Health Law Courses

Professor Mark Heyrman

The courses listed below provide a taste of the Administrative Law courses offered at the Law School, although no formal groupings exist in our curriculum. This list includes the courses taught in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years. Not all of these courses are offered every year, but this list will give you a representative sample of the variety of courses we might offer over any two-year period. Other new courses will likely be offered during your time at the Law School.

PLEASE NOTE: This page does not include courses for the current academic year. To browse current course offerings, visit my.UChicago.

Students interested in Health Law can also earn a Certificate in Health Administration and Policy through the interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Health Administration and Policy.

Big Problems

Spring 2018, David Weisbach, Anup Malani, Robert Topel, Kevin Murphy

The Big Problems course will use multidisciplinary approaches to try to understand and tackle the most important problems facing our country or the world. The first 8 weeks will be taught by the instructors and outside experts, focusing on problems such as the Zika virus, Syrian migration to Europe, cybersecurity, nuclear waste storage, opioid addiction, sex trafficking, and policing and race relations. Students will work in teams of 2 business and 2 law students to develop feasible policy or private sector solutions to a problem of their choosing and make a presentation in the last 2 weeks. Presentations will be made to instructors, outside experts and fellow students. This class requires instructor consent. Interested students should email their CV to Professor Weisbach and Professor Malani at and Final grade will be based on a major paper (20-25 pages).


  • Spring 2017, David Weisbach, Anup Malani, Robert Topel, Kevin Murphy

Environmental Law

Autumn 2017, Karen Marie Bradshaw

This course surveys the legal landscape of environmental protection in the United States. It focuses cases interpreting the major federal environmental statutes, including the National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, and Clean Air Act. The course also incorporates economic, scientific, and ethical considerations, with an emphasis on how conflicts are resolved among competing stakeholders within shared policy space.


  • Autumn 2016, Michael Livermore

Family Law

Winter 2018, Mary Anne Case

This course will examine the state's role in recognizing and regulating personal relationships between adults and between adults and children. Throughout the quarter we will explore assumptions about family that underlie existing legal regulation, including assumptions embodied in constitutional law. The grade is based on a substantial paper, series of short papers, or final examination, with class participation taken into account. Paper writers require permission of the instructor; ADDITIONAL explicit instructor consent required for paper to be considered for SRP certification.


  • Spring 2017, Mary Anne Case

Food and Drug Law and Policy

Spring 2018, Jack Bierig

This course explores legal and policy issues in the federal regulation of foods, drugs, medical devices, and other products coming within the jurisdiction of the FDA. It will examine substantive standards applicable to these products and procedural issues in the enforcement of these standards. It will also address the tension between state and federal regulation in this area, constitutional constraints on such regulation, the conflict between state tort law and federal regulation, and a variety of other issues relating to the development and marketing of regulated products. The student's grade is based on class participation and a final examination or major paper.


  • Spring 2017, Jack Bierig

Global Inequality

Winter 2017, Martha Nussbaum and David Weisbach

Global income and wealth are highly concentrated. The richest 2% of the population own about half of the global assets. Per capita income in the United States is around $47,000 and in Europe it is around $30,500, while in India it is $3,400 and in Congo, it is $329. There are equally unsettling inequalities in longevity, health, and education. In this interdisciplinary seminar, we ask what duties nations and individuals have to address these inequalities and what are the best strategies for doing so. What role must each country play in helping itself? What is the role of international agreements and agencies, of NGOs, of political institutions, and of corporations in addressing global poverty? How do we weigh policies that emphasize growth against policies that emphasize within-country equality, health, or education? In seeking answers to these questions, the class will combine readings on the law and economics of global development with readings on the philosophy of global justice. A particular focus will be on the role that legal institutions, both domestic and international, play in discharging these duties. For, example, we might focus on how a nation with natural resources can design legal institutions to ensure they are exploited for the benefit of the citizens of the country. Students will be expected to write a paper, which may qualify for substantial writing credit. Non-law students need instructor consent to enroll.

Greenberg Seminar: Blood, Books, and Guns: Crime and Medical Ethics in Literature

Winter 2017, Alison Siegler and Mark Siegler

This seminar studies selected criminal justice topics and medical ethics issues through the lens of novels, plays, and other primary sources. We also explore the centrality of storytelling in lawyering and doctoring. Professor Alison Siegler and her father, Professor Mark Siegler of the Medical School, bring to this seminar their undergraduate experience as English majors and their respective expertise in criminal defense and medical ethics. Topics include mens rea in Capote; sentencing in Shakespeare; end-of-life decision-making in Tolstoy; and crime, punishment, and ethics in Dylan's music. Graded Pass/Fail.


  • Autumn 2016, Alison Siegler and Mark Sielger

Greenberg Seminar: Wine and the Law

Spring 2017, Thomas Ginsburg and Jonathan Masur

This seminar will consider the law and politics of wine production and regulation in the US and elsewhere. There will be an empirical research component. Places will be reserved for 2 LL.M. students. Graded Pass/Fail.


  • Autumn 2016, Thomas Ginsburg and Jonathan Masur
  • Winter 2017, Thomas Ginsburg and Jonathan Masur

Health Law and Policy

Autumn 2016, Wendy Epstein

This course will offer a survey of principles in health law and policy. It covers three major units: (1) Financing and Delivery of Care in the American Health Care System (including through private insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid), (2) Quality of Care, the Treatment Relationship, and Liability, and (3) Bioethics and Improving Societal Health. Students should be prepared to discuss the impact of proposals to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act-or the new Act itself if we have one by then. Student grades are based on class participation and a final examination.


  • Autumn 2016, Jack Bierig

Law and the Mental Health System

Autumn 2017, Mark Heyrman

The course examines the interrelationship between legal doctrine; procedural rules; medical, cultural, and social scientific understandings of mental disability; and institutional arrangements affecting the provision of services to the mentally disabled. Consideration is given to admission to and discharge from mental health facilities, to competency to consent to or to refuse treatment, to surrogate decision-making for those found incompetent, to the rights of those confined in mental health facilities; to discrimination against the mentally disabled, and to the rights of the mentally disabled in the criminal justice system. Grades are based on a final paper or a final take-home exam, and class participation.


  • Autumn 2016, Mark Heyrman

Law, Social Work, and the Legal Regulation of the Social Work Profession

Winter 2018, Israel Doron

In recent years, there has been a general shift towards integration and growing cooperation between lawyers and social workers, both professionally and ideologically. However, there are still tensions and gaps between the ways legal and social work professionals view their inter-relationships. This course will examine the different intersections between law and social work, and the ways the law attempts to regulate the social work profession. The analysis will use both American and Israeli legal examples, and will try to compare the different approaches to the legal regulation of social work in both countries.

Mental Health Advocacy Clinic

Spring 2018, Mark Heyrman

Mental Health Advocacy teaches a variety of advocacy skills. With the permission of the clinical teacher, students may choose to focus on litigation, legislation, or both. Students engaged in litigation may interview clients and witnesses; research and draft pleadings and legal memoranda, including briefs to reviewing courts; conduct formal and informal discovery; negotiate with opposing counsel and others; conduct evidentiary hearings and trials; and present oral argument in trial and appellate courts. Students who have completed fifty percent of the credits needed for graduation may be licensed to appear, under the supervision of the clinical teacher, in state and federal trial and appellate courts pursuant to court rules and practices. Students engaged in legislative advocacy may research and draft legislation and supporting materials, devise and implement strategies to obtain the enactment or defeat of legislation, negotiate with representatives of various interest groups, and testify in legislative hearings. In addition to discrete advocacy skills such as cross-examination, discovery planning, and legislative drafting, the course aims to provide students with an understanding of the relationships between individual advocacy tasks and the ultimate goals of clients, between litigation and legislative advocacy, and between advocacy on behalf of individual clients and advocacy for systemic change. Prior or contemporaneous enrollment in Law and the Mental Health System is encouraged, but not required, for all students. See the general rules for all clinical courses for further details concerning enrollment, including the rules governing the award of credit. There is a mandatory one-credit seminar component for this course which meets once a week during the Autumn Quarter. Mental Health Advocacy satisfies part of the writing requirement if substantial written work is completed. Student may enroll in this clinical course for between one and six quarters.


  • Autumn 2016, Mark Heyrman
  • Winter 2017, Mark Heyrman
  • Spring 2017, Mark Heyrman
  • Autumn 2017, Mark Heyrman
  • Winter 2018, Mark Heyrman

Poverty Law

Spring 2018, Andrew Hammond

This seminar offers an introduction to the substantive law and procedure of public benefit programs in the United States. The seminar will identify persistent controversies in poverty law, including means-test design, funding structure, federalism issues, and behavioral rules, as well as how poverty law interacts with immigration enforcement and disability law. Throughout, we will examine to what extent the agencies that administer these public benefits are vulnerable to federal litigation and what remedies may result from such litigation. Final grade will be based on: a series of short reaction papers and class participation (2 credits). Student who wish to earn 3 credits will be writing an additional long paper.


  • Spring 2017, Miriam Hallbauer

Regulation of Sexuality

Spring 2018, Mary Anne Case

This course explores the many ways in which the legal system regulates sexuality, sexual identity, and gender and considers such regulation in a number of substantive areas as well as the limits on placed on such regulation by constitutional guarantees including free speech, equal protection, and due process. Readings include cases and articles from the legal literature together with work by scholars in other fields. The grade is based on a substantial paper, series of short papers, or final examination, with class participation taken into account.

Reproductive Health and Justice

Spring 2017, Lorie Chaiten

This seminar will examine the history and evolution of legal protections for abortion, contraception and other reproductive health care. We will look at state and federal constitutional, statutory and common law theories used to secure and protect these rights. We will explore current threats and growing barriers to access, including ever-expanding assertions of religious beliefs to limit access to reproductive health care. We will also look at advocacy strategies for addressing those threats and barriers. Grades are based on a final paper and class participation.

Right to Health International Facets and Local Application: Selected Aspects

Autumn 2016, Anand Grover

The course of 4 modules will examine the Right to Health internationally and its domestic application. The first module will deal with international treaties, the general principles and the jurisprudence, sources of human rights law, evolution of human rights treaties, differences in common and civil law countries, differences within human rights treaties and comparing them with and other treaties, including the TRIPS Agreement and Free Trade Agreements and their consequent impact. It will also deal with obligations of States internationally, nationally domestication, interpretation, sovereignty, enforcement. The second module will dealt with the principles of the Right to Health under the ICESR and its various facets as elaborated in General Comment 14 including principles of non discrimination, informed consent, vulnerable groups and participation of those affected, the application of the Right to Health in domestic jurisdictions as also the evaluation and critique of the Right to health. The third module will deal with practical application of the principles elaborated in the earlier modules as applied in the case of the HIV epidemic, the empowering and the participation of the persons directly and indirectly affected by the HIV epidemic, the concept vulnerable groups, the history of criminalisation of vulnerable groups, including sex workers, drug users and LGBTI communities and the methods adopted to deal with that. The fourth module will deal with the TRIPS Agreement and Access to Medicines, the principle of flexibility, patents on medicines, their ever greening and tools adopted by States to deal with that. It will also deal with the substantive and procedural aspects of the grant of a patent and oppositions to it; making affordable medicines through competition and the role of the generic industry in that as also future challenges to that. The fifth module will deal with the Free Trade Agreements, Trade investment Agreements the push towards TRIPS plus provisions, the reduction of policy space for the States and consequent the impact they have on access to medicines and the Right to Health. In particular the module will touch on the Investor State Dispute settlement fora as also on the human rights accountability of the Trans National Corporations and the challenges ahead to get that done.