Learning How to Pursue Careers in Health Law
ATLANTA – Two Georgia State Law students, Jennifer Whitton (3L) and Megan Daugherty (4L), attended the 5th Annual Student Health Law Conference: Taking the Health Law Career Path. The one-day conference was sponsored by the American Society for Law, Medicine & Ethics(ASLME) and DePaul University College of Law, and it was held at DePaul in Chicago on October 21, 2011.
The conference included law student attendees from all over the nation. “The best part of the conference was meeting law students from other schools and learning about their health law programs,” said Daugherty.
The conference consisted of fifteen speaker panels on different health law-related career paths, including careers in bioethics, fraud and abuse in health care, non-traditional health law, and biotechnology and intellectual property.
“The number of health law career options was surprising,” said Whitton, who attended the conference as the proud recipient of the ASLME Student Health Law Award. “And it was great to think about more non-traditional fields, given the current economic climate.”
Most of the speakers discussed their health law careers and described the paths they took to get to their current positions. For some of the panelists, like LaDonna Waugh, a surgeon working for Accretive Health, law school was just another step in an already health-related career. For others, like Danielle Capilla, a health law writer/editor for Wolters Kluwer, the health-related career began after law school.
“It was great to see that every panelist took their interest in health law and created a unique, individualized career centered on this interest,” Whitton said.
The take-away message for students was to take advantage of local health law practitioners by speaking with them about the health law career options in the region and not to limit possibilities by focusing solely on traditional legal jobs.
“The panelists encouraged us to think outside the box,” said Daugherty, “and to identify ways to utilize health law knowledge and passion through policy-making, corporate law, government law, consulting, and writing.”
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