant


Phone: (305) 284-3361

Websites and Blogs

Heath Rights Clinic