Established in 1982, the Center for Health Law Studies was one of the first law school programs to focus on the intersection of the health care system and the legal system.
As a health law concentration student, you'll have access to top-tier faculty; leading scholars, practitioners and employers; and one-on-one support and guidance from staff who work together to give you a competitive edge as you pursue a career in health law.
Our health law graduates work across the country, where the Center's reputation is highly regarded. For 16 of the last 18 years, U.S. News & World Report has named the Center for Health Law Studies the nation's top health law program.
The Center for Health Law Studies offers a variety of opportunities for students during their time at SLU LAW.
Semester in D.C.
Through this second-to-none opportunity, you’ll clerk in a health-related federal agency on a nearly full-time basis while earning 14 credits. In addition to the practical experience and complementary coursework, you’ll begin building a network of contacts within the federal government and in Washington, D.C.
Saint Louis University Journal of Health Law & Policy
The Journal is published twice a year by the Center for Health Law Studies and a student editorial board, featuring articles that provide in-depth analysis of topical issues in health law and policy. You’ll have the opportunity to hold a leadership position and work with faculty to solicit and review articles for publication.
Health Law Association
The Health Law Association (HLA) has been in existence since 1979 and is one of the largest student groups at SLU LAW. As a member, you’ll take part in philanthropic causes and get involved in the school and community. Through monthly meetings, you can participate in discussions with esteemed professionals and gain new insight into potential career fields.
Professional Skills Competitions
As a health law student, you can participate in the National Health Law Moot Court Competition, the National Health Law Transactional Competition, and the Health Law Regulatory and Compliance Competition to gain experience honing your legal skills.
Make a Difference in the Legal Clinics
Second- and third-year students, supervised by practicing lawyers, work in the SLU LAW Legal Clinics as student attorneys. As a health law student, you'll have the opportunity to participate in case development and appellate advocacy concerning substantial legal matters such as state health policy.
Gain Experience in Field Placements
Field placements provide opportunities for law students to learn in health law practice settings. Placement experiences enrich students' legal education through skill development, increased understanding of substantive law, development of professional responsibility and identity, and institutional understanding.
In the field
Health law field placements and summer experiences have included (in addition to private firms):
- BJC Health Care
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Centura Health
- Express Scripts
- Families U.S.A.
- Hospital Sisters Health System
- The Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation
- LEO Pharma
- The Mayo Clinic
- Mercy Health
- National Health Law Project
- National Rural Health Association
- Presence Health
- Saint Louis University School of Medicine
- SSM Health
- St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
- Texas Children's Hospital
- U.S. Attorneys' Offices
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- U.S. Department of Justice
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
American Health Law Association Spotlights Center Faculty
In this video produced by AHLA as part of its campaign Health Law Disruption: 2030 and Beyond, Center Director Sidney D. Watson and Professors Rob Gatter, Ruqaiijah Yearby, Ana Santos Rutschman and Elizabeth Pendo discuss how SLU’s mission and advocacy-centered approach to learning prepares health lawyers for a more collaborative future.
Asha M. Natarajan, J.D., M.P.H., Class of 2012, Assistant United States Attorney, health care fraud , says,
"We had an entire class on the Stark Law and the Anti-Kickback Statute and learned why it makes health care business just so much more high risk. It was unbelievable to have that working knowledge going into practice."
Asha M. Natarajan, J.D., M.P.H., Class of 2012, Assistant United States Attorney, health care fraud says, "We had an entire class on the Stark Law and the Anti-Kickback Statute and learned why it makes health care business just so much more high risk. It was unbelievable to have that working knowledge going into practice."
Putting Your Education to work
Asha Natarajan landed one of her first jobs in part because the hiring partner specifically sought candidates from prestigious health law programs like SLU LAW's Center for Health Law Studies who could "hit the ground running."
James Callahan IV, J.D., Class of 2019, says,
“My big project was assisting in conducting a legal epidemiological study on the definition of telemedicine and telehealth in the United States.
Prior to this internship, I was interested in working as in-house counsel in a hospital, but after this experience I became interested in health policy or health care impact litigation, as well.”
James Callahan IV, J.D., Class of 2019 says, “My big project was assisting in conducting a legal epidemiological study on the definition of telemedicine and telehealth in the United States. Prior to this internship, I was interested in working as in-house counsel in a hospital, but after this experience I became interested in health policy or health care impact litigation, as well.”
Exploring New Horizons
James Callahan IV had always dreamed of working for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but he thought that dream was over when he chose to go to law school instead of medical school. His experience as a health law concentration student paid off in Summer 2018 when he was hired there as a public health law intern.
In their words
“One of the reasons I chose to come to SLU is because I’m interested in health law, and SLU has the No. 1 health law program in the country. It affords me opportunities here that I wouldn’t have at other places.”
— Lauren Pair, J.D., Class of 2019
“I can attest the Health Law Semester in Washington, D.C. is an amazing program with a wealth of opportunity, and the SLU alumni base in D.C. really cares about helping you out.”
— Shannon Rempe, J.D., M.P.H., Class of 2020, intern at the U.S. DHHS, Office of General Counsel for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
“My decision to go to SLU LAW was based on the health law program, and a big part of that was the Semester in D.C. opportunity. All of us had supervisors at our agencies who are SLU LAW alumni, and we have mentors who are alumni. It was great to still have the support of SLU while being in agency practice.”
— Sarah Morgan, J.D., Class of 2019, intern at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Risk Management Office
“I felt incredibly equipped to handle a variety of health law issues after taking various health law courses. The attorneys, doctors, nurses, staff and patients reminded me of their mission and ignited my desire to use my legal knowledge and training in the service of others.”
— Aida Herenda, J.D., Class of 2019, intern with the Office of Legal Services at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Cutting-edge Faculty Research
Director, Center for Health Law StudiesCourses Taught
Administrative Law, Health Care Law, Health Law Semester in DC, Public Health Law, Seminar: Theories of Health Law, Theories of Health Law Seminar
Assistant Professor of Legal ResearchCourses Taught
Advanced Legal Research
Joseph J. Simeone Professor of LawCourses Taught
Bioethics, Civil Procedure I, Civil Procedure II, Disability Law, Health Care Ethics, Health Care Law
Assistant ProfessorCourses Taught
FDA Law and Policy, Patent Law, Public Health Law
Malcolm J. Harkins III
Professor of PracticeCourses Taught
Health Care Compliance & The Law, Health Law Agency Practice, Legal Issues in Long Term Care
Jane and Bruce Robert ProfessorCourses Taught
Bioethics, Health Care Law, Health Law Policy & Advocacy I & II, Seminar: Access to Health Care, Torts
Associate Professor, Sociology; College of Arts and SciencesCourses Taught
Medical Sociology, Law & Society, Organizations, Professions
Jesse A. Goldner
John D. Valentine Professor of Law Emeritus
Thomas L. Greaney
Chester A. Myers Professor of Law Emeritus
Sandra H. Johnson
Associate Professor, Economics; Chaifetz School of Business
Associate Professor; Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics
Professor, Director, Community Medicine; Program Director, Addiction Medicine Fellowship; School of Medicine
Summer Law Program in madrid
SLU LAW's ABA-approved summer program offers six weeks of enriching, rewarding education in one of the most exciting, historical and culturally rich cities in the world. Learn more >
We’ve Got Unique CoursesExplore
FDA Law and Policy
Explore legal and policy issues related to products regulated by the FDA. You will critically examine the regulatory framework for food, drugs, biologics, vaccines, medical devices and cosmetics, and consider the relationship between the regulatory framework and other laws, such as patent, antitrust and products liability.
Bioethics and the Law
Examine the ethical and legal issues related to areas of health care decision-making such as determination of death, organ transplantation, end-of-life care, genetics and more. You will be introduced to the leading approaches in analyzing the ethical issues involved, with a special emphasis on their influence in court cases and legislation.
Emerging Health Technologies: Innovation, Law and Policy
In this seminar you will first examine the role of tools including patents, market exclusivity, grants and prizes in spurring the production and dissemination of new technologies. You'll look at the roles of institutions supporting scientific research, like the NIH, Google and NASA. Finally, you'll explore discrete topics in biomedical innovation: the landscape surrounding the development of oncology drugs, gene therapies and precision medicine, and controversies surrounding drug price gouging, medical 3-D printing and more.
Enabling people with disabilities to participate in society is a new civil rights frontier, built on the achievements of prior movements while confronting both comparable and distinct dilemmas. In this course, you'll gain an in-depth study of current issues in disability law and policy, with emphasis on the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and its amendments that prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, education, housing, transportation and health care.
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