by Paul R. DeMuro, Latham & Watkins LLP, San Francisco, CA and Katie Rose Fink, Law Student, Saint Louis University School of Law, St. Louis, MO
One way to increase the vitality and energy of the Health Law Section is to attract new members, particularly law student members with an interest in health law and working in the healthcare field. An added benefit of doing so, is that we are likely to decrease the average age of the HLS membership. In that regard, Katie Rose Fink, our law student representative on the HLS Council was kind enough to coordinate with me in penning this column.
We have been quite fortunate to have Katie Rose's energy, contributions ;and insights this year on the Council. I take this opportunity to thank her for her continuing contributions.
As our society ages, the healthcare system must continually adapt to serve the people, and the country needs intelligent healthcare lawyers to lead this process. Law students are attracted to the practice of health law because not only does it provide them with an opportunity to experience the interaction of many areas of legal practice, but it is also an area of law that impacts the lives of all citizens. Serving law students with a desire to practice health law is a goal of the ABA Health Law Section, and we offer numerous opportunities and educational resources for the future leaders in the healthcare law field.
Once law students become members of the Section, they receive free subscriptions to The Health Lawyer and the ABA Health eSource , which provide law students with informative articles about recent developments and issues in health law. All editions of the publications are archived on the Section's website, so students may also use them as a resource for future research projects and seminar or journal papers.
In addition to The Health Lawyer and the ABA Health eSource, we are creating a new online publication that will be specifically geared to law students and provide them with an opportunity to write for the Health Law Section. Hot Topics in Health Law will be a monthly online publication written by law students and emailed to all student members of the Section. The publication will include five sections: 1) recent health law issues, cases and trends in the news; 2) health law reviews, which will include abstracts, articles and comments on The Health Lawyer articles; 3) student health law papers; 4) a feature of recent health law events at law schools; and 5) a health law professor's corner. Our goal is to have the first issue ready by the end of April so that students may begin communicating and sharing their ideas with other law students across the country.
To serve law students' diverse interests and concentrations within health law, they also have the opportunity to join any of the eleven Interest Groups of the Section. The Interest Groups welcome participation by creating a forum for interaction and networking with individuals who practice similar areas of health law. The Interest Groups focus on everything, including eHealth, facility operations, employee issues, fraud and compliance, public health, insurance, medical research, payment and reimbursement, litigation, transactional healthcare, and tax. There are numerous lawyers within all of the Interest Groups who are eager to assist students, mentor them, and even possibly publish an article together!
Law student members also receive the Health Law Section Membership Directory, which allows them to search for healthcare lawyers anywhere in the country. The Directory is especially useful when students want to locate health lawyers in their geographical area about potential employment, or about possibly coming to speak at their school. The Health Law Section also assists various Health Law Associations at law schools in scheduling experienced health lawyers to speak at their school.
Law students are the future of the health law field and the Health Law Section. We challenge health lawyers to take the opportunity to mentor law students and encourage the next generation of health lawyers to become involved with the Section. If you practice with a larger firm, please consider encouraging your firm to host a group of health law students for a CLE Teleconference, or sponsor one or two students at a local law school to attend an ABA s law conference. We challenge law students to take advantage of the numerous opportunities to write for the Section and share ideas with other law students across the country. All of our initiatives are designed to give value to health law students, and we welcome any new ideas you may have.
Thoughts, concerns, observations ... Paul's email address is email@example.com and Katie's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
My best regards and thanks for reading.
Paul R. DeMuro