Top Law Schools for Health Law

At least you have your health, or so the saying goes. Unfortunately, for millions of Americans, health issues are a daily reality, whether they are seeking access to health care, participating in a clinical trial or recovering from a poorly performed medical procedure.

Lawyers who practice health law can help people with health care issues by strengthening compliance programs, creating better health care policies and representing clients in malpractice claims and benefits disputes. To train the next generation of health lawyers, a number of law schools offer training in health law that extends from strong curriculum offerings to hands-on clinics.


It is not uncommon for lawyers to work with medical professionals when representing a patient in a malpractice lawsuit or creating a compliance program. At Quinnipiac University School of Law, students have the opportunity to cross-register with medical students in health law courses, creating opportunities for discourse between emerging lawyers and doctors.

From the classroom to the examination room, students at Southern Illinois University School of Law shadow physicians and medical residents during the clinical rotation segment of a medical malpractice course. In addition, students can participate in the Medical-Legal Partnership of Southern Illinois, a legal aid and health care combo that aims to assist low income patients by addressing health-related legal issues in their lives.

Pharmaceutical and medical-device development offers a range of practice opportunities in health law. Seton Hall University School of Law offers a one-week health care compliance boot camp that focuses on state, federal and international mandates applying to the development of pharmaceuticals and medical devices. The law school also has a corporate compliance fellowship program, which provides first- and second-year students with paid internships at pharmaceutical, medical device and biotech companies throughout New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Interested in shaping policies affecting the health care industry? Take a look at University of Houston Law Center, where the Health Law & Policy Institute sponsors students in legislative fellowship positions. The fellowship provides an opportunity for students to be involved in state health policy development and to forge strong networks with stakeholders, advisory groups and individuals.

The University of Memphis - Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law recently launched the Institute for Health Law and Policy (“iHeLP”) Policy Lab: ACE Initiative. The initiative is a multi-disciplinary resource for policy research focusing on the role of trauma in physical and mental health.

Students at Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University put their legal knowledge to use while helping to build a legal map of advanced care planning laws in each state. The project also offers a longitudinal view of these laws, allowing users to view changes in American College of Physicians’ laws from inception to present.

Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law students created a map that identifies key features of baby-friendly hospital laws in multiple states.

Dual degrees exist for law students searching for a way to bolster their health care credentials. Albany Law School and University of Albany recently announced a new joint J.D. and master’s in public health degree program.

“We can now provide our students with an opportunity to address and solve issues at the intersection between law and public health right here in the Capital Region,” said Laura Schweitzer, interim dean of the School of Public Health. “Our school offers students a chance to study within an ecosystem designed to solve the most pressing public health problems facing the state and nation.”

Some schools, such as The Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, have joint M.D.-J.D. programs, which give students the opportunity to chase a law degree and a medical degree at the same time.

At Wake Forest University School of Law, students can pursue a joint degree with a master’s in bioethics. The Law School’s health law and policy program is also well regarded, sponsoring symposiums on topics such as substance abuse.


Read the preLaw Back To School 2017 issue to see which schools made our Top Law Schools for Health Law.