By Hannah Smith, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law 2L
It seems that during these COVID times, there is a Zoom call here, a Zoom call there and a Zoom call nearly everywhere. But this particular Zoom call was one you didn’t want to miss. IndyBar hosted their regular Breakfast at the Bar program packed full of a variety of impressive health law professionals. Although it was early in the morning, many eager students—from 1Ls to 3Ls—hopped on the call to see what health law is all about.
If you are a student who was unable to attend, there were a few important takeaways. First, health law is anything you want it to be. There is no set path and some attorneys on the panel had a more traditional path than others. Experiential learning is the most valuable tool available to students while still in school and everyone should take advantage of it to get hands-on experience in the health law field. There are also some classes to take during law school to help diversify your understanding of health law. These classes include Health Care Fraud and Abuse, Anti-Trust Law and the Law of Medical Malpractice, which are all great classes to have to provide foundational information.
In addition to bar prep classes, the attorneys also encouraged taking classes that sound interesting to us like adoptions, bioethics, immigration or classes from the same professor whom you enjoy. Outside of the classroom, a student should work on developing their interpersonal skills for a successful career in health care. These skills include attention to details, time management, meeting deadlines and dealing with stress. And the broad consensus for the best advice to students is to never stop networking! The health law community in Indianapolis is small and almost everyone is willing to help—the attorneys were students not long ago!
I was also able to listen to feedback from some of the attendees after the event. Kennedy Bunch is a 1L with her heart set on health law. For her, it was meaningful to have a networking opportunity that didn’t mean she had to cold call lawyers. The event was valuable to her because the attorneys “gave a lot of insightful advice about their paths and how they got to where they are.” Ms. Bunch also really enjoyed how diverse the panel was within health law, since there were more professionals outside of medical malpractice or in-house counsel, what one would typically think for a health law job.
Stay tuned for more information on the next Breakfast with the Bar event!
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