From the Directors,
Maxwell J. Mehlman and Sharona Hoffman -
The challenges that will face the medical and health law professions in the coming decades are enormous. And the Law-Medicine Center is uniquely poised to prepare its students to address these challenges. The Center is the oldest health law program in the country. The field of health law effectively began with the creation of the Center in 1953. Our Law-Medicine Center’s resources are devoted entirely to our J.D. students, as there is no advanced degree program competing for the many courses, extracurricular activities, and job placement assistance that we provide for our students who are working toward their juris doctor degree.
Our health law curriculum offers a wide range of courses, seminars, and clinical practice opportunities to students interested in the full array of health law subjects—from corporate law firm practice to bioethics, from medical malpractice advocacy to government regulation of health care providers. Students do not have to wait until their second or third year to begin work in the health law curriculum. Each year we offer an elective course in health law to first year students.
Entering first-year students may be eligible for special scholarships in Health Law or for a Health Law Fellowship, which includes a research position during the summer after their first year of law school. The faculty members of the Law-Medicine Center have both extensive practice experience and notable scholarly reputations. They actively participate in major health care policy debates at the national, state, and local levels. But they also pride themselves on their accessibility to students. The Law-Medicine Center is an intellectual community in which students are always welcome in all of its activities.
The Center is fortunate to be located within a University with a top-ranked medical school and hospital and numerous other health care programs, offering our students abundant opportunities for interdisciplinary learning and research and for pursuing several dual degree options, such as law and bioethics, law and public health, law and management, or law and social work, among others.
Our graduates are trained to be highly competent health care lawyers. They are prepared to confront the challenges that lie ahead at the intersection of law and medicine, such as securing affordable, high-quality health care for all and managing the risks and benefits of extraordinary breakthroughs in human genetics and health information technology.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the Law-Medicine Center or the study of health law at Case Western Reserve University School of Law.
Law-Medicine Center - Where Health Law Began
Founded in 1953, the Law-Medicine Center is the oldest law school-based center for the study of legal medicine and health law in the United States. The Center was founded by Dr. Samuel Gerber, a coroner with a national reputation as a forensic professional, Dr. Alan Moritz, a forensic pathologist from Harvard University, and Oliver Schroeder, a young law professor just beginning his long and very distinguished career. Established within the law school with Professor Schroeder as director, the Center offered classes in forensic sciences to law and medical students, police officers, coroners, prosecutors, judges, and practicing attorneys. Students could earn a graduate degree, making this the first LL.M. program in the U.S. in law and medicine.
Since those beginnings, the Center has shifted its focus away from the strictly forensic. The mission is now professional education—the training of law and medical students. With the retirement of Professor Schroeder, the Center undertook a national search for his successor. Maxwell Mehlman, a specialist in the legal and governmental regulation of health care who had been practicing law with Arnold & Porter in Washington, D.C., was named associate director in 1984. He has served as director since 1986. In 2005, Professor Sharona Hoffman was appointed associate director and later became co-director of the Center. Professor Jessica Wilen Berg was named associate director in 2006 and Professor Ruqaiijah Yearby was named associate director in 2011.