Law & Health Care Program

a nice thing about being in health law is that there's a mission behind it that we can really believe in and even though I don't touch any individual patient I do know that if I'm doing a good job that health outcomes will improve as a result of that when I came to the law school in 1983 it was fascinating to just look around look outside the windows of the law school and see we were sitting on an academic Health Center and we had a unique opportunity given that we're on a health sciences campus right across from the Medical School in the School of Nursing the School of Pharmacy in the School of Social Work one thing we've always been focused on is getting our health law students to interact with students from other schools and faculty from other schools to be able to break down the barriers between what lawyers do and what health professionals do in trying with the goal of making a better healthcare system the goal of the law and healthcare program is to train the next generation of health law attorneys in this country we really try to give them the tools that they'll need to have an impact when they graduate whether they go to law firms to government the public interest organizations to lobbying associations the law healthcare program certainly started as a traditional healthcare you know how would you represent the industry how do you deal with the regulatory system of Medicare and Medicaid but has really blossomed into so much more there are a number of things that students do while they're in law school and not only do they have courses that they take we have a very rich curriculum in health law courses they also have a variety of externships opportunities the healthcare department helped me secure an externship at Johns Hopkins General Counsel's office so my first summer I worked for the Maryland Attorney General's Office I was responsible for doing a lot of legislative research other students have worked for the office of the governor other executive agencies the Department of Health and a high G's legislative coordinator all of these externships put students right in the workplace let them decide is that a place they'd like to work let them explore the issues let them explore the work culture issues there are volunteer opportunities they go to Mississippi at the time it was a project that was focused on providing pro bono legal services in the Gulf area in the wake of Hurricane Katrina we worked on a variety of issues there were a couple of different groups that weren't and so we all work different things they've gone to Africa and Malawi to make changes in their healthcare systems to do research to help the individuals there get access to health care really giving our students this broad you know broad base makes them extremely attractive to potential employers and also actually makes them succeed once they get there all of these different opportunities including our interdisciplinary courses give students that help us students a chance to see where they fit in in the world of health law and how they're gonna practice alongside other professionals you need to understand and get inside the head of a doctor or a nurse or scientist who is totally committed and devoted to trying to do good I have to love Quentin Kopp my MBA you know one of the reasons I did that was the own to speak the language of business but we have is a very complicated legal and regulatory structure that governs what healthcare is in this country and it's not you know healthcare is a complicated thing it's economically complicated it's legally complicated it involves real people which complicates things the stakes are extremely high the laws are extremely complex a variety and number of laws and our impact on our huge health law is a very big umbrella and it encompasses everything from ethical issues in health care to healthcare access to health insurance to disability issues and one area where we really focus on the variety of what constitutes health laws in our clinical program if we're going to introduce you into things like the public health law clinic or our other clinics to do you know kind of a health policy practice students get a variety of opportunities to actually represent real clients can actually use those skills that you've learned and turned it into action and help that person it's just an amazing feeling it isn't just looking in a book and it isn't just listening to a lecture it's doing it and feeling it and believe in it I think the University of Maryland is exactly what I expected and more we have really great resources we have great teachers who have wonderful connections and having the exposure and the easy access to internships and externships and the writing and having dozens literally dozens of classes of help all classes to get practical experience has made the experience really priceless

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