Health Law Practice Clinic


Health Law is a growing and diverse area of law. Graduates with training in health law have the opportunity to engage in a broad range of legal work, such as trial and appellate litigation, transactional work, regulatory compliance, policy analysis or legislative advocacy.

Health Law Practice Clinic Highlights

The Health Law Practice Clinic will provide students opportunities to:
  • Intern with a legal organization or government agency focused on a substantive area of health law. Such areas might include civil rights violations for failure to provide adequate health care, immigrants’ access to health care, discrimination in health care, access to health services by poor or low-income populations, government entities attempting to provide health access in our changing environment, placements that focus on health care reform, Medicaid and Medicare rights, access to insurance, reproductive rights, mental health services, disability services,  and discrimination based on disability, pregnancy or health status.
  • Focus on specific lawyering skills, such as trial or hearing practice, legal drafting and writing, legislative or administrative advocacy, client interviewing and counseling, individual or group representation, advocacy or legal policy, advising an institutional client (such as a hospital). All students will be afforded an opportunity to write a practice-related document and receive feedback from their placement supervisor and faculty.
  • Interview and counsel a client about advance health care directives, and draft a health care proxy and living will for that client.
  • Research and draft an interoffice memo and complaint in a case involving denial of quality health care to a low-income client.
  • Analyze provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act and proposed changes, and advise an institutional client on provisions relevant to its area of practice.
  • Represent at a hearing an individual denied Medicare or Medicaid services.
  • Work on a class action litigation regarding denial of health care.
  • Prepare a legal policy analysis to expand health care access for administrative or legislative advocacy.

Health Law Practice Clinic - Fall 2017

CUNY Law’s Health Law Practice Clinic, which will be offered in the 2017 fall academic semester, covers a growing and diverse area of law. Graduates with health law training will have the ability to engage in a broad range of legal work, from trial and appellate litigation to transactional work, regulatory compliance, policy analysis and legislative advocacy. Because of the rapidly changing Health Law arena, the focus of 2017’s course and placements will be on Health Care Access and Health Care Reform.

 Since the Equality Program will be on hiatus for the fall, the Health Law Practice Clinic will offer some placements with a civil rights focus (especially if related to a health access issue), and some related to disability-based employment discrimination in the context of the Americans with Disabilities Act. (Interested students should have a pre-application conversation with faculty.)

Classroom Component


The Health Law and Policy Seminar examines how the Constitution, statutes and common law determine access to health care, and regulate the quality of patient care. Students in the 2017 program will experience a three-hour classroom seminar devoted to Health Care Access and Reform, a three-hour classroom seminar devoted to lawyering skills and issues, and one-hour weekly class rounds. Students will also be placed in the field two days a week.

The Health Law and Policy Seminar coverage may include:
  • The federal Affordable Care Act, its replacement or modifications, and changes to Medicaid and Medicare.
  • State and local health care programs and eligibility.
  • Health issues confronting various populations, including the poor, those of moderate means, women, pregnant women, racial, ethnic and LBGT minorities, and the disabled.
  • Patients' rights and bioethical issues, including informed consent, physician-assisted suicide, reproductive rights, and the rationing of high-cost procedures.
  • Federal and state regulation of private health insurance and HMOs.
  • Professional licensing, and diversification of the health professions.

Health Law Practice Lawyering Seminar

The lawyering seminar will focus on various lawyering skills through presentations and simulations. Students will be actively involved in the seminar, especially regarding aspects of lawyering involving their field placements. This will require students to prepare and deliver presentations that teach their colleagues about the lawyering skills in which they are engaged.



Students will also attend and actively participate in a weekly rounds session. The sessions will require students to share aspects of their fieldwork, including lawyering issues that may arise. During the weekly rounds, students will discuss the work they are doing in their placements, providing opportunities to collaborate, generate alternative approaches to legal problems, and consider related ethical and professional responsibility issues. Students will also be required to maintain a weekly log of the work in their placements.

Externship Placements

Students will be able to select from an array of placements covering a range of lawyering skills, such as court or administrative practices, legal research and writing, client interviewing and counseling, class action litigation, motion practice, document drafting, public policy, and appellate, administrative and legislative advocacy. Placements will include:

•  Legal organizations that represent individuals to uphold health care rights, bring impact litigation related to health care issues or engage in legal policy-based administrative or legislative advocacy.

• Government agencies that regulate health care institutions and providers.

•  Hospital in-house counsel offices.

•  Some additional civil rights and disability discrimination-focused placements (requiring faculty and placement pre-approval).


Practice Clinic Graduates

Graduates of the Health Law Practice Clinic currently work in government agencies that oversee care delivery, in public-interest organizations that protect the health care rights of vulnerable populations (such as the poor, elderly, immigrants, disabled and people with HIV), in private law firms, in hospital general counsel offices, and in judicial clerkships. As health law is a growing area of practice, law school graduates with health law training have the opportunity to work in a wide variety of settings that emphasize trial and appellate litigation, transactional work, regulatory compliance, and policy, administrative and legislative advocacy.