Welcome Law Students

Food for Thought

Do the best you can in every task, no matter how unimportant it may seem at the time. No one learns more about a problem than the person at the bottom. Sandra Day O'Connor, Former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States

Experience the Full Flavor of Health Law

To get involved in the activities of the Section or to simply get a flavor for health law, we invite you to join one of our Interest Groups where the main work of the Section is done. Find opportunities to participate in forums and interact with attorneys at various levels of their legal career and from a host of health law disciplines. As a Section member, you may join the Interest Groups of your choice as part of your membership with no additional fee. Tell me more

A Message from the Chair of the Law Student Outreach Subcommittee

In a time of uncertainties, many law students are wondering what the future will bring after they have invested so much in their legal education. The Health Law Section is here for you and is re-launching the Legal Beagle, a newsletter specifically for law students.  With this newsletter, we want to send you useful resources, interesting and timely articles, invitations to webinars, CLE opportunities, and (for the time being) virtual events.  The Health Law Section will also be building out a law student webpage, so please look out for more information on that in the future.

Health law can be a challenging, satisfying and influential career path for attorneys choosing it as a specialty. As a critical component to the efficient and fair delivery of healthcare within the industry, healthcare attorneys enjoy long, stable careers working for a single employer or for a government entity. In addition to the law, healthcare lawyers gain an understanding of key issues in science, medicine and ethics. Now more than ever, with a world pandemic and so many questions about what the future will bring, health law will continue to be vital and rewarding area of the law giving you the opportunity to advocate for regulations and laws that affect everyone and to influence how our society gives and receives healthcare. For lawyers passionate about public health, you can contribute to the public welfare by advocating for those who cannot advocate for themselves.

By Jesse Hale, Chair, ABA Health Law Section Subcommittee on Law Student Outreach, Sutin Thayer & Browne (Albuquerque, NM)

How the Coronavirus Pandemic is Affecting Legal Education and Recent Graduates

As a result of COVID-19, law schools rushed to prepare contingency plans to cope with the pandemic and implement new policies to ease the transition. Law schools moved classes online, canceled campus activities and events, and closed their libraries and other facilities. Many law schools have allowed their students to take classes on a pass or fail basis this term. Meanwhile, videoconferencing has become part of the norm to bring students together in group study sessions as they struggle to complete their studies before summer break.

Moving forward, COVID-19 may cause law schools to rethink basic elements of legal education, like student orientation, large lectures, public clinics, study-abroad programs and campus housing, or even being more flexible with continued virtual lectures.  With the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, even into the fall semester, law schools will likely need to accommodate the needs of their students and their vulnerable populations.

Due to Stay-in-Place orders across the country, law firm employees are working from home to avoid physical contact. As a result, student across the country are finding their summer internships withdrawn and associate positions for recent graduates rescinded because there simply is no support to bring them to the firm if all the partners and other staff are working from home.

For graduating law students, the July bar exam poses yet another challenging question. For one, it is uncertain whether states will even hold, or be able to hold, the July bar exam and what happens to 2020 law school graduates if there is not a July bar exam. For its part, the ABA recently issued a resolution calling for states to adopt emergency rules authorizing supervised limited practice for recent graduates, along with a bar pass requirement of no later than December 2021. For more information, visit the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar at ambar.org/legaled. We have also included links in this Legal Beagle for articles on the bar exam, and will share more in future editions.

Moving forward, keep in mind that the pandemic and the likely recession are likely to amplify trends toward remote work, contract hiring and automation to reduce costs and in-person interactions. These changes to the practice of law will certainly come with some positives and some negatives. With financial analysts anticipating an economic downturn comparable to the Great Recession in 2008 and 2009, the legal job market will be impacted just as other industries. Law students should expect the pandemic and economic downturn to affect their education and future career prospects, and should start preparing now. However, the generation of lawyers that weathers this storm, particularly those working in the Health Law industry, will have the opportunity to safeguard and strengthen the rule of law and may have the opportunity to make important and beneficial changes the practice of law.

Recent Articles

Well-Being in a Time of COVID-19

Novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Global pandemic. World Health Organization (WHO). State of emergency. Shortage of test kits, medical supplies, hospital beds, and healthcare professionals. Shelter-in-place orders. Business and school closures. Social distancing. Hand sanitizer. Toilet paper. And the list continues. These alarming headlines trigger our flight-or-fight response dating back to our survival instincts as early humans. Tell me more

by Alexandria Hien McCombs, Section Immediate Past Chair, (Dallas, TX) -- March 2020

Do You Have Questions About COVID-19?

During this COVID-19 pandemic, the ABA Health Law Section and Life Sciences Interest Group leadership hopes you, your family and colleagues are taking appropriate precautions for your safety and the safety of others. Through this difficult time, the Life Sciences Interest Group continues to be here to support our members. With that said, should you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to our Interest Group leadership. We will be happy to provide you with information and resources or connect you with those who can best answer your questions and provide you with direction. Submit Your Question or Perspective Here

By Darshan Kulkarni, Pharm.D, MS, Esq., Chair, Life Sciences Interest Group, The Kulkarni Law Firm (Philadelphia, PA)

COVID-19 Resources and Information

COVID-19 Fallout in the Legal Community

75% of associates surveyed say job security and pay cuts are top worry -- By Debra Cassen Weiss, ABA Journal, May 14, 2020

Could Zoom jury trials become the norm during the coronavirus pandemic? -- by Matt Reynolds, ABA Journal, May 11, 2020

What alternatives to the July bar exam are being considered considering COVID-19?-- By Stephanie Francis Ward, ABA Journal, March 23, 2020, 3:50 pm CDT -- Administration of the July 2020 bar exam seems unlikely in the wake of COVID-19. According to a working paper released Sunday by a group of legal academics. It calls for states to consider diploma privilege for 2020 law school graduates, as well as supervised practice.

Suspension of federal student loan payments available during COVID-19 pandemic-- By Stephanie Francis Ward, ABAJoural Daily News, March 20, 2020, 1:49 pm CDT

On-campus interviews in January? Top law schools consider delays amid law firm pressure-- By Debra Cassens Weiss, ABAJournal Daily News, March 24, 2020, 10:41 am CDT

Commentary, Perspectives, and Other Items of Interest

The new world of litigating workplace disputes with social media -- By Craig Carpenter and John Patzakis, ABA Journal, June 17,  2020

10 law schools are out of compliance with bar passage standard, ABA legal ed section says  -- By Stephanie Francis Ward, ABA Journal, May 28, 2020

Why exotic dancers and other gig workers are seeing employment law gains, COVID-19 losses -- By Jenny B. Davis, ABA Journal, May 12, 2020

Animal law attorney discusses Netflix's 'Tiger King,' legal issues related to wildlife trafficking -- by Matt Reynolds, ABA Journal, May 14, 2020

Law firms are making the same mistakes with women and millennials, lawyer says -- By Susan Smith Blakely, ABAJournal Daily News, March 25, 2020, 1:15 pm CDT -- The law profession needs damage control, says lawyer Susan Smith Blakely. Law firm leadership should be looking in the rearview mirror and changing policies to address what is reflected there. But that does not seem to be the case.

When caring costs you: Lawyers can experience vicarious trauma from work -- By Jeena Cho, ABA Journal, February 1, 2020, 1:15 am CST

Job Board and Career Planning Resources