Health Law Externships

Health Law Externships

Available to: 2nd and 3rd year students

Health Law Guidelines

Forms for students

Health law externships introduce students to current issues in medical care and treatment, including how to assure the quality of care and how to make medical care broadly available. Students work in a wide variety of settings in which the issues of quality and access arise. Various health law courses provide a forum for students to share their experiences and explore these issues in greater depth.

Course:  Health Law (3 cr., graded, Fall)  Health Law provides an introduction to the broad array of legal principles involved in the delivery of health care today. Legal issues related to health policy, health care administration, and biomedical ethics will be included. Topics to be addressed include the physician-patient relationship; confidentiality; informed consent; medical error and apology; medical malpractice and tort reform; end of life issues such as withholding and withdrawing care; Good Samaritan laws; reproductive health issues, including contraception, abortion, and stem cell research; human subjects research; organ transplantation; and regulation of pharmaceuticals. Students have the opportunity to (but are not required to) also participate in health law externships.


Law and Biomedicine (1 cr., graded, Spring) This colloquium will involve presentations by outstanding scholars and practitioners in areas of law related to contemporary issues in law and the biosciences. These will be drawn from both the local area and nationally. Topics may include health care reform, law and mental health, food and drug law, genetics and law, and intellectual property. Meets only during the first 8 weeks of the semester.

Placements:  (2 – 5 cr., P/F every semester with pre- or co-requisite).  Placements are with a variety of health lawyers/health care institutions in the community and may include malpractice counsel, insurance companies, regulatory institutions, or professional associations.  Placements may also be arranged with health care providers or financing organizations.  Placements are individually arranged by the instructor in consultation with the student.  Potential placements include:

  • Intermountain Healthcare Central Office Legal Department:  In-house counsel (general) or compliance
  • University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics:  Risk Management Office or HIPAA Privacy Office
  • ARUP Laboratories

Faculty: Professor Leslie Francis

Registration and Placement: Students may enroll in the Health Law course online. To apply for externship placement, students must complete the application form and submit it with their résumé and a short statement of interest. Students will also consult with Professor Francis regarding their preferred placement.

LAW 7360-001: Health Law                            Fall: Mon. & Tues. 10:30 – noon

LAW 7889-001: Law and Biomedicine          Spring:  Wed. 3:10 – 5:10 p.m.

LAW 7361-001: Health Law Clinic                 Every semester (2 – 5 credits) with pre- or co-requisite