This year I am taking advantage of my newfound 2L freedom to dive deeper into the field of health law. I’m taking two classes related to health law and I’m the president of the BU Health Law Association (HLA).
I first got involved with HLA last year as a 1L representative. Student organizations generally elect 1L reps during the first meeting of the semester to help with publicity. The reps make announcements about HLA events in their classes and serve as a line of communication with the 1Ls, the majority of our membership.
At BU Law, joining a student organization as a 1L is not a particularly big commitment. There are no weekly meetings; in fact, there are no obligations at all unless you decide to get more involved as a rep. Generally, 1Ls just sign up for the email list, and then receive emails about the events that the executive board organizes. The executive board is made up of (mostly) 2Ls who run for the positions at the end of 1L year. Most of the time, the entire executive board turns over each year.
This year, the HLA executive board is planning to continue several traditional events that HLA has organized annually- including a career panel this semester and a visit to a law firm in the spring. These events, specifically the career panel, are geared towards students who are interested in an internship or job in the health law field.
The great thing about health law is that in includes a wide variety of career paths. There is transactional health law work (buying and selling the health care industry players like insurance companies and hospitals), health care litigation (disputes involving the health care industry players, often involving fraud), government work at both the state and federal level (enforcing health care industry regulations and combating health care fraud), and in-house counsel positions for hospitals (compliance work, etc. at hospitals and pharmaceutical companies). And these are only some of the options.
Since contemplating a career in health law can mean so many different things, the HLA career panel brings in attorneys from each of the areas above to speak about their practice. When I was a 1L, this event was helpful in deciding on a summer internship, and the board is currently working on the program for this year. We aim to have BU alumni in health law come as well for even more networking opportunities for students.
Another goal for HLA this year is to foster community among BU Law students interested in health law. Many students on the current executive board and last year’s board (current 3Ls) have had internships in the health field – valuable resources for students looking for these opportunities for this summer. In fact, tonight we’re hosting a social for HLA members to get to know each other!
HLA is just one of many student groups at BU Law that work hard to organize events that are interesting and helpful to students. Advice to 1Ls: get your name on as many of these email lists as possible! That next email from a student organization may contain info about an event that will lead to a new passion for a legal field you have never heard of before!