Healthcare Law

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
User avatar
Rik Smits
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:00 pm

Healthcare Law

Postby Rik Smits » Sun Sep 05, 2010 10:50 pm

I apologize if there's another thread on this topic, but after a few minutes looking through search results, I couldn't find anything.

I have a very strong interest in healthcare law. I currently work in a department at my university's affiliated medical center which focuses on reducing malpractice risk; the work is very rewarding for me, even though I am just a student worker. I am applying this cycle - LSAT in October, score TBA - but my LSDAS GPA is a 3.89.

As I am beginning to formulate a school list, is there any specific strategy I need to use when evaluating possible schools? Should I just try to get into the best school possible, or are other considerations more important for my desired field? I have heard conflicting reports on USNWR's specialty rankings; any thoughts on that subject?

User avatar
merichard87
Posts: 751
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:31 pm

Re: Healthcare Law

Postby merichard87 » Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:00 pm

Specialty rankings should only become an issue when you don't have the numbers for a top school or if you are choosing between one of those top schools.

User avatar
sundance95
Posts: 2123
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:44 pm

Re: Healthcare Law

Postby sundance95 » Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:03 pm

merichard87 wrote:Specialty rankings should only become an issue when you don't have the numbers for a top school or if you are choosing between one of those top schools.


+1. Seton Hall has a highly ranked health law program, but with that GPA you should do much, much better than Seton Hall.

wjun15
Posts: 105
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 8:09 pm

Re: Healthcare Law

Postby wjun15 » Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:08 pm

might be a dumb question but is health care law offered at all schools in the top 50?

User avatar
OGR3
Posts: 881
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 6:56 pm

Re: Healthcare Law

Postby OGR3 » Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:09 pm

merichard87 wrote:
Specialty rankings should only become an issue when you don't have the numbers for a top school or if you are choosing between one of those top schools.


I think the biggest thing you need to worry about at this point is getting a good LSAT score.

School Rankings > Specialty Rankings.

User avatar
Rik Smits
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:00 pm

Re: Healthcare Law

Postby Rik Smits » Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:13 pm

wjun15 wrote:might be a dumb question but is health care law offered at all schools in the top 50?

Not a dumb question, I'd like to know the answer, too.

And thanks for the input so far, everyone.

User avatar
Lonagan
Posts: 338
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 12:03 pm

Re: Healthcare Law

Postby Lonagan » Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:18 pm

I think one thing for you to look at is whether or not you would want to pursue a healthcare related dual degree. I do not profess to know anything about whether or not they are useful, however, I do know that some law schools have joint programs with graduate schools of public health.

270910
Posts: 2437
Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 9:51 pm

Re: Healthcare Law

Postby 270910 » Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:19 pm

Disco_Barred's list of the top schools for healthcare law:

1) YHS

2) CCN

3) MVPB

4) DCNG

5) A bunch of schools I always forget. I think USC is in there? Maybe WUSTL?

6) The Abyss

6) Ave Maria, Cooley, Florida Coastal

7) People's college of law

WestOfTheRest
Posts: 1412
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:10 pm

Re: Healthcare Law

Postby WestOfTheRest » Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:21 pm

disco_barred wrote:Disco_Barred's list of the top schools for healthcare law:

1) YHS

2) CCN

3) MVPB

4) DCNG

5) A bunch of schools I always forget. I think USC is in there? Maybe WUSTL?

6) The Abyss

6) Ave Maria, Cooley, Florida Coastal

7) People's college of law

What metrics did you use to create this list?

User avatar
thesybarite
Posts: 108
Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2010 7:35 pm

Re: Healthcare Law

Postby thesybarite » Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:22 pm

I have similar interests/work experience - it's an amazing field.
BU has some great health law courses, and is involved in the production of the American Journal of Law and Medicine. It's ranked #20 from memory, or around there.
I think St Louis Uni (or something, can't quite remember exact name) have the top health law program in the country...but that's about all they have. It depends how die hard you are I guess, and the opportunities you want at the end.
My experience is overseas, and a specialty in Health/Medical Law is definitely something you develop during your career as opposed to at uni. I guess what I'm saying is that, within reason, you may want to go to the best ranked school you get into, and develop the Health thing later.

Combining them would obviously be more enjoyable though...

Also I think the idea of a combined degree, as others have said, such as Masters of public health may appeal to you. I think Georgetown has a good program that combines with John Hopkins. I looked into all this a while ago so my facts may be a little shaky.

Good luck!

User avatar
sundance95
Posts: 2123
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:44 pm

Re: Healthcare Law

Postby sundance95 » Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:23 pm

What metrics did you use to create this list?

The USNWR rankings. Disco's point is that school ranking > specialty ranking, as other posters have noted.

WestOfTheRest
Posts: 1412
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:10 pm

Re: Healthcare Law

Postby WestOfTheRest » Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:24 pm

sundance95 wrote:
What metrics did you use to create this list?

The USNWR rankings. Disco's point is that school ranking > specialty ranking, as other posters have noted.


People on TLS really need to find a sense of humour. Seriously.

User avatar
OGR3
Posts: 881
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 6:56 pm

Re: Healthcare Law

Postby OGR3 » Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:25 pm

Lonagan wrote:I think one thing for you to look at is whether or not you would want to pursue a healthcare related dual degree. I do not profess to know anything about whether or not they are useful, however, I do know that some law schools have joint programs with graduate schools of public health.


Good point.

I know Pitt has a JD/MPH program.

wjun15
Posts: 105
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 8:09 pm

Re: Healthcare Law

Postby wjun15 » Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:26 pm

sundance95 wrote:
What metrics did you use to create this list?

The USNWR rankings. Disco's point is that school ranking > specialty ranking, as other posters have noted.


is school ranking > specialty ranking because they offer health care law at all the top schools? or are you just saying go to the top ranked schools because they're top ranked

User avatar
sundance95
Posts: 2123
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:44 pm

Re: Healthcare Law

Postby sundance95 » Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:27 pm

CastleRock wrote:
sundance95 wrote:
What metrics did you use to create this list?

The USNWR rankings. Disco's point is that school ranking > specialty ranking, as other posters have noted.


People on TLS really need to find a sense of humour. Seriously.


--ImageRemoved--

WestOfTheRest
Posts: 1412
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:10 pm

Re: Healthcare Law

Postby WestOfTheRest » Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:28 pm

wjun15 wrote:
sundance95 wrote:
What metrics did you use to create this list?

The USNWR rankings. Disco's point is that school ranking > specialty ranking, as other posters have noted.


is school ranking > specialty ranking because they offer health care law at all the top schools? or are you just saying go to the top ranked schools because they're top ranked

It's because the job prospects at top schools are infinitely better than other schools, even highly ranked specialty programs. Your career path is more important than whether or not the school you go to has the specialty you want to work in.

User avatar
OGR3
Posts: 881
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 6:56 pm

Re: Healthcare Law

Postby OGR3 » Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:29 pm

wjun15 wrote:
sundance95 wrote:
What metrics did you use to create this list?

The USNWR rankings. Disco's point is that school ranking > specialty ranking, as other posters have noted.


is school ranking > specialty ranking because they offer health care law at all the top schools? or are you just saying go to the top ranked schools because they're top ranked


While a lower ranked school might give you a better education in a certain specialty, it's going to be easier to get your foot in the door if you go to a higher ranked school.

WestOfTheRest
Posts: 1412
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:10 pm

Re: Healthcare Law

Postby WestOfTheRest » Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:30 pm

sundance95 wrote:
CastleRock wrote:
sundance95 wrote:
What metrics did you use to create this list?

The USNWR rankings. Disco's point is that school ranking > specialty ranking, as other posters have noted.


People on TLS really need to find a sense of humour. Seriously.


--ImageRemoved--


I mean, I've been here over two years, have close to 2000 posts. You might think that I recognize the USNWR when I see them.

User avatar
sundance95
Posts: 2123
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:44 pm

Re: Healthcare Law

Postby sundance95 » Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:30 pm

wjun15 wrote:is school ranking > specialty ranking because they offer health care law at all the top schools? or are you just saying go to the top ranked schools because they're top ranked


School ranking is more important because those who are hiring for health care law related jobs are going to care a lot more about whether you went to a top school then a particular program ranking.

And yes, I believe there would be health care law course offerings from all of the top 30 schools.

User avatar
Grizz
Posts: 10583
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:31 pm

Re: Healthcare Law

Postby Grizz » Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:34 pm

CastleRock wrote:
sundance95 wrote:
What metrics did you use to create this list?

The USNWR rankings. Disco's point is that school ranking > specialty ranking, as other posters have noted.


People on TLS really need to find a sense of humour. Seriously.


LS admissions: srs bzns

270910
Posts: 2437
Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 9:51 pm

Re: Healthcare Law

Postby 270910 » Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:35 pm

sundance95 wrote:
wjun15 wrote:is school ranking > specialty ranking because they offer health care law at all the top schools? or are you just saying go to the top ranked schools because they're top ranked


School ranking is more important because those who are hiring for health care law related jobs are going to care a lot more about whether you went to a top school then a particular program ranking.

And yes, I believe there would be health care law course offerings from all of the top 30 schools.


Right. What pre-law students rarely fully grasp (and there's no reason they should intuit it) is that law school teaches you nothing useful whatsover. It is abstractly useful training for how to learn how to practice law, but there really aren't specialties, majors, or particularized offerings in law schools that have a meaningful impact on employment prospects. All 1Ls take the same courses at every law school in the country, and the lion's share of desirable legal hiring occurs after the first year of law school and before the second.

The result is that for better or for worse (most would agree worse) the overall rankings are what matter. While the T14 can't truly be strung out in an ordinal list from best to worst, it remains true that within narrow bounds of scholarship and regional considerations, the best school for your desired practice area also corresponds with the best ranked school.

A novel could be written about the exceptions (Fordham being better than many schools near it for NYC, Texas and UCLA being nearly as good as Georegetown, CCNMVPDC getting very hazy at the margins especially for different markets, etc.). But the basic bottom line is that no school will meaningfully prepare you for a particular specialty, but the best and most national schools will make employers take you much more seriously as you try to gain internships and other credentials in that field.

/longer answer

User avatar
thesybarite
Posts: 108
Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2010 7:35 pm

Re: Healthcare Law

Postby thesybarite » Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:47 pm

As disco_barred said, I thought law school would offer few practical skills for my career, therefore the courses I studied would be pretty irrelevant upon graduation. While this may/may not be true ( I am in no position to know), a friend of mine who has just finished her law degree told me to take courses I'm interested in, simply because they will be so much easier to learn due to my increased interest level. Makes sense, I thought it was good advice.

Some of the top schools offer barely anything in Health Law, Northwestern for one is very lean.

Rankings are important...within reason. A well-ranked school that offers enough health law courses to hold your interest is probably going to be more fulfilling both now and long term.

Region is important too, where you want to consider practicing later. A lower ranked, but well-known local school can sometimes offer more opportunities in a particular area, due to its community connections.

User avatar
Rik Smits
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:00 pm

Re: Healthcare Law

Postby Rik Smits » Mon Sep 06, 2010 2:17 pm

Thanks for the input, everyone. I guess I'll focus on attaining experience in health law during my summers in law school.

Aqualibrium
Posts: 2011
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:57 am

Re: Healthcare Law

Postby Aqualibrium » Mon Sep 06, 2010 2:27 pm

Most of what you'll learn will be on the job, working with clients and cases. As a result, your real focus should be getting into as good a school as you can, and doing as well as you can once you're there. Once you're in that position you can pinpoint firms that are especially strong in health care law, and try to learn from the best.

I had a really strong interest in health care law, so during 1L year I found the firms in the regions I was most interested in that were especially strong in the field. Worked at one for 1L summer, and recently accepted an offer at one of em for 2L summer.

User avatar
Rik Smits
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:00 pm

Re: Healthcare Law

Postby Rik Smits » Mon Sep 06, 2010 2:37 pm

That makes sense.

I have been looking at my university's job listings and discovered a fellowship position in bioethics with NIH. I have read that substantial work experience prior to law school may improve one's chances in attaining a job in that field.

Would this be worth pursuing? I am not opposed to working before law school, but my ultimate goal is to find a good job in health law. If this route doesn't substantially help, then I should probably ignore it.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests