Top Schools for Health Law

The health care industry is the biggest employment sector in the nation, growing faster than all other industries — even before COVID-19. Health care costs accounts for nearly 20% of the nation’s gross domestic product. It’s little wonder, then, that health care law has become such an important specialty, with many schools offering robust programs.

Here are the latest developments in health law at the top schools:

  • Case Western Reserve University School of Law, the first law school in the country to create a health law program, offered incoming students the opportunity to take a free summer course on the legal and ethical issues related to the pandemic. The course was taught online by Jessica Berg, co-dean of the law school and a leading health law expert.
  • Albany Law School offered a summer class on how COVID-19 is affecting the practice of law. The one-credit course focused on a different area of law each week, including small business relief legislation and issues related to quarantine and stay-at-home orders.
  • The University of Memphis - Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law’s Medical-Legal Partnership Clinic did a big pivot in light of COVID-19 and changed its focus from cases at a local children's hospital to eviction-related work. The clinic worked on a statewide survey project and drafted model pleadings for attorneys to use as templates. A communications group researched policy, drafted recommendations for change, wrote op-ed pieces for local newspapers and put together FAQ and “Know Your Rights” documents for attorneys and tenants.
  • University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law students enrolled with medical students in a course on law and genetics taught by a well-known expert in the field. Students also had opportunities to work with faculty on interdisciplinary research in genetics, bioethics, public health and intellectual property law.
  • Northeastern University School of Law’s Center for Health Policy and Law received a $500,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to launch Salus Populi: Educating the Judiciary About Social Determinants of Health. The training program for judges and law clerks emphasizes how legal decisions can affect health.
  • Temple University - James Beasley School of Law’s Center for Public Health Law Research has been developing resources to support the legal response to COVID-19 in the U.S. and globally. It partnered with legal experts from the George Consortium to produce Twitter Q&A sessions with experts around the country on pressing legal issues arising from the pandemic. From March to June, the initiative produced 30 episodes that reached more than 18,000 viewers.
  • Suffolk University Law School students in the Health Law Clinic represented a young graduate student who contracted tuberculosis. The woman, who had only a bare-bones health insurance policy, was hospitalized and received several weeks of in-patient and out-patient care. After hours of investigation, legal research and creative advocacy, the students saved the woman more than $100,000 in medical expenses.
  • University of Miami School of Law recently launched a joint J.D. and master’s degree in health administration and reopened the student Health Law Association. Here, a Health Rights Clinic intern assists a family as part of the law school’s partnership with the university’s Miller School of Medicine.
  • Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University’s Center for Public Health Law and Policy is home to the Western Region office of Network for Public Health Law. Led by Professor James G. Hodge Jr., it provides technical assistance and resources to practitioners, attorneys and advocates nationwide.

Editor’s note: Every year, prelaw magazine looks at the top schools around the nation. For 2020, we determine the top law schools in Human Rights Law, Family Law and Health Law. This is the final story in our three-part series.


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