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Health Law Experiential Learning

The Health Law Institute is committed to exposing students to the health law industry and provides a number of opportunities for students to engage in experiential learning and network with professionals (and peers) in the health law community.

Health Law Clinic

The Health Law Clinic offers students the opportunity to represent individuals who are parties in health law related administrative hearings. Clients may include persons with medical needs or disabilities who encounter barriers to their eligibility for health care or healthcare workers with licensing issues. Students will gain experience in interviewing, counseling, and litigating these cases as well as exposure to law governing health care licensure and Medicaid eligibility and finance. Adjunct Professors Lindsay Davis, staff attorney at Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, and Susan Schaffer, private practice, teach the Health Law Clinic.

Students are required to complete 130 hours, consisting of 60 hours of class work and 70 hours of case work. Prerequisite or Concurrent: Professional Responsibility.

"The experience of working in the Health Law Clinic has been invaluable. Meeting with clients, petitioning the court, and actually representing a client in an administrative hearing has given me a skill set I could never get in a regular classroom setting. Employers are always talking about how students need more practical skills; the clinic is the way to get them." -- Jada Fehn, JD '12

"I applied skills developed from the Health Law Institute coursework and benefited from the real-world experiences that the Health Law Clinic provided -- having the opportunity to learn by doing and occasionally making mistakes in a low risk environment will make me a better practitioner. The practitioners, who lead clinic work with us, provided invaluable feedback from their years of experience in the field." -- Liz Stoneburg, JD '12

Health Law Externship

Hamline University School of Law offers unparalleled access to health law experts through a wide range of externships, which include a classroom component plus a minimum of 114 hours of field work. Students are supervised by a faculty member, taught by an adjunct professor experienced in health law, and supervised in the field by an attorney-mentor. Through the health law externship, students apply classroom learning to the real world of health law in a way that is tailored to the student’s individual area of interest. Externship placements have allowed our students to work in numerous areas -- health care regulation, health policy and advocacy, compliance, litigation, health care transactional work, and medical device law.

Past externship placements have included:

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota
  • Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
  • Compassion & Choices
  • DuVal & Associates
  • Ecolab
  • Fairview Health Services
  • HealthPartners
  • Hennepin County Medical Center
  • Jardine, Logan and O'Brien
  • Legal Services Advocacy Project
  • Leonard Street & Deinard
  • Mayo Clinic Legal Department
  • Medica Health Plans
  • Medtronic
  • Minnesota AIDS Project
  • Minnesota Department of Health
  • Minnesota Department of Human Services
  • Office of Institutional Compliance, University of Minnesota
  • Pearson, Randall, Schumacher & LaBore, PA
  • Planned Parenthood of MN, ND, and SD
  • Scheller Legal Solutions, LLC
  • Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services
  • UCare Minnesota
  • U.S. Attorney's Office
  • VA Hospital

Events and Extra-Curricular Activities

The Health Law Institute hosts a variety of events each year that introduce current health law issues and provide an opportunity for students to network with health law professionals. A list of events hosted by the Health Law Institute can be found on the Events page.

The Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA) hosts CLE and networking events with free or reduced-cost admittance for law students. Any event sponsored by the MSBA Health Law Section qualifies as an Extra-Curricular Activity for Health Law Certificate students. MSBA also distributes a monthly law student email that includes information about upcoming events. Email Nicole Battles, membership outreach manager, to join the list.

Health Law Moot Court Competitions

Hamline participates in three health law moot court competitions, the National Health Law Moot Court, the National Health Law Transactional Competition, and the Health Law Regulatory and Compliance Competition.

The National Health Law Moot Court, sponsored by the American College of Legal Medicine and Southern Illinois University, is an appellate-type competition that focuses on cutting-edge legal issues in health law such as medical repatriation, presumed consent for organ donation, Medicaid assistance for home health care, treatment options for pregnant drug-addicted convicts, and prescription drug regulation. A background in health care may be helpful but is not required. Two to four students are selected for the team during the annual Competitions Week, held each Spring. They begin research in early August and submit their brief by the end of September. Oral arguments are held in early November.

The National Health Law Transactional Competition, sponsored by Loyola Chicago, is a non-litigation competition. By the end of February, students will prepare legal memos that discuss the legal and business issues associated with a hypothetical health care transaction. At the end of March, students appear before an "executive management team" in a boardroom environment to present their analysis. Two ‘pass’ credits are awarded for participation in either moot court competition. Hamline has also participated in the new Health Law Regulatory and Compliance Competition at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.

2012-13 Health Law Competition Success

Health law students Joseph Cooch and Elizabeth Winchell competed at the National Health Law Moot Court Competition at Southern Illinois University School of Law. HLI Director Thaddeus Pope accompanied the pair to the competition, where they finished among the top four teams. Cooch and Winchell were runners-up for the "Best Brief" award. Dean Lewis congratulated the team, recognizing their achievements as a notable success for Hamline, the Health Law Institute, and the Legal Research and Writing program.

2012 National Health Law Moot Court Competition Problem
2012 National Health Law Moot Court Competition Best Brief 
2013 National Health Law Moot Court Competition Problem
Rules & Brochure - National Health Law Moot Court Competition 

Congratulations to the Hamline Law Team, made up of Joseph Cooch, Christina Becker, and Zach Clifton, who placed 5th out of 16 teams at the 2nd Annual Health Law Regulatory and Compliance Competition, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, Saturday, February 16, 2013.

The Hamline Law team of Holly Danielson, Matthew Wasik, and Kassandra Heinrich competed at the L. Edward Bryant, Jr. National Health Law Transactional Competition hosted by the Loyola University of Chicago, School of Law, Beazley Institute for Health Law & Policy, March 22, 2013.

Student Health Law Association

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At Hamline, we take pride in the involvement of our students, and the Student Health Law Association provides opportunities for students to get involved in the community, explore the field of health law, and learn about the diversity of opportunity in this evolving field. The Student Health Law Association’s goal is to promote experiential learning and fellowship among students interested in health law. We do this through community service, networking and peer-support. 

We are looking forward to an eventful year for the Student Health Law Association. Our hope is to provide the health law students with opportunities to interact with lawyers in the area of health law, as well as educational programs throughout the academic year. As an organization, we have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the students of Hamline School of Law. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or any ideas you have for the organization's coming year. Also, it is important that you join the SHLA page in TWEN to ensure you receive all of the organization's communication. 

Here is to a great year! 
Leah Fitzgerald, RN, SHLA President 

Student Health Law Association Officers met new students interested in health law at the student organization tabling days on campus.

Community Service: Recent community service activities include volunteering at Children’s Hospital of St. Paul, conducting community trainings on how to implement an Advance Medical Directive, and highlighting Mental Health Week by offering stress management training and blood pressure screening.

Networking Activities: The Student Health Law Association often hosts speakers from local health law practices. Most recently the Association hosted a panel discussion that included attorneys working independently, in large group practice, government attorneys, lobbyists, and in-house counsel of large healthcare providers. The Association also has sent students to the National Health Law conference.

Peer-Support Activities: Peer-support activities include facilitating health law student discussion groups and creating a network that acts as a springboard for academic success and employment.