Health care law involves myriad issues concerning patients, patient advocates, health care providers, and health care entities. Because health is one of the largest sectors of the economy, health care lawyers usually focus on a subspecialty or represent either (1) patients disputing insurance coverage issues or litigating malpractice suits; or (2) physicians, health care entities, or their business associates, by defending against patient-related issues or advising on the many regulatory compliance, privacy, or business law issues that can arise.
Due to the breadth of health law, however, students interested in this area may also want to explore interconnected fields such as representing pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients regarding intellectual property, liability, and regulatory issues; health law policy; or public health.
Health law lawyers can be found in a law firm of all different types, ranging from solo practice to large mega firms. However, lawyers who represent individual patients tend to practice in smaller firms, while those who represent entities tend to practice in either boutique specialty firms or mid- to large law firms. There are also many opportunities for health law lawyers in hospitals, hospital systems, pharmaceuticals, insurance companies, and other related corporations. Within the public sector, there exists a wide range of government agencies that may hire health care lawyers. There are also potential opportunities for experienced health lawyers to work on policy issues for non-profit organizations.
Courses designated as "primary" are foundational, while those listed as "secondary" contain relevant and related content. "Co-curricular" courses are credit-bearing extra-curricular activities, while "experiential" courses are practice-based offerings. Please keep in mind that the focus of any course will vary depending on the instructor.