Akron adds health law center and certificate

University of Akron has added two new programs to its health-based legal education: the Public Health Law & Science Center and a certificate in Health Law. Ohio's Board of Trustees approved the programs in June 2013. Both programs will emphasize changes and advances in technology and science within the law curriculum. 

“Every day, another scientific or technological innovation comes along that tests and changes the way things have traditionally been viewed and done," said Katharine Van Tassel, the law professors who will lead the center. "Nowhere in legal education is that more evident than in the area of public health law. Our broader population health approach, coupled with our focus on the intersection of law, science and technology, allows us to include into our program the study of social conditions that can contribute to poor health.”

Van Tassel said the program focuses on the health of the overall population rather than the health of the individual, which is the usual focus for similar programs at other schools. The center focuses on community service, while the certificate program focuses on education.The program will help students in the health law field keep up with scientific and technological changes, which happen at a faster pace than changes made to laws or regulations in the same field.