Emory Law's Juris Master Program to offer concentration in global health

April 9, 2014

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Emory Law has announced a new concentration in global health for its juris master program. Image by Amanda Maxfield Emory Global Health Institute.

Emory University School of Law is expanding its juris master (JM) degree program launched in 2012 to offer professionals a working knowledge of the laws governing their specialty. This fall, through a partnership with the Emory Global Health Institute, the law school will begin offering a JM degree concentration specifically for global health professionals.

"With growing regulation, intensifying risk and liability concerns, and increasingly complex decision environments, today's global health professionals will benefit from a grounding in the law," says Robert Schapiro, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law and dean of Emory Law. "The global health concentration is designed for a range of professionals—from physicians and clinicians, to researchers and administrators who regulate the industry."

The new JM for global health professionals will draw upon the university's strengths in multidisciplinary research, as well as health, legal and medical education.

In-depth program on legal issues affecting health

Developed in consultation with CARE, The Carter Center, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and several other Emory schools and organizations, the global health concentration is intended to provide practical and in-depth understanding of legal issues that affect health programs and processes such as contracts, international negotiations, human resource management, intellectual property, human rights, import/export regulations, public health policy and international law and treaties. 

The concentration offers five tracks of study: research, sustainable development, organizational administration, healthcare delivery and policy. Students can customize their degree to learn about the specific areas that will help their career most. After two foundational courses, students may take four recommended core curriculum courses and elective courses according to their interests, taught by faculty experts in their fields.

"Knowledge of the law and global health are naturally complementary," says Sir George Alleyne, chair emeritus of the Emory Global Health Institute's Advisory Board. "Solutions to many global health problems can come only through understanding and applying some basic tenets of law. Global health is an excellent concentration for the JM program."

Emory Law's typical JM student is already established in his or her career and seeking to become more knowledgeable and conversant on the legal principles that influence their fields. Early cohorts in the program have represented a range of fields such as business, environmental, finance, healthcare, human resources, journalism, nonprofit, public health and research. 

JM student Patty Olinger, director of Emory's Environmental Health and Safety Office, is charged with upholding federal and state laws that apply to more than 25,000 university employees.

"I work with rules, regulations and guidelines, which require interpretation and implementation," she says. "The JM program is helping me understand the legal aspects involved, from policymaking to daily enforcement. I believe it makes me more effective in what I do."

The Emory Law juris master degree requires 30 credit hours and may be pursued full or part-time. For the fall term, the early application deadline is April 15 and the general application deadline is May 31.