PUBLIC HEALTH LAW & SCIENCE CENTER
The remarkable growth and transformation of the healthcare industry translates into a growing number of jobs for lawyers.
At the same time, meeting the challenge of educating today's practice-ready health lawyers is a new and unique enterprise. Navigating complex health law issues increasingly requires a sophisticated understanding of the confluence of science, technology and social science, something not usually taught in a more traditional, finite health law program.
Concurrently, public and private sector employers are moving away from a focus on what new health lawyers know, and instead toward what new health lawyers can do with what they know. Reflecting this focus, many employers are requiring one to two years of experience as a hiring prerequisite.
Recognizing these new dynamics, UA's Health Law Certificate Program takes a 'boots on the ground' approach, providing skills training and externships to meet the one to two year experience prerequisite to employment. This skills training and externship experience will allow graduates to hit the ground running in their first years of practice in multiple areas, such as regulatory compliance and risk management, while encouraging continuous reflection on the relationship between law, science and technology.
A core set of four courses, in addition to completing a health law externship, that make-up the Health Law Certificate:
Additional elective courses (for all degrees) offered by the Akron Law School include:
The Health Law Program not only establishes a Health Law Certificate for JD students, it will ultimately evolve to include an LLM in Health Law, a MSL in Health Law for non-JD students, joint JD/MD, JD/MPH and MSL/MPH Degree Programs and the Certificates in Healthcare Regulatory Compliance and Risk Management. These last certificates will be offered in the law school and, eventually, on-line and will be targeted to JD and non-JD students nationwide.
The Health Law Program has adopted a “wrap-around-learning” model unique among health law programs.
The classes that that make up the Health Law Program curriculum will assign readings to the students before each class. The students will then be asked to take an on-line quiz based on the readings before they come to class to be sure they are prepared for class discussions.
Class time will be focused more on actively applying the law to problems based on learning theory which finds that students learn more when they participate in an “active learning” situation. Finally, after each module (HIPPA, HCQIA, Stark as examples of separate modules), the students will be tested again. Students must earn an 80 percent score on the test that will be given on each module in order to be certified as understanding the overall material contained in the module.
This strategy provides students with immediate and regular performance feed-back on their levels of mastery of the materials. Sub-certification on each module will be required to earn the actual, overall Health Law Certificate.
This model will replace the old model of waiting until the end of a semester-long class to test a student’s understanding based on one short exam.
For more information about the PHLSC contact:
Katharine Van Tassel
Professor of Law
The University of Akron School of Law
Research Fellow, Center for Emergency Management and Homeland Security
Adjunct Professor of Law, Graduate Studies, Northeast Ohio Medical School