Working with the law to promote society’s health

The mission of the Center for Law, Health & Society is to advance the key role that law plays in promoting society’s health. The Center engages in three core activities to further its mission:

The Center is a catalyst for analyzing and developing laws and policies that impact the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities.
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Our law students and other health-related graduate students are engaged in combining expertise in law, public policy, and ethics with real-world understanding of the complex challenges to health and health care delivery in the 21st century.
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Community Outreach
The Center promotes responsible citizenship through community service initiatives that use law and the legal system to promote society’s health. The Center also serves as a nonpartisan forum for robust debate and thoughtful reflection on critical issues at the intersection of law, policy, health, and society.
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Goals of the health law educational program

The health law program seeks to achieve the following goals through its educational programs:

  • Best practices:  The health law program strives to offer best practices in health law education and to be a national leader in designing a model health law curriculum that is responsive to 21st-century challenges.  The health law curriculum is not static; it responds to meet the realities of legal practice and the needs of future legal professionals.
  • Preparation for practice: The health law program is designed to support law students’ readiness for employment and to prepare them to engage as legal professionals in a variety of legal practice settings, including transactional litigation, regulatory, and public policy settings. The program strives to equip students with the relevant knowledge, skills, and values that will allow them to solve real-world problems, communicate well, and serve in leadership capacities.
  • Integrated learning: The health law program offers an integrated learning experience that reflects and reinforces foundational knowledge, skills, and values across the program and that leverages the strength of offerings in the JD program generally.  The curriculum is designed to provide familiarity with the basic health-related legal concepts, system structures, and organizations, and to provide a basic orientation to the field so students are able to navigate new problems and challenges.
  • Transferability and adaptability: Using the health field as a lens and context for studying law, the health law curriculum offers a foundation in knowledge, skills, and values that are readily transferable to other legal fields.
  •  Flexibility: The breadth and depth of the health law curriculum is designed to meet the needs of diverse students. It is intended to be accessible to students wishing for an introduction to the field as well as those wishing to specialize in it, and it should meet the needs of part-time and full-time students.  The six curricular focus areas in health law allow interested students to drill down in different specialized areas of faculty expertise.
  • Curricular guidance and faculty advisement: The health law program is structured to offer a clear curricular organization and a pathway to guide students through both the general law school curriculum and the health law curriculum.  It provides a coherent educational experience that promotes progressive learning that builds on prior learning.  Faculty members are readily available to advise and assist students in course selection, research and scholarship, decisions about potential career paths, and taking advantage of other opportunities for professional development.
  • Professional values in interdisciplinary contexts:  The health law program seeks to foster understanding and respect for the work of health-related professionals and to encourage thinking and action outside of traditional legal silos.  It is intended to promote the ability to collaborate and work in teams with other legal and health-related professionals.  The program contributes to developing professionalism, civility, and ethics in the conduct of future lawyers practicing in health law and other legal fields.
  • Promoting justice and the public’s interest:  The health law program seeks to introduce students to the variety of ways that health lawyers and health-related professionals engage in promoting justice and the public’s interest.  The health law program emphasizes the importance of such activities as a part of professional responsibility, and it facilitates and encourages students’ participation in such activities.