Careers That Combine Medicine and Law
Since it is a broad sector with many sub-areas, there are many legal jobs in the healthcare field. This level of diversity gives lawyers a lot of room for sub-specializing in different areas. Some possible healthcare law careers are:
Medical Malpractice Litigation
Jobs in healthcare law that focus on medical malpractice entail standing up for individuals that have been mistreated by a medical care provider.
Medical malpractice lawyers also focus on particular types of medical malpractice cases, such as birth accidents, surgical errors, neglect, or dental malpractice. Medical malpractice lawyers carry out activities such as collecting and examining medical records and working with experts to develop a medically backed approach to their cases.
Based on their specific field of expertise and number of cases, a medical malpractice attorney’s exact salary may vary.
Transactional representation is also on the medical law careers list, but primarily on the corporate side. Whenever a company is dealing with a transaction in the healthcare field, it needs to have an experienced attorney representing its interests.
Transactional attorneys in the healthcare field help their clients with every step of the procedure involved in any business transaction in the medical field to ensure compliance with the current healthcare laws. The transactions these lawyers handle can range from something as small as a single hire to something as momentous as a hospital merger. It’s the attorney’s job to explain all the legal proceedings to both sides of the deal while also supplying their clients with the information on their options and allocated time frames for appropriate legal action.
Seeing as how they usually work for big corporations, a health law transactional attorney’s average annual salary is $118,164.
In-House Practice for Health Care Providers
Next on our medical-legal careers are in-house lawyers working with healthcare providers. If they can afford to keep one on retainer, entities in the healthcare sector work with in-house attorneys instead of hiring outside counsel for legal advice. Private institutions usually have more access to this kind of service, but some non-profit and public welfare organizations also have in-house lawyers.
In-house health law attorney jobs are rarely given to candidates fresh out of law school. Being an in-house lawyer is a posting that almost always demands extensive previous experience, as it represents another convoluted mixture of law and business. In-house hirings are also on the rise, as Corporate America's priorities are shifting. More and more companies are choosing to rely on their own lawyers instead of hiring a firm on a per-case basis for legal advice.
The salary for in-house lawyers greatly depends on the employer and the attorney’s level of experience, but the average is somewhere around $90,148 per year.
Those Americans lucky enough to have been given access to health insurance by their employer know that issues that demand legal advice and correct implementation arise almost daily. The same goes for people and families who depend on social services or government-run insurance plans to cover their healthcare expenses. Such medical insurance plans raise complex law questions and policy issues in different states. Most states have an agency that manages this type of insurance, and all the people employed there have healthcare law jobs.
The majority of insurance lawyers’ incomes are somewhere around $110,825, with the highest earners reaching $208,000 annually in the United States.
Medical Technology Companies Advisement
Pharmaceutical and medical technology development companies add plenty of jobs to the market, and some of them are jobs in healthcare law. Usually, health law employees working in these companies - or for the government bodies regulating them - follow medical experimentation and work on keeping it within the boundaries of the law. They are also in charge of creating reimbursement policies for medication and the lawful implementation of new drugs on the pharmaceutical market.
Jobs in health law concerned with medical device development and regulation also cover conflicts of interest in medical science. As such, dealing with ethical and legal questions about research protocols is often a part of their job description.
The health law attorney salary in this field may vary for many reasons, but it’s often lower than the industry average, at $57,725 a year.
Food Policy and Regulation
A legal specialist working with food laws also falls under the medical-law spectrum. These jobs entail working with clients to ensure they stay consistent with all the relevant food-processing regulatory requirements. They supply companies with legal information detailing the company’s role in food production and assist them in ensuring that food production procedures always meet the appropriate conditions.
A food law consultant should be very knowledgeable about local and international food laws. Aside from advising companies, they can create consumer guidance and offer training courses. One of their primary duties is to ensure that food is appropriately labeled and ready to sell.
Choosing food policy and regulation from the jobs in healthcare law means that you are fully responsible for the quality of the food that goes to the market. The average income for health lawyer jobs in the food sector varies according to the size of the company you’re working for, of course.
Mental Health Law
Attorneys working in mental health law do so on two sides. On the one hand, they might be working on cases concerning psychological conditions which render the affected person unable to be legally responsible for themselves. On the other, mental health lawyers might be representing individuals with mental health issues and helping them take care of themselves properly within the constraints of healthcare law. This includes ensuring their rights are met and all the mental health services they need adequately provided. Cases dealing with mental health are on the rise, and as a result, so is the number of mental health law jobs in the US.
If the lawyer is working within a mental health institution, they will be in charge of ensuring that all treatment is ethically and legally provided, as well as clearly outlining the conditions and protocols for extreme occurrences, such as involuntary commitment.
The average payment in mental health law careers largely depends on the institution a given attorney is working with.
People with health law jobs usually spend most of their time in offices, libraries, hospitals, medical facilities, and occasionally courtrooms. They typically meet with their clients at their own office, in coffee shops, the clients’ homes, hospitals, and sometimes prisons.
Health care attorneys often need to consult with individual patients, hospitals, and clinics. They can choose to focus on particular health issues rather than large-scale public health problems in society. Still, many legal healthcare jobs tackle issues involving bigger groups or entire communities and their dealings with the healthcare system.
Tight timeframes, payment demands, consumer expectations, long working hours, changing laws, and other requirements come together with the intricacies of the healthcare system to make healthcare law practice one of the most demanding occupations out there.
How To Become a Health Lawyer
In addition to an undergraduate degree, a law degree, and a license, candidates often need to have some experience in the medical field to snag health law associate jobs. Some companies are looking for people with specific expertise related to the particular functions of the open position. We’ll give an overview of the general requirements in a detailed way below.