About the Health Law & Policy Clinic
The Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation of Harvard Law School (CHLPI) advocates for legal, regulatory, and policy reform to improve the health of underserved populations. CHLPI is a clinical teaching program that houses the Health Law and Policy Clinic (HLPC) and the Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC), and mentors students to become skilled, innovative, and thoughtful practitioners as well as leaders in health, public health, and food law and policy.
Students enrolled in HLPC participate in a broad range of national and state law and policy initiatives aimed at achieving more equitable health and public health care systems. To this end, clinical students are a key part of CHLPI’s efforts to expand access to high-quality health care, reduce health disparities, and support community education and advocacy capacity.
Students work to develop, inform, and implement health law and policy through regulatory and legislative advocacy and impact-oriented litigation. Past student projects have included:
- Protecting progress made under the Affordable Care Act and promoting the implementation of other health reforms that support access to high-quality and affordable health care in collaboration with community-based partners;
- Bringing lawsuits against state Medicaid programs challenging their use of arbitrary cost-saving measures that violate patients’ right to medically necessary care; and
- Providing cutting-edge law and policy research, analysis, and technical assistance to health advocacy leaders, health and social service providers, and government to support the development of public health program best practices.
Semesters offered: Fall, Spring
Credits: The Clinic accepts students registered for 2, 3, or 4 credits for the semester.
Placement Site: Students work in CHLPI’s office located at 1607 Massachusetts Ave, next to Wasserstein Hall on the Harvard Law School campus.
Required Class Component: Students enrolled in the Clinic must also enroll in the Public Health Law and Policy Seminar.
Harvard Law School is committed to the full inclusion of students with disabilities in the life of the University. Students requesting accessibility resources or accommodations in any of HLS’s Clinical and Pro Bono Programs may work with Accessibility Services in the Dean of Students Office. If you are a student with a documented disability and you are requesting accommodations, please contact HLS Accessibility Services to discuss and register for accommodations.
About the Public Health Law & Policy Seminar
The Public Health Law and Policy seminar provides an overview of the law and policy decisions that have shaped the United States health and public health care system and are informing current debates about health care. Students learn about the history and politics leading to the enactment of the Affordable Care Act and the subsequent challenges to its full implementation; how the federal government and states are acting as laboratories of innovation to address health and public health policy priorities; and the role of public health in addressing a broad range of challenges from promoting healthy lifestyles to responding to infectious diseases. The seminar employs experiential learning techniques, such as role plays, simulations, and discussion posts to spark debate between different sides of often controversial issues.
Semesters offered: Fall and Spring
About the Health Care Rights in the 21st Century Seminar
The Health Care Rights in the 21st Century seminar traces the history of the American conception of health care rights in the last half-century of administrative and political cycles through the lens of civil rights and enforcement. Students learn about federal civil rights statutes; the laws and agreements that govern public and private health insurance arrangements; data privacy and ownership rights; and other state and federal statutes that govern health care consumers, insurers, institutions and spending.
Semesters offered: Fall
About the Policy Advocacy Workshop
The Policy Advocacy Workshop is a hands-on seminar that explores the methods, tools, and skills used to conduct legislative and regulatory advocacy. Students learn about the process of issue spotting policy opportunities, developing policy advocacy campaigns, drafting legislation and regulations, and using written and oral advocacy to push for policy change. Students learn how to effectuate policy reforms that could have real world application by drafting written materials and presenting oral advocacy to demonstrate an implementation strategy for a range of policy reform ideas.
Semesters offered: Spring