Boston University School of Law

BU Law adds new Health Law Externship program

Through the Health Law Externship Program (HLEP), BU Law students develop practical lawyering skills through live-client and real-life practice experiences in Boston’s vibrant health care sector. Students also gain greater understanding of the doctrines, substantive laws and context of health care. This program takes advantage of Boston’s status as a world-class city for health care law. Boston is a major center for national and global health policy, and home to the Massachusetts Legislature, a frequent innovator in health care legislation and model for federal health reform. BU Lecturer in Law Ben Moulton, former executive director of ASLME, oversees HLEP.

Students have ample opportunity for pursuing any health law interest, whether it be protection of participants in clinical trials, pharmaceutical regulation or cutting-edge legislation designed to cover the uninsured. HLEP’s first students landed jobs at major area hospitals, including Boston University Medical Center, the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Health Fraud division, a clinical trials firm serving Boston biotech companies, a clinical research organization, and a leading health care advocacy group.

“In the first year, we served a dozen students. Next year the program will double,” said Associate Professor Kevin Outterson. “In the current job environment, that will be welcome.”

Added Moulton, “It’s a highly competitive environment. But these students participating in the program are at the top of their class. They are highly ranked and incredibly well-prepared. We’re trying to create a good experience both for the employer and the student. The first semester was very successful; everyone had a great experience.”

He noted one employer, a clinical research organization that assists the international pharmaceutical biotech industry, was especially pleased by its student. “I don’t think they ever had a student working for them. It was a complete eye-opener for them. They want more BU Law students. But again, these students are the cream of the class. They’ve already taken the health law curriculum. From the employers’ point of view, they’re working with students who are already knowledgeable and experienced in the issues.”

Moulton noted that most of the students participating had already lined up post-grad jobs, so they were doing it to gain corporate hospital counsel and nonprofit healthcare experience. “Others are hoping the experience will help them in a very competitive job market.”

>>For more information on the externships program, see Web site.

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