ATLANTA – The College of Law is launching a new certificate program for law students who wish to concentrate their studies in health law.
Beginning with the graduating class of 2013, law students will have the opportunity to participate in this distinctive program designed to foster the knowledge, skills, and values that contemporary lawyers need in order to navigate the rapidly-changing regulatory environments in the health care industry and in the public health law field.
“Completion of the certificate program will signal to employers that students have developed certain core competencies for work in this challenging field,” said Charity Scott, Director of the Center for Law, Health & Society. “While many students who participate in the program may have a specific health law career goal in mind, the core competencies developed through this program apply to a broad range of health law settings and are easily transferrable to other legal fields.”
Students in the program must take five required courses, one of which is an elective course in either bioethics or public health law. In addition, students must complete a substantial writing project on a health law topic and participate in a lawyering-skills course, clinic experience, or externship opportunity. Stacie Kershner, Associate Director of the Center, observed: “The certificate program offers students a unique blend of course work and practice.”
The program’s integrated educational approach provides a bridge between law school and professional practice: “With health law as a lens, students will have the opportunity to apply theory to real-world health law issues that they may face in their future legal careers,” said Kershner.
Students will have the opportunity to apply to participate in the certificate program as early as the second semester of their first year (or the second semester of their second year for part-time students). After application, which is done by submitting a non-binding declaration-of-interest form, a student will be assigned a faculty advisor from among the health law faculty.
Participation in the certificate program will allow students to take advantage of faculty advisement on course selection and career paths, a key feature of the program. “Developing a relationship with individual students will allow faculty to tailor their advisement to the students’ interests,” Kershner added.
“This new program was specifically designed to incorporate the recommendations of the Carnegie Foundation report on legal education by providing more integration during the second and third years of law school among the core professional competencies of successful practicing attorneys,” said Scott. “It is also fully consistent with the new Strategic Plan at GSU and will lay the foundation for increased health-related interdisciplinary opportunities across campus.”
Information sessions about the new certificate program will be offered in Room 230 on April 10 at 12 noon and on April 11 at 5:00 pm. For more information, visit the Center’s website about the certificate program at http://law.gsu.edu/clhs/certificate.
Stacie P. Kershner
Center for Law, Health & Society