Filed under: Health Care Employment, Health Law
The next MSJ Open House will be on Saturday, February 25, 2012, from 9 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. (registration begins at 8:30 a.m.). Advanced registration is required. Register here >>
MSJ Program in Health, Science & Technology Law
Seton Hall Law School offers a Master of Science in Jurisprudence (MSJ) degree in Health, Science & Technology Law. The MSJ program provides professionals working in health care, information technology, telecommunication, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology with a solid foundation in the legal and regulatory aspects of these industries.
The MSJ is unique in that it provides a rigorous grounding in the law for students who do not want to become lawyers, but who, instead, want to use the law to enhance their effectiveness and marketability in a non-legal career. Combining this degree with their professional experiences, MSJ graduates have numerous opportunities available to them. Alumni work in a broad spectrum of positions as compliance officers, contract analysts, healthcare administrators, nurse managers, patent/trademark assistants, pharmaceutical financial analysts, quality assurance managers, supervisors, clinical operations directors, and lobbyists.
The MSJ Open House is an excellent opportunity for prospective applicants to meet and speak with faculty, students and administrators in a half-day long structured program.
The event will include an overview of the MSJ admissions process, the MSJ curriculum and course offerings, a question & answer session with the Director of the MSJ program, two mock classes led by current health law and intellectual property law faculty, information on financial aid, and tours of the law school. A relaxed lunch will allow for time to ask questions of special interest to you.
Please register for the Open House online or by contacting Helen A. Cummings, Administrator of Graduate Programs, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 973-642-8380. Thank you for your interest in Seton Hall Law School’s MSJ program.
Filed under: Health Care Employment, Health Law, Uninsured
The health law section at AALS put on a truly outstanding program. Jennifer Bard posted on the speakers and topics here, and I’d wanted to do a post reporting on the program. But there was so much there that I’ll try to draft a post on each speaker, or at least a column from the Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics that reflects her or his approach. Fortunately, as Bard reported, “the Indiana University Robert H. Mckinney School of Law’s Health Law Review has agreed to print pieces about these programs as well as the proceedings of the panel in a Spring 2012 volume.”
The first speaker was Prof. Charity Scott, Catherine C. Henson Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Law, Health & Society at Georgia State University College of Law. Her presentation, “Collaborating with the Real World: Opportunities for Developing Skills and Values in Health Law,” was a terrific mix of high level observation, on-the-ground experiences, practical examples from her own health law program, and articles she edited as editor of the Teaching Health Law column of the JLME. Scott noted that experiential learning can happen in time slots ranging from an hour to a day to a semester or year, so any committed professional can fit some opportunities into their schedule at some point. She particularly focused on how students could help attorneys, doctors, and community members solve pressing problems. In coming weeks, I’ll blog on some of the particular programs she mentioned.
Filed under: Health Care Employment, Health Law, Seton Hall Law
On Friday I attended the Fourth Annual Student Health Law Conference: Taking the Health Law Career Path co-sponsored by Seton Hall Law School and the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics (ASLME). Originally I planned to attend only the morning session — both for my own benefit as a possible health law practitioner and because I’m a research assistant at the law school’s Center for Health & Pharmaceutical Law & Policy — but I found the panelists to be so engaging that I stuck around for the afternoon session and the networking reception.
Despite some recent good news concerning the job prospects for law students, especially for those in New Jersey, recent graduates and third or fourth year law students don’t need a Magic 8-Ball to tell them that compared to the hiring fests of 2005 and 2006, the present “outlook [is] not so good.” So what about health law jobs? There are regular reports on how the healthcare industry has weathered the economic storm better than others (see Michael Ricciardelli’s blog posts on the continued growth of the healthcare industry here and here). Peter Leibold, Executive Vice President & Chief Executive Officer of the American Health Lawyers Association, delivered a great keynote speech at the Conference emphasizing, among other things, how the field of health law is growing and, in particular, which areas of health law are flourishing.
Still, in the current clime finding a job as a health law practitioner fresh out of law school can seem like a rather daunting challenge. But should it be? Not so, said the panelists.
I attended five panels (out of 18) addressing the career opportunities available for those interested in “When a Medical License is at Stake,” “Health Information & Technology Practice,” “In-House Counsel: Pharmaceutical Companies,” “Government Enforcement of Health Care Fraud, and “Hospitals & Medical Groups: Compliance & Risk Management.” The panelists represented a variety of employers, including the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, the New York State Office of the Medicaid Inspector General, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, Bristol-Myers Squibb, sanofi-aventis, Saint Peter’s University Hospital, and Saint Barnabas Health Care System. Three panelists had worked for boutique or large firms but eventually branched out on their own.
Many of the panelists relayed a mixture of humor and frankness in their discussions about the current job market and their own past experiences in job searching. Several noted that their current job came from prior work experiences that had built upon one-another. Others outlined networking strategies and urged students to apply for internships. However, one piece of advice could be heard over and over again: develop your lawyering skills now and your health law job will follow.
Maybe you want to work for a law firm specializing in health law. Maybe you want to be in-house counsel for a pharmaceutical company. Or maybe you want to work for the government. Regardless of which career path appeals to you, a recent law school graduate may hit a wall with potential employers looking for experienced candidates. Both in-house counsel panelists acknowledged that pharmaceutical companies tend to prefer people with a few years of work experience. So if it’s in-house pharma you really want, you’ll just have to work your way there.
So while you search for a health law job, focus on developing a solid set of skills by taking that first job — even if it isn’t in health law — and learning how to be an effective lawyer. That way you will have a marketable set of skills at the ready when a health law job does come your way. Always working towards the goal.
If you’re a recent graduate but you haven’t found a job, it’s suggested that you try the small firms, solo or dual practitioner offices– where you’re as likely as not to have complex files and entire cases dropped in your lap– amounting to invaluable and marketable experience. Barring that, look for freelance work or volunteer your legal services with an organization. It’s better for you to have some legal experience on your resume than none at all. For example, the Division of Law within the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General has a Volunteer Associate Program which enables recent graduates, deferred associates, and similarly-situated attorneys to hone their skills. Participants must commit to 20 hours per week for 3 months. Search around the internet or contact your career services office to find other organizations and government agencies offering similar programs.
Below are some other tidbits of information I gathered from the Conference.
Make yourself an expert and then use social media to market yourself. It is never too early to start making yourself an expert in a particular area of health law. As a health law student or as a recent graduate, you can write articles on topics covered in class and then get your name “out there” by submitting those articles to blogs and other health law news sources. If your articles are published, make sure to maintain a portfolio that you can present to prospective employers and update your resume accordingly. If your articles are published online, you also can create a Twitter account and then make links to those articles. If you doubt the value in that, look up in the right hand corner of this blog and see in “Places Cited” where articles from Health Reform Watch have been cited– everything from the Health Care Blog to the New York Times and Washington Post and Maggie Mahar’s Health Beat. In addition, Seton Hall Law student Jordan Cohen presently holds one of the top rated google searches in America for “Accountable Care Organization.” Not a bad accolade or writing sample to bring a prospective employer.
Intern while you’re in school. Internships are key in this economy. Internships help you develop lawyering skills, add work experience to your resume, provide work references, and give you additional contacts for your job search. Note: if you are interested in working for the government, focus on internships with state and local agencies as well as federal agencies.
Remember your cover letter. To get your foot in the door for an interview, pay attention to your cover letter as well as your resume. This is especially so if your background does not exactly match the position to which you’re applying (e.g., person with public interest background applies for a hospital compliance officer position). Your cover letter presents the best opportunity to answer any questions that might arise in a prospective interviewer’s mind. Be sure to check for typos.
Filed under: Health Care Employment, Health Law, Seton Hall Law
The American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics (ASLME) and Seton Hall University School of Law will co-sponsor the Fourth Annual Student Health Law Conference: Taking the Health Law Career Path on Friday, October 22, 2010, in Newark, New Jersey.
This conference, which is attended by law students from law schools throughout the country, seeks to expose law students to the myriad career paths for attorneys in health and life sciences. The conference provides an introductory session on health law, panels on a variety of employment opportunities in health law, and a networking reception with the conference speakers. Career paths that will be represented include academia, compliance, private firms, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, drug and device companies, health insurers, and hospitals. Speakers for this year’s conference have been chosen for their health law expertise and background.
The format of the conference is a series of panels focused around a particular kind of health law career. Each panel is approximately one hour long and comprised of two to four panelists. Students will have the opportunity to explore nontraditional employment opportunities across the health law spectrum, receive support and guidance from professionals familiar with the experience needed for various careers as well as recruitment and hiring processes, and network with health law attorneys.
Interested in learning more about career paths for attorneys in health and life sciences? Click here for information on attending the conference.
Filed under: BLS, Health Care Employment, Health Law
“Health Care Jobs Up,” a tried and true headline that has been capable of use every month in the last decade, and one I’ve used a time or two in one form or another here at HRW. Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest employment report showed a slowdown in private sector hiring, ambulatory care settings added 8,700 jobs while health care as a whole added 13,100 jobs.
In an article entitled “The Health Care Economy: Where the Jobs Are,” Merril Goozner over at the Fiscal Times writes:
The health care industry is bulletproof when it comes to increasing spending or creating jobs. Growth rates that are often double the rest of the economy have allowed the nation’s hospitals and physician offices to add nearly 1.5 million jobs over the past decade, a period when other private sector employers were shedding 2.8 million jobs, largely the result of the banking and financial crisis. In fact, there hasn’t been a single month in the past decade when health care providers as a group didn’t increase employment opportunities for job-hungry Americans.
The employment gains experienced in the health care sector are prodigious, in January of 2009 The Wall Street Journal reported that in an otherwise bleak economy
“Health care saw a net gain of 419,000 jobs in 2008 and its growth outlook continues to be strong through 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”
And for health law practitioners? What I wrote back in March of this year seems no less true now:
What might one expect to be the effect of this relatively sanguine state of affairs for Health Care employment on Health Law practitioners?
In the well written and informative words of Professor Jennifer Bard, J.D., M.P.H (I highly recommend the article, “I’m Interested in Health Law- Now Where Can I Get a Job?” to anyone who may be considering a career in Health Law),
Health care is a trillion-dollar industrythat has grown exponentially over the past 10 years with very little sign of slowing. The demand for legal services has tracked the growth of the industry, and, as a result, attorneys calling themselves “health lawyers” have grown from a small core of specialists to a large and diverse group of individuals who are as likely to specialize in bond issuance and tax planning as in torts or food and drug law. Moreover, the increasing regulation of health care has created substantial need for lawyers specializing in compliance with a vast array of federal, state and local regulations. Where 15 years ago most health law was done by small, specialized law firms, today many of the nation’s biggest law firms have thriving health law practices.
Significantly, although officially published in the Winter of 2009 (14 New York State Bar Association Health Law Journal 73 (2009)), Professor Bard first published those words to SSRN in February of 2008-prior to the onset of the Obama Administration and the rising priority of Health Care Reform and regulatory enforcement. Because of these rising priorities, her words are no less true than when they were written, and have arguably gained an even greater currency since.
In an article this month in The American Lawyer, “Drug Supplement. New federal regs demand more health care lawyers,” Rachel Breitman points out the following:
Ever since President Barack Obama gave health care reform a prime spot on his agenda, hospital, pharmaceutical, medical device, and insurance interest groups have been digging in, with the expectation of a battle to come-the kind that requires lawyers.
Changes have already begun. New federal regulations like a genetic discrimination shield law and new digital privacy security standards have been enacted. The U.S. Department of Justice and Health and Human Services launched a healthcare task force in May. “There’s going to be more oversight about how companies spend government grant funds for research and clinical trials,” says Frederick Robinson, the head of Fullbright & Jaworski’s Washington, D.C., health law practice, which advises clients like Zimmer, Inc., and Walgreen Company. “Also, as health care providers apply for stimulus funds, there will be new compliance challenges to get the money.”
As a result, law firms have a new appetite for health care lawyers.