Health care law is one of the fastest-growing fields encompassing a range of issues from medical malpractice to bioethics to public health. The healthcare industry is one of the most regulated in the world, and healthcare reform has been a dominating issue in the national political landscape. Law school courses in health care law train future lawyers in all facets of the industry, preparing them for work with health organizations, hospitals, practitioners, and policymakers.
Some U.S. law schools are known specifically for their health care law programs. Here are the top 10 law schools for health care law (according to U.S. News and World Report) along with the median LSAT scores and undergraduate GPAs for recently enrolled students.
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9. (tie) Northeastern University
Northeastern’s Center for Health Policy and Law “advances law and policy reforms to strengthen population health, reduce health disparities, nourish public health programs and enhance access to affordable, high-quality healthcare,” according to the university. The center offers four dual-degree programs, a JD with a concentration in Health Policy and Law, and several graduate certificates. Courses cover both U.S. and international topics, and interested law students can take relevant elective courses at Northeastern’s Bouvé College of Health Sciences.
The Northeastern Law Class of 2021 had a median LSAT score of 161 and a median undergraduate GPA of 3.60.
9. (tie) Case Western Reserve University
Founded in 1953, Case Western Reserve University School of Law’s Law-Medicine Center is the oldest health law program in the country. Students can elect to take courses in health care law beginning in the first year. Case Western also awards special scholarships in health law—as well as a health law fellowship, which includes a research position the summer between the first and second year—to outstanding incoming law students. Students work with real clients in the Health Law Clinic, assuming primary responsibility for a caseload under the direction of a faculty member. Selected students serve as associate editors for the school’s Health Matrix, a semi-annual law medicine journal.
The Class of 2021 at Case Western Reserve University School of Law had a median LSAT score of 159 and a median undergraduate GPA of 3.46.
6. (tie) University of Maryland (Carey)
In addition to a large array of elective courses, the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law offers students a Concentration in Health Law—a 17-credit program that mixes research, classroom learning, and practical experience—giving students a Health Law Certificate upon completion. The school takes advantage of its proximity to Washington, D.C., regularly placing students in externships with federal policymakers and offices, including the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, and the National Human Genome Research Institute. Students also represent real clients in health care access cases in the school’s Clinical Law Program.
The University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law Class of 2021 had a median LSAT score of 158 and a median undergraduate GPA of 3.56.
6. (tie) University of Houston
The University of Houston Law Center’s Health Law & Policy Institute has been working on policy research and educating future lawyers for over 40 years. A course on Health Law is offered each semester and is a prerequisite for all other health law courses and seminars at the school. Students interested in pursuing dual-degrees have several options: a JD/LLM Program, a JD/MPH program, a JD/MD program, and a JD/PhD program. Academic credit is provided for externship work with nonprofit and public organizations in the Houston area.
For the Class of 2021, the median undergraduate GPA was 3.61 and the median LSAT score was 160.
6. (tie) Georgetown University
Georgetown’s Health Law Program trains future lawyers in the skills necessary to work with policymakers or with practitioners and patients. The O’Neill Institute for National & Global Health Law is housed within Georgetown Law. Founded in 2007, the Institute is dedicated to national and global policy analysis with particular foci on Food and Drug Law; Infectious Diseases; Addiction and Public Policy; Global Health Governance; and Health & Human Rights. Law students can elect to participate in the Health Justice Alliance Clinic, which places them in Georgetown healthcare clinics to represent D.C. families and “address the legal barriers that negatively impact their health and well-being,” according to the university.
The Georgetown Law Class of 2020 had a median LSAT score of 167 and a median undergraduate GPA of 3.79.
Harvard Law offers its students an extensive catalog of courses in all aspects of health law. Students also work with low-income individuals and families on a state and national level to increase access to quality, comprehensive, and affordable health care in the Health Law and Policy Clinic. Recent work in the clinic has included advising policymakers on the Affordable Care Act, working with coalitions advocating to protect Medicaid and Medicare, and litigation concerning discriminatory health insurance practices.
The JD Class of 2022 at Harvard Law had a median LSAT score of 173 and a median undergraduate GPA of 3.89.
Boston University’s School of Law structures its health law curriculum on the American Health Lawyers Association Law Curriculum Manual, which was published in 2014 and drew on surveys from hundreds of health law practitioners, identifying the top skills necessary for future health lawyers to learn. Students can complete a Health Law Concentration which includes courses in the BU School of Law, as well as in BU’s School of Public Health and Questrom School of Business. The school’s American Journal of Law & Medicine is student-run, and students earn academic credit for serving as editors or members of the journal.
The BU School of Law Class of 2021 had a median LSAT score of 166 and a median undergraduate GPA of 3.74.
2. (tie) Loyola University Chicago
Loyola University Chicago’s Beazley Institue for Health Law and Policy “educates students, health care executives and professionals, academics, and the bar in the regulatory and corporate aspects of health law,” according to the Institute. JD students can earn a Certificate in Health Law to prepare them for a health law career. Loyola offers more than 60 courses in the field, and students can gain practical experience in school by working with underserved patients in the Health Justice Project or through externships at Chicago-area hospitals or agencies.
The Class of 2021 had a median LSAT score of 157 and a median undergraduate GPA of 3.42.
2. (tie) Georgia State University
Georgia State University College of Law’s Center for Law Health & Society offers a Certificate in Health Law to JD students, preparing future lawyers for work in health-related legal firms, research, and in policy. To complete the certificate, students take five courses, complete an experiential learning requirement through a clinic or externship, and execute a writing project on a topic in health law. The Georgia State health law program is interdisciplinary—law courses are open to graduate students in other disciplines at Georgia State, Emory University, and Morehouse School of Medicine.
The Georgia State University College of Law Class of 2021 had a median LSAT score of 158 and a median undergraduate GPA of 3.47.
Saint Louis University School of Law’s Center for Health Law Studies has held the #1 spot on this list for 15 of the last 16 years. JD students can earn a concentration in health law, building their curriculum from a broad range of foundational and specialized law courses. Practical experience is gained through externships in St. Louis or through the school’s Health Law Semester in Washington, D.C., where law students clerk in a federal agency close to full-time for an entire semester. The nationally recognized Center for Health Law Studies at SLU brings in distinguished speakers and hosts a Health Law Symposium annually, connecting students with experts in the field.
The SLU LAW incoming class in Fall 2018 had a median LSAT score of 155 and a median undergraduate GPA of 3.45.
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