The Health Law Concentration at Albany Law School combines bioethics, lawyering skills and policy development, helping students to gain the intellectual foundation and practical experience needed for career success in the health law field.
Albany Law is training experts in the legal, ethical and policy programs posed by the health science in the 21st century. Our students and alumni are becoming leaders in areas such as bioethics, managed care, health policy and advocacy, and intellectual property issues in biotechnology.
Within the Health Law program we offer a
J.D./M.S. dual degree in law and bioethics, one of only two law schools in the U.S. that offer the option to complete such a program in just three years.
In addition, Albany is a world leader in nanotechnology, neural imaging, biodefense, brain computer devices, newborn screening, and health policy.
Early on students work with a specific health law issue with a faculty member, learning to read, write and research like lawyer. Students also represent a client from interview to summary judgment to appeal.
Advanced courses in areas such as trial practice, interviewing, mediation and negotiation combine instruction and hands-on practice to build important skills.
Through the Health Law Clinic, students represent clients who are diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, cancer or other chronic medical conditions and have legal problems related to their medical conditions. Through the Civil Rights and Disabilities Law Clinic they represent clients with developmental disabilities in legal matters.
15 credits from the following courses and additional experiential credits:
This survey course covers several topics essential to an understanding of the health-care system and the issues confronting health-care lawyers today. The topics are: health-care delivery systems; quality of and access to health care (including medical malpractice, institutional liability, and allocation of health-care resources); health-care professionals' rights and responsibilities (including professional licensure/discipline and institutional peer review); and patients' rights (including informed consent, advance directives, surrogate decision-making, research involving human subjects, determination of death, and anatomical gifts).
Explores role of government in protecting and promoting public health and safety. Examines legitimacy of public health activities and explores sources of authority for public health action. Introduces the sciences of biostatistics and epidemiology.
This course will explore the origins of the current healthcare crisis, systematically examine some of the current methods for containing healthcare spending, and probe whether those methods are successful and equitable. The course will also explore the government's role in dealing with bioethical issues regarding, inter alia, physician assisted suicide, reproductive technologies, cloning, stem cell research, and organ transplantation.
Examines fundamental and practical issues of federal and New York administrative law. Deals with the scope of power of administrative agencies and the relationship of such agencies to other branches of government.
Explores bioethics issues such as clinical decision making, informed consent, organ donation and transplantation, physician assisted suicide, ethics in managed care, death and dying, and medical research.
Provides an overview of legal and policy questions relating to aging individuals and an older and aging society.
Describes the medico-legal paradigm within which genetic technologies are presently pursued or restricted. Discusses the scientific basis of the genetic technologies providing students with basic appreciation of potential issues and a guide to the scientific, rather than the legal, literature related to the growing area of genomics. The course will be organized along six areas of the law: criminal law, family and property law, tort law, insurance law, labor law, and intellectual property law. No science background is required.
This course explores the legal aspects of health care compliance. At both the federal and state levels, the course addresses the statutory, regulatory, and case law that comprises the
complex legal backdrop in which the healthcare industry operates. The course introduces the history, purpose, and substance of healthcare regulatory compliance programs and addresses
legal doctrines concerning protected information, patient's rights, HIPAA security and breach, compliance issues in healthcare business transactions, and special topics related to
substance use, mental health, HIV, genetic information, and minors.
This course allows students to explore multiple layers of HIPAA compliance as it covers the entities and information to which HIPAA applies, consent, types of health information requiring heightened protection, individual rights required
under the Privacy Rule and administrative, physical and technical safeguards under the Security Rule. Classroom exercises give students the opportunity to apply newly obtained knowledge to facts and analyze whether the situation meets
the standards for compliance with HIPAA. Upon completion of this course, students will have an in-depth understanding of the federal law designed to protect the privacy and security of health information.
Discusses the moral and legal issues concerning both ordinary and assisted reproduction. Covers constitutional and common law doctrine on reproductive liberty, government regulation, and medical control over procreative choice, the reproductive autonomy of minors, the effects of advances in cell biology on reproductive issues, and the rights and responsibilities of gamete contributors.
Focuses on in-class presentations by students on legal and ethical issues present in the medical records of hypothetical obstetrical or gynecological patients. Law students work in teams with resident physicians in obstetrics and gynecology.
Focuses on professional liability and cases concerning numerous health-care professionals, including physicians. In addition, students study statutory reforms enacted to modify the common law so as to decrease the costs of malpractice liability. Explores the relationship between malpractice and professional misconduct. Institutional liability is addressed as a complement to (and possibly a future replacement for) professional liability.
The number of elderly Americans is projected to increase significantly over the next few decades. Life expectancy is still increasing; the economy and job growth are sluggish; millions of Americans lack adequate health insurance; health care costs are rising at a rate far higher than the general inflation rate; and the Administration and state governments are attempting to implement the Affordable Care Act in the face of budgetary constraints and implacable opposition from certain groups.
The course will cover:
1. Federal pension law under ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code;
2. Social Security and Medicare coverage and benefits, including policy and financial issues; and
3. The major new rules under the Affordable Care Act relating to access to health care, how health care is provided and financed, patient protections, employer-provided benefits and quality improvement.
Interdisciplinary courses in related joint-degree programs may count as electives with the approval of the faculty advisor and Academic Dean.
Participation in at least one of the following experiential programs:
- Applied Health Policy
- Health Law Clinic
- Health Law Related Field Placement or Semester in Practice (with faculty advisor approval)
Students are required to complete one significant piece of writing in the concentration area. The writing requirement does not require that students earn any credits beyond the required credits described above. The topic and the arrangement for fulfilling the writing requirement, however, must be approved in advance by the Concentration Advisor. The paper could be written to fulfill the requirements of a course, an independent study, or a law journal note and comment. It may also be possible to fulfill this requirement by completing a substantial piece of writing in conjunction with an experiential course, clinic, or Field Placement, such as a brief, a series of Motions, or a significant legal memorandum. It could also be fulfilled by writing a paper independently, such as a submission to a writing competition or an article for publication. In all of these arrangements, the prior approval of the Concentration Advisor is required.
(Effective December 18, 2018)