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The upstream framework presented in public health and medicine considers health problems from a preventive perspective, seeking to understand and address the root causes of poor health. Medical-legal partnerships (MLPs) have demonstrated the value of this upstream framework in the practice of law and engage in upstream lawyering by utilizing systemic advocacy to address root causes of injustices and health inequities. This article explores upstreaming and its use by MLPs in reframing legal practice.


© The Author(s), 2024. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution and reproduction, provided the original article is properly cited.