Kim Dammers, JD '97, has been an Assistant United States Attorney at the Department of Justice since 2002. In 2008, she was named to a one-year detail position at CDC.
Dammers splits her time at CDC between the Office of the General Counsel and the Public Health Law Program. "Almost all of my work at CDC was legal in nature and directly entailed law-based analysis," she said.
"In the Office of the General Counsel, I worked on legal issues relating to computer security, quarantine, isolation, and other emergency public health measures, and matters that might implicate criminal law," said Dammers. "In the Public Health Law Program, I concentrated on public health emergency law, the treatment of tuberculosis patients, and injury related to gang violence."
Dammers recalled her 12-month detail as an exciting time to be a lawyer at CDC. Among other things, the pandemic H1N1 flu outbreak occurred while she was there. "Both the OGC and the Public Health Law Program were heavily involved in addressing legal concerns related to the outbreak," she said.
These legal concerns included proposed prevention methods, isolation duration, vaccine distribution, and medical examinations of travelers suspected of H1N1 exposure. "Many of the legal issues that surfaced were new or seldom implemented, and each required significant analysis," said Dammers.
Now back at the US Attorney's Office, Dammers remains a liaison with the CDC on potential criminal matters. She reminded those interested in health law that other government agencies and non-profit organizations also hire health law professionals.
"Besides the commonly considered public health law-related jobs," she said referring to CDC and other public health agencies, "litigation concerning health care fraud is a rapidly expanding field that the Department of Justice has made a top priority."
Dammers had high praise for Georgia State Law alumni. "I am constantly impressed by our graduates," she said. "Usually, I see them in the courtroom, and they are consistently well-prepared and capable litigators."
She also said that the College of Law "succeeds in preparing new lawyers to meet challenges presented daily in the practice of law." According to Dammers, "the best preparation comes from rigorous legal education that pushes students to think deeply about legal issues, that demands clear and succinct writing and analysis, and that encourages students to articulate a logical, principled reasoning for a position" - the ideals to which she said Georgia State Law consistently strives.