A Little “HeLP” for Our Friends: Graduate Trains Doctors and Medical Students

Georgia State Law graduate Laurice Rutledge Lambert (J.D. ’10) initially considered medical school. Realizing she didn’t like the sight of blood, she pursued health care law instead. An associate at Baker Hostetler (formerly McKenna Long & Aldridge), she advises health care providers on regulatory and compliance matters and structuring of complex transactions.

“Health care law keeps you on your toes,” Lambert said. “It is always changing, highly regulated, and hard to understand – which also results in good job security!”

Laurice Lambert (J.D. ’10)

While a student, Lambert participated in the HeLP Legal Services Clinic, the educational arm of the Health Law Partnership, a medical-legal partnership among Georgia State Law, Atlanta Legal Aid Society and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Lambert now serves on the HeLP Advisory Council. As a way to give back to Children’s and to the medical schools at Emory and Morehouse, she proposed a training for physicians, residents and fellows.

The training focuses on physician employment contracts, something that every doctor will encounter though it is not taught in medical school. Rutledge and other volunteer attorneys discuss key provisions of the contracts, laws governing the arrangements, how the compensation model works and questions to ask in contract negotiations. “At the training, we also provide information to help them recognize when they might want to obtain the services of a lawyer,” Lambert said.

Another benefit of the training is the opportunity to promote HeLP. “For many doctors and medical students, this may be the first introduction to how lawyers can assist their clients and improve health outcomes.”

In addition to offering this training, Rutledge also provides pro bono legal services for HeLP as a volunteer. Along with her Baker Hostetler colleague Jennifer Whitton (J.D. ‘12), Lambert was awarded the 2017 Atlanta Legal Aid Services Pro Bono Services Award, in recognition of their efforts on a special education case that resulted in their client receiving much needed education services.

Attending law school in the midst of the market crisis, Lambert understood that passion for the field might not be enough and that she needed to take advantage of a variety of opportunities offered by the law school.