University of Houston Law Center
Health Law & Policy Institute
100 Law Center
Houston, Texas 77204-6060
|Houston Advantage||Semester in Houston|
|University of Houston Law Center||J.D./M.P.H. Concurrent Degree Program|
|O'Quinn Law Library|
|J.D. Program||LL.M. Program|
|Health Law Clinic||Health Law Course Descriptions|
The Texas Medical Center, only minutes from the University of Houston, is the world's largest medical complex. It consists of 14 hospitals; numerous research facilities; nine schools of medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, optometry, and public health; and institutes of health policy analysis and the study of bioethics.
Occupying 100 buildings on 675 acres, Texas Medical Center institutions annually generate $4 billion directly and $10 billion indirectly for the Houston economy, treat more than 4.3 million people, and currently employ approximately 49,000 people, making the Texas Medical Center the city's largest employer. As a result of this intense activity, Houston is home to a burgeoning health law practice. The Health Law & Policy Institute's location provides it with unique opportunities for interdisciplinary study and professional interaction.
With health care the fastest growing sector of the economy, the field of health law offers attorneys an increasing number of career opportunities. Health lawyers represent hospitals, insurance companies, or clients in medical malpractice cases. They also work for hospitals and other health care providers, government agencies, corporations, pharmaceutical and other health product companies, groups of health professionals, and in academia. A knowledge of health law also is useful in other areas of legal practice. For example, lawyers representing clients in labor and employment law cases will benefit from a knowledge of occupational safety and health law, disability discrimination law, and employee health benefits law. An understanding of law and psychiatry is valuable to criminal lawyers. Patent lawyers will benefit from an understanding of the latest discoveries in biomedical technology.
The immediacy and scope of topics in health law make it one of the most interesting areas of legal study. These topics include human experimentation, medical malpractice, genetics, managed care, reproductive health, hospital liability, health care finance, euthanasia, AIDS, drug and alcohol abuse, disability discrimination law, and occupational safety and health. As the health care industry continues to grow, the study and practice of health law must expand to meet new demands. Through education, research, and service, the Health Law & Policy Institute will help guide this expansion.
Multifaceted, dynamic, and still growing, the University of Houston is marked by a spirit of excitement and vitality that permeates every aspect of campus life. Its proximity to Houston's central business district allows the university to draw on the city's vast resources while the influence of its academic programs, research efforts, and public service activities extends past the Houston metropolitan area to the corners of the state and beyond.
The University of Houston Law Center's current student body, consisting of more than 1,200 men and women from throughout the country, is selected through a highly competitive admissions process. Each year the Law Center enrolls approximately 310 students from more than 100 undergraduate colleges.
Minority students comprise approximately 21 percent of the Law Center's enrollment, and 40 percent are women. Many students earned advanced degrees and professional recognition in other disciplines before entering law school. Law Center graduates frequently are placed in judicial clerkship positions, major law firms, government agencies, and national corporations.
Law Center students may take graduate courses in other departments of the University of Houston and are encouraged to participate in campuswide affairs. Campus activities include more than 400 registered student organizations, concerts, weekly film series, theatrical productions, free musical and artistic presentations, and a highly successful intercollegiate athletic program. The Law Center also has more than two dozen student organizations, including the Health Law Organization (H.L.O.). The H.L.O. consists of students interested in health law. The activities of the organization include a speakers series and community education programs.
The Law Center's system of libraries includes a central research library containing the research collections, a faculty library, the Frankel Rare Books Collection, and a satellite library located near the student commons. Together they comprise the largest law collection in the Houston area and one that ranks in collection size among the top quarter of law schools in the nation. The Health Law & Policy Institute also has its own library, with a collection of medical, legal, and health policy books, periodicals, and reference materials.
The Health Law & Policy Institute offers one of the largest curricula in health law of any law school in the country. For most of the health law courses and seminars, the basic overview course, Health Law, is a prerequisite and is taught each semester.
For further information, you may contact the Office of Admissions directly at:
University of Houston Law Center
Office of Admissions
100 Law Center
Houston, TX 77204-6060
Students may earn academic credit by serving in externship positions in nonprofit or public entities with an accompanying classroom component. Numerous placements are available in the Houston area, including hospital general counsel offices, risk management departments, government agencies, legislative bodies, and non-profit advocacy groups.
Second- and third-year law students in good standing at an ABAaccredited law school are eligible to apply to spend a semester at the UH Law Center to enroll in a semester of health law courses and participate in the Health Law Clinic. Students may also enroll in other courses at the UH Law Center, The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, and The University of Texas School of Public Health. Students transfer credit to their home institutions according to their requirements. Students in the program have “visiting” status and receive their law degrees from their home institutions.
The UH Law Center, in conjunction with The University of Texas School of Public Health, offers students the opportunity to concurrently obtain a law (J.D.) degree and a Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) degree. By receiving joint credit for courses approved by both institutions, a student may earn both degrees in four years of full-time study, one year less than it would take to earn the degrees separately. The M.P.H. allows students to concentrate their studies on such areas as health services delivery, occupational and environmental health, access to insurance, patient safety issues, and other public health concerns.
The UH Law Center offers a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Health Law. The program provides attorneys an opportunity to return to an academic setting to obtain specialized training or to update their knowledge in health law. Students must complete 24 credit hours, including at least 18 credit hours in health law courses and up to six hours in non-health law courses. Health law courses previously taken at the UH Law Center or at another institution may not be credited toward program requirements. Candidates have the option of writing a 50-page thesis of publishable quality for three credit hours. It needs to demonstrate an ability to conduct independent research and writing at a graduate level. Each thesis is written under the supervision of a faculty sponsor, and LL.M. students are strongly encouraged to publish their work.
For additional application information, please send inquiries to:
University of Houston Law Center
100 Law Center Houston, Texas 77204-6060
Application to the health law LL.M. includes the following:
1. Official law school transcript indicating award of J.D.
2. Letter stating reasons for pursuing a health law LL.M. degree
3. Two letters in support of the application, at least one from an academic source
4. Resume (include all publications)
5. Completed application form
6. $50 application fee (subject to change)
The UH Law Center, in conjunction with the Baylor College of Medicine, now offers students the opportunity to jointly obtain both a law (J.D.) degree and a medical doctorate (M.D.) degree. A student earns both degrees in six years of full-time study, one year less than it would take to complete the degrees separately. This extraordinary educational program highlights the relationship between law and medicine and provides students an important enrichment in their interdisciplinary studies. Students in this program attend their first, second, and fifth years of study at the Baylor College of Medicine, start their law school curriculum during their third and fourth years, and complete both degrees in their sixth year.