Health Law





Learn more about our three distinctive clinic opportunities for students.


The following practice area is relevant to students interested in health law and to students enrolled in the J.D.–M.P.H. joint-degree program or pursuing a graduate certificate from the Milken Institute School of Public Health. The structure and delivery of health care has generated a wide range of legal concerns related to health care, including laws and regulations that govern the health care industry as a whole, health care providers, hospitals and health systems, health insurers, managed care companies, nursing and long-term care facilities, and home health care providers. Some of the recommended courses pertain specifically to the practice of health law; others, while not specific to health law, are important for a solid foundation in this area and an understanding of the needs of patients.


  • Food and Drug Law (6408)
  • Health Law and Policy (6410)
  • Health Care Law Seminar (6411)**
  • Law and Medicine (6617)
  • Related Courses
  • Evidence (6230)
  • Corporations (6250)
  • Employee Benefit Plans (6272)


  • Insurance (6298)
  • Federal Income Taxation (6300)
  • Trusts and Estates (6342)
  • Family Law (6348)
  • Family Law Seminar (6352)**
  • Elder Law (6353)
  • Administrative Law (6400)
  • Antitrust (6402)


  • Environmental and Toxic Torts (6449)
  • Law and Psychiatry (6614)
  • Genetics and the Law (6616)
  • Vaccine Injury Litigation Clinic (6626)
  • Health Rights Law Clinic (6631)
  • Disability Rights Law (6635)
  • Client Interviewing and Counseling (6650)

**For 2021–2022, Health Care Law Seminars may include Antitrust in the Health Care Sector, Fraud and Abuse, Public Health Law, Selected Legal Issues in Health Law, and Traumatic Brain Injury; Family Law Seminars may include Assisted Reproductive Technologies and Juvenile Justice.

JD Concentration

The law school is pleased to offer JD Candidates an option to apply to a concentration in Health Law. To receive credit for this concentration, students must satisfy both

1) the coursework; and

2) supplemental requirements set forth below.

The Health Law Concentration will be administered by a Coordinator, who for 2020-21 is Professor Sonia Suter. The Health Law Concentration Coordinator will be responsible for answering any/all questions relating to the Concentration requirements and keeping track of students’ compliance with the Concentration requirements.

J.D. candidates may earn Recognition of a J.D. Concentration in Health Law by successfully completing a minimum of 12 credits from the list of courses below, including Health Law and Policy (6410); at least one of three foundational classes, Law and Medicine (6617), Administrative Law (6400), or Insurance (6298); and two credits of experiential learning, noted with an asterisk (*). Students must also produce a paper on a topic related to heath law that meets the standards for the law school’s upper level writing requirement. If the paper is produced in conjunction with one of the courses below, students may use the same paper to fulfill the writing requirement for both the recognition of concentration and the J.D. With advance approval of the Health Law Concentration Coordinator, a student also may use a piece written for a journal, independent legal writing, or course that is not included in the list below to meet the Health Law writing requirement. Students may use the same paper to fulfill the writing requirement for both the recognition of concentration and the J.D. In addition to the courses listed below, credits earned through study abroad programs also may qualify, with approval of the Health Law Concentration Coordinator.

  • Health Law and Policy (6410)
  • Law and Medicine (6617)
  • Food and Drug Law (6408) Health Care Law Seminar (6411)**
  • Administrative Law (6400)
  • Insurance (6298)
  • Elder Law (6353)
  • Employee Benefit Plans (6272)
  • Environmental and Toxic Torts (6449)
  • Family Law Seminar (6352) (Assisted Reproductive Technologies)***
  • Genetics and the Law (6616)
  • Law and Psychiatry (6614)
  • Domestic Violence Law (6350)
  • Disability Rights Law (6635)
  • Client Interviewing and Counseling (6650)*
  • Health Rights Law Clinic (6631)*
  • Vaccine Injury Litigation Clinic (6626)*
  • Field Placement (6668)*
  • Domestic Violence Project (6674)*

**Health Care Law Seminars may include Antitrust in the Health Care Sector, Fraud and Abuse, Public Health Law, Selected Legal Issues in Health Law, and Traumatic Brain Injury.
*** May include additional seminars with the approval of the Coordinator

Joint Degrees

Milken Institute of Public Health

  • JD/Master of Public Health (45 credits, 8 Law credits applied to MPH, 12 health credits apply to Law)
  • JD/Public Health Certificate (18 credits, 6 credits cross credits to and from each program)

Masters of Studies in Health Law

GW Law’s MSL helps meet the growing demand for non-lawyers to be familiar with the many ways that law influences industry. The MSL program is intended for professionals who are not interested in earning a law degree or practicing law but work in jobs where knowledge of the law is important. The knowledge gained can augment career preparation or professional advancement.

Mandatory Courses – 9 credits

  • Administrative Law (6400) – 3 credits
  • Health Care Law (6410) – 4 credits
  • Fundamental Issues in US Law (6694) – 2 credits

10 Credits Required from the Following Options

  • Constitutional I or II (6214 or 6390) – 3 credits each
  • Insurance (6298) – 2 credits
  • ACA Seminar (6352) – 2 credits
  • Fraud and Abuse (6352) – 2 credit
  • Reproductive Rights/Assisted Reproductive Technologies (6352) – 2 credits
  • Public Health Law (6352) – 2 credits
  • Medical Devices (6352) – 2 credits
  • Elder Law (6353) – 2 credits
  • Food and Drug Law (6408) – 2 credits
  • Selected Topics in Health Care Law (6409) – 2 credits
  • Health Care Law Seminar (6411) – 2 credits
  • Law and Psychiatry (6614) – 2 credits
  • Genetics and the Law (6616) – 2 credits
  • Law and Medicine (6617) –3 credits
  • Traumatic Brain Injury – 2 credits

* Electives – up to 5 credits permitted


Students at GW Law have the opportunity to develop hands-on lawyering skills in a supportive environment through participation in the Jacob Burns Community Legal Clinics. Several of these clinics have direct application for students interested in health law, and students who participate in the following clinics earn credit towards the Health Law JD concentration. 

Health Rights Law Clinic

Student attorneys in the Health Rights Law Clinic advocate for people who are at risk of losing eligibility for public health programs, have experienced denials of coverage for necessary care, or struggle to pay high medical bills.


Learn more about the Health Rights Law Clinic


Vaccine Injury Litigation Clinic

In the Vaccine Injury Litigation Clinic, students represent individuals who have suffered serious vaccine-related injuries, presenting their cases at trial and in appellate proceedings before the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. 


"As a 2L student attorney in the Vaccine Injury Litigation Clinic, I am working to ensure that people from elderly patients to young children are represented in the U.S. Federal Claims Court in order to be compensated for their vaccine-related injuries. Although current classes are virtual due to COVID-19, I am grateful for the very real opportunities that the clinic provides so that I may interact with our clients, file various motions to the Court, and be a part of an intimate team of student-attorneys. The best part of my vaccine injury litigation clinic experience is the client interactions because I can hear the voices of our clients through our phone calls, connect with their concerns, and gently remind myself why I decided to study law in the first place."


Learn more about the Vaccine Injury Litigation Clinic


Domestic Violence Project

Students participating in the Domestic Violence Project work in a range of field placements which can include direct representation or advocacy for individual clients, civil legal representation with local legal services organization, prosecution of domestic violence cases in a state attorney’s office, and legislative and policy work at the local or national level.


"As part of the Domestic Violence Project, I have been working at the Legal Aid Society of the District Columbia, where I have had the opportunity to work directly with clients by conducting client intakes, following-up with clients to keep them updated on their cases, and preparing them for upcoming hearings. Each day I learn more about how the health care system needs to do a much better job of responding to the needs of people experiencing domestic violence, including making mental health services more accessible and providing trauma-informed care throughout the care continuum. Because of the unique mentorship and support provided by the Domestic Violence Project, participating in this program has allowed me to learn and grow more as a lawyer and as a person committed to justice than any other experience I have had in law school.  "

Ellen Albritton, 3L, Fall 2020 DVP Student



Learn more about the Domestic Violence Project