What Type of Law Do You Do? Part Three


Health Law—“A statute, ordinance, or code that prescribes sanitary standards and regulations for the purpose of promoting and preserving the community’s health.”
-Black’s Law Dictionary


My last required round table was about health law and the different opportunities available to those interested in such matters.  But fear not!  This does not mean this will be my last post about different legal career paths.  You guys have shown your love for these posts so I’ll try to find out about more careers and give you a look into what a lawyer does in that type of job.

As I stated in my last post, I signed up for round tables that sounded interesting to me.  When I was in high school, I really wanted to combine chemistry and law in a way that interested me.  Most people thought that would lead me to medical malpractice, which isn’t that interesting to me, but what I really liked was the regulation of the pharmaceutical industry and clinical trials.  At the time, I really thought I was making it up as no one really knew what I was talking about.  But this round table made me realize that there are so many areas of law people don’t know about since that’s actually something people do!

Health law focuses on a variety of issues from regulations about hospitals to issues surrounding mental health.  Many of the regulations that focus on pharmaceuticals stem from the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act overseen by the FDA.  This has become an increasingly big area of law as our country has become more reliant on pharmaceutical drugs.  Other common areas of health law focus on how care facilities are run and how law interacts with those with mental health issues.  Furthermore, law touches every aspect of health from how hospitals can be run to how our health insurance is enacted.

Similarly to the other two round tables, there were two main types of practices:  in-house and outside counsel.  In in-house counsel, there are a variety of routes one can take.  Attorneys work in hospitals regulating how their clinical trials are run, how students can earn credits in teaching hospitals, etc.  At pharmaceutical companies, attorneys can be in positions to analyze their patents or to regulate that the fine print in TV or magazine advertisements complies with what the FDA requires.  They also have influence in ensuring that coupons comply with FDA standards as well.  Outside counsel works more in litigation settings that can involve lawsuits regarding hospitals and care facilities.

I can’t believe I’m already starting my sixth week of law school classes!  I’m really enjoying the whole experience, even if it can be a little overwhelming at points.  Hopefully, all of you are having a great start to your semesters!

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