Critical Opportunities Guidelines and Resources

Critical Opportunities for Public Health Law gives participants – researchers, lawyers, doctors, public health officers and others – just five minutes to make their pitch for an evidence-based legal remedy to a critical public health problem. To explore the various Opportunities presented by participants, visit

Critical Opportunities sessions include five-minute presentations delivered by an informed expert who identifies a public health problem and proposes an evidence-based legal or policy solution. The presentations include the practical and political feasibility of implementing the proposed solution. They are ideally made and video-taped before an audience that is given the opportunity to participate in a discussion and ranking of each presentation.

A journal article outlining the concept and the framework for the initiative has been published by the American Journal of Public Health.

Critical Opportunities Toolkit

The Public Health Law Research program (PHLR) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation have compiled a toolkit that provides a step-by-step approach so that government agencies, private funders, academic institutions, teachers, advocacy groups and others can hold Critical Opportunities sessions during their own meetings or in other appropriate settings. The ultimate aim is to create a publicly available, thought-provoking presentation that inspires people to develop solutions to pressing public health problems.

Download the toolkit here.

Critical Opportunities Slide Set

All Critical Opportunities presentations are made using the same four-slide deck. The slides ask presenters to address the following four questions:

  1. What is the public health issue?
  2. Where does the law fit in?
  3. What is the evidence supporting the reform?
  4. What is the way forward?

If you are hosting your own Critical Opportunities session, we encourage you to use the PHLR slide set, or use the slide set as a model for your own.

Download the slide set here.