In its efforts to demystify the space created by the intersection of health and law, UC Hastings has established itself as a thought leader in the field.

Jaime King smiles at the camera

Editor’s note: This post is penned by our very own Professor Jaime S. King, who is co-director of the UCSF/UC Hastings Consortium on Science, Law and Health Policy; the executive editor of “The Source for Competitive Healthcare” blog; and the co-director of the Concentration on Law and Health Sciences.

During the course of our lives, we all need the healthcare system. Most of us were born in a hospital, and most of us will die under medical supervision. Accidents happen, children get sick and our parents grow older. Yet providing quality healthcare at affordable prices has become one of the most elusive political, economic and legal issues of our time. 

Through great foresight and execution, in less than a decade UC Hastings has positioned itself as a leading center on law and health sciences in the country. Our faculty, alumni, fellows and students are at the epicenter of many of the most challenging debates in healthcare, including aid in dying, reproductive rights, regulation of competition in healthcare, mandatory vaccination, care for veterans and seniors, and dementia and mental health.

My colleagues and I recognize that we must do so much more than teach students about the laws that govern the healthcare system. We must create opportunities for them to immerse themselves in its realities and to work side-by-side with the providers, policymakers, economists, insurers, entrepreneurs and patients dedicated to improving it. Through innovations like the UCSF/UC Hastings Consortium on Law, Science & Health Policy; the Startup Legal Garage’s Biotechnology Module; and the new online Master of Science in Health Policy and Law—jointly conferred by UC Hastings and UCSF—we have redefined the standard for education in health law.

We also recognize that although a career in health law may begin in law school, it certainly does not end there. As a result, the Consortium serves as a resource for admitted and current students, alumni, members of the bar and the general public. The Consortium also serves as a “home within UC Hastings” for faculty, students and fellows to gather, exchange ideas and discuss developments in the field. Finally, the Consortium Job Board connects students and alumni to our growing network of employers throughout the country, and offers a way for those employers to target UC Hastings students and alumni with training in law and the health sciences.

As our healthcare system continues to evolve and change, our country will need thought leaders who understand not only health law, but also the economic, political and social forces that shape our healthcare system—the kinds of leaders being developed here every day.

As a student in the Health Policy and Law degree, you are a member of the Consortium. Will you be joining us as the second incoming class? Check out how to apply!