For the tenth consecutive year, US News ranked the University of St. Louis School of Law as the top health law program in the United States. It was followed by Boston University and Georgia State University. Of the top 3 law schools in the overall rankings – Yale, Harvard, and Stanford – only Harvard received enough nominations to be ranked among the top healthcare programs. It was listed at #12.
So what makes a top health care law program different? Here is what the top 10 programs offer to law students:
Since 1982, The University of St. Louis has operated The Center For Health Law Studies, a groundbreaking program that offers foundational and specialized health law and policy courses. Along with securing their J.D., students can earn a Concentration in Health Law Studies or an LL.M in Health Law Studies. The school has also developed a Health Law Semester in Washington D.C., where students have gained practical legal experience working for agencies like the Federal Trade Commission, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and U.S. Department of Justice. The school’s excellence in teaching was recognized in 2012, when Sidney Watson won the Jay Healey Health Law Professor Award from The American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics – the fourth St. Louis faculty member to win this annual award. The law school boasts more than 177 years of collective health law teaching experience and has placed graduates in leading law firms, health systems, and regulatory agencies.
In the shadows of Harvard University and MIT, Boston University has quietly emerged as one of the thirty best law schools in America. The school publishes The American Journal of Law and Medicine, considered the nation’s premier health law research journal. It also houses The American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics, a leading scholarly society in health law. Students can earn a M.P.H. in Law and Public Health in addition to their J.D. Like the University of St. Louis, Boston University Law School offers externships and semester-long placements in government agencies. Most promising, the health law program rose from #5 to #2 in the 2014 U.S. News rankings.
Based in downtown Atlanta, Georgia State’s Center for Health, Law and Society has ranked in U.S. News’ top 10 for its seventh consecutive year. And the program has achieved this distinction despite only being around since 2004. The school benefits from a close ties with the nearby Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which has hired a number of Georgia State law graduates. Georgia State has also been ranked in the top 5 in National Jurist’s listing of “Best Value” law schools for the past five consecutive years.
Looking for real world experience? The Carey School of Law at the University of Maryland, located 40 minutes from Washington D.C., is perfectly situated for externships. Through this program, students have gained practical experience from institutions like the Johns Hopkins Health System, The Food and Drug Administration, The National Institutes of Health, and The National Human Genome Research Institute (NIH). Carey sponsors a Clinical Law Program, where students can represent real clients like low income families and the elderly in cases involving health care access and payment. Carey Law also hosts an annual Health Law Trip to assist the needy in the Gulf region.