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Carolyn A. Pointer, JD

Assistant Professor


Carolyn Pointer, J.D., joined the faculty at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and School of Law as an assistant professor in 2014. She teaches social determinants of health to undergraduate and graduate medical students. With Professor Brobst, she teaches a law school course on rural health law.  Her research will focus on the benefits of addressing patients' health-harming legal needs to both patients and medical providers through a Medical-Legal Partnership being built with the Department of Family Medicine and Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation. 

Medical-legal partnerships train medical providers to screen patients for legal issues impacting health outcomes, make appropriate referrals to community resources, and change policies to improve community health outcomes. 

Pointer has worked with medical-legal partnerships at the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, the University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, and Boston University Medical Center. As an attorney, she practiced law in Massachusetts and Virginia. Her litigation and policy work focused on improving legal and medical outcomes for low-income patients. 

Research Interests

  • Medical-Legal Partnerships
  • Social Determinants of Health

Curricular Topics

  • Social Determinants of Health
  • Vaccine Law
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Health Policy

Degrees and Granting Institutions

  • J.D., Boston University School of Law
  • B.S., Boston University School of Education


Boston University School of Law , Boston University School of Education