Health care is the largest industry in the United States, encompassing nearly a fifth of GDP. Sitting at the crossroads of science, technology, ethics, and economics, health care law governs the most profound questions involving fairness, innovation, privacy, and faith. Shaped by complex regulations – and buffeted by growing demand – health care law is becoming a magnet for law schools’ best-and-brightest.
If you’re a first year looking to work in health law, you’re probably asking yourself one question: “Where do I even start?” The options seem almost limitless: Medical malpractice, fraud and abuse, patient rights and privacy, contracts, and mergers and acquisitions…just to name a few. And clients can include anyone from hospitals, insurers, and pharmaceutical companies to physicians and patients.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the market for lawyers is expected to grow by 10% from 2012-2022. With The Affordable Care Act moving millions of Americans into health insurance, health law students will only see greater opportunities in the coming years.
Question is, which schools provide the best education in this field? This year, US News and World Report released its annual rankings of law schools. Along with providing an overall ranking of schools, the magazine also measured schools in specialty industries, such as healthcare. Unlike its overall ranking, which weighs criteria like placement rates, LSAT scores, and assessments from law school deans, tenured faculty, lawyers and judges, US News calculates its specialty rankings strictly from votes submitted by legal scholars, with each voter able to nominate up to 15 schools. Based on the number of votes cast for particular schools, here is U.S. News’ 2014 ranking of the top 10 health law schools:
|Rank||School||Annual Tuition (Full-Time)||Enroll-ment||LSAT (25th -75th Percentile)||Acceptance Rate||Bar Passage (First-Time)||Median Private Sector Starting Salary||Median Public Sector Starting Salary||Post-Graduation Debt||Employment After 9 Months (2011 Grads)||Overall Rank|
|1||St. Louis University||$36,885||709||151-159||59.0%||88.2%||$52,500||$45,000||$121,742||67.6%||102|
|3||Georgia State University||$15,154 (In-State) $34,834 (Out-of-State)||461||156-161||26.8%||94.2%||$67,838||$54,268||$68,283||77.4%||64|
|4||University of Maryland||$26,093 (In-State) $37,710 (Out-of-State)||711||151-164||26.6%||88.1%||$64,000||$45,000||$122,349||62.3%||41|
|5||Case Western Reserve University||$44,620||567||156-161||53.6%||81.8%||$80,000||$52,065||$118,086||55.2%||68|
|6||Seton Hall University||$48,170||604||154-161||51.9%||88.5%||$135,000||$43,437||$125,745||72.0%||64|
|8||University of Houston||$29,748 (In-State) $39,699 (Out-of-State)||632||159-163||29.8%||92.0%||$80,000||$58,000||$81,721||75.8%||48|
|10||University of Indiana-Indianapolis||N/A||N/A||152-159||49.1%||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||63.1%||98|
Source: U.S. News & World Report
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