Students enrolled in the Health Law and Policy Clinic will work on cutting-edge legislative, regulatory, and litigation projects at the state and national levels aimed at increasing access to quality, comprehensive health care for poor and low-income individuals and families. Student projects involve:
- informing current debates on the Affordable Care Act and efforts to repeal and replace the law;
- providing law and policy analysis to national and state coalitions advocating to protect Medicaid, Medicare, and discretionary health and public health programs;
- investigating best practices for initiatives to address health disparities and reduce barriers to health care for our most vulnerable populations; and
- litigating to address unfair and discriminatory public and private health insurance practices.
National-level work involves advising government actors and leading chronic illness and disability partnerships to promote health and public health reform initiatives. State-level work allows students the opportunity to travel to facilitate trainings and meetings and to support advocacy and litigation strategy development on a broad range of current health and public health concerns.
Over the course of a semester, students work closely with clinical faculty to become skilled, innovative, and thoughtful practitioners. Students gain a wealth of hands-on experience in current and emerging health law and policy issues, and develop written products such as fact sheets, in-depth reports, comment letters, testimony, presentations, draft legislation, regulatory guidance and brief writing and research in ongoing litigation. Students have the opportunity to develop a range of problem-solving, policy analysis, research and writing, oral communication, advocacy and leadership skills. The Clinic’s on-campus office is in the 1607 Massachusetts Avenue building, where students will meet with their clinical supervisors and colleagues; students also have significant flexibility to work offsite.
How to Register
Students in the fall clinic enroll in either the fall Public Health Law & Policy seminar or the Health Care Rights in the 21st Century seminar. Spring clinical students enroll in either the spring Public Health Law & Policy seminar or the spring Policy Advocacy Workshop. Enrollment is coordinated by the Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs.
The clinic is offered in the Fall and Spring semesters. You can learn about the required clinical course component, clinical credits and the clinical registration process by reading the course catalog description and exploring the links in this section.
Meet the Instructors
Assistant Clinical Professor of Law; Faculty Director, Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation
Carmel Shachar, JD, MPH, is Assistant Clinical Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the Health Law and Policy Clinic at the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation at Harvard Law School (CHLPI).
Ms. Shachar focuses her scholarship on law and health policy, in particular the regulation of access to care for vulnerable individuals, the use of telehealth and digital health products, and the application of public health ethics to real world questions. Her work has been published in leading health and law journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, Nature Medicine, and the Journal of Law and the Biosciences, and she has been interviewed by major media outlets, such as BBC News, Politico, CNN, and Slate. She has co-edited several books, including “Innovation and Protection: The Future of Medical Device Regulation,” “Consumer Genetics: Ethical and Legal Considerations of New Technologies,” “Disability, Health, Law, and Bioethics,” “Transparency in Health and Health Care in the United States,” and “COVID-19 and the Law.” She also has authored amicus briefs submitted to the United States Supreme Court on health care and access to care issues.
Previously, Ms. Shachar was the Executive Director of the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School. During her time at the Petrie-Flom Center, she was responsible for oversight of the Center’s sponsored research portfolio, event programming, fellowships, student engagement, development, and a range of other projects and collaborations. During her tenure, she designed, recruited for, and launched both the Center’s Health Care General Counsel Roundtable and the Center’s Advisory Board. She was also involved heavily with the center’s Project on Precision Medicine, Artificial Intelligence, and the Law, and its Diagnosing in the Home Initiative.
Ms. Shachar was previously a Clinical Instructor on Law at the Health Law and Policy Clinic, where she helped lead CHLPI’s access to care and Affordable Care Act implementation work. Ms. Shachar focused on analyzing and translating health policy issues and opportunities for a broad range of audiences, including many federal and state-level health policy coalitions. Ms. Shachar also practiced health care law at Ropes & Gray, LLP in Boston, Massachusetts.
Ms. Shachar clerked for Hon. Jacques L. Wiener of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Ms. Shachar graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School and the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. She studied Bioethics and Religion at Wellesley College.
Kevin Costello is the Senior Associate Director of the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation and directs the Center’s litigation efforts. Prior to coming to CHLPI, Kevin was in private practice for eight years, most recently as a principal at Klein Kavanagh Costello, LLP. Kevin’s practice involved complex litigation in the fields of housing, health care, civil rights, antitrust and consumer law. He has been appointed by federal courts across the country to represent classes in Multi-District Litigation, as well as in nationwide class action litigation. Kevin has brought lawsuits against major banks for broken promises arising from the federal government’s Home Affordable Modification Program, challenged the broadcast blackout restrictions of Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League and fought against the practices of law firms and banks in Massachusetts that improperly foreclosed on financially vulnerable homeowners. Kevin was also part of the team that litigated a series of cases uncovering systemic racial discrimination in the mortgage lending field. Prior to entering private practice, Kevin was a staff attorney at Community Legal Services in Philadelphia, helping seniors navigate the health care system. In this role, he fought to ensure that his low-income clients were treated fairly in the roll-out of the Medicare prescription drug benefit and litigated to enforce their rights in various public benefit and health care systems. Mr. Costello is an honors graduate of both Boston College and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He served as law clerk to both the Hon. Joseph H. Rodriguez of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey and the Hon. Francis X. Spina of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.
Director of Whole Person Care; Clinical Instructor
Katie is a Clinical Instructor at the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation of Harvard Law School. Katie joined the Center in 2014 and currently focuses her work on the Center’s whole-person care initiatives, including the Center’s Food is Medicine project. In her work on these initiatives, she has had the opportunity to work with community-based organizations, state agencies, health care providers, and coalitions to develop strategies to increase access to innovative services such as Food is Medicine interventions. Prior to joining the Center, Katie was an associate at Ropes & Gray LLP. She is a licensed member of the Massachusetts Bar.
Erika joined the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation of Harvard Law School in 2022 as a Clinical Instructor in the Health Law and Policy Clinic. Prior to joining HLPC, she was a Staff Attorney at The Legal Aid Society in New York City for nearly five years, where she represented clients, conducted class action litigation, and led policy advocacy on a wide range of issues including access to benefits, medical service denials, discrimination in health care, and the reduction and elimination of medical debt and Medicaid overpayments. Prior to working at The Legal Aid Society, Erika was a Georgetown Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellow and a Reproductive Rights & Health Legal Fellow at the National Women’s Law Center in Washington, D.C. She has published scholarly articles in the Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly and the St. Louis University Law Journal. She is a licensed member of the New York State bar.
Elizabeth joined the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation in 2022. Prior to joining CHLPI, Elizabeth worked as an Assistant Attorney General for Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. There, Elizabeth represented a variety of state agencies, including MassHealth, in institutional reform and other litigation. Elizabeth also has experience working in a medical-legal partnership, where she provided direct legal services to low-income clients with chronic conditions such as HIV/AIDS and mental illness. Her work spanned a variety of areas, including legal issues related to Medicare, Medicaid, and the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.
Elizabeth clerked for the Hon. Margot Botsford of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. She earned her JD from the University of California, Berkeley Law School, and her BA from Williams College. She is a licensed member of the Massachusetts Bar.
Rachel joined the Harvard Law School Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation in July 2018 as a Clinical Fellow in the Health Law and Policy Clinic. Rachel graduated from UCLA School of Law in May 2016 as a member of the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy, and with a Master of Public Health degree from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. During law school, she worked with projects and organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union’s Reproductive Freedom Project, the National Health Law Program, and the Los Angeles HIV Law & Policy Project, and co-chaired UCLA’s Health Law Society. Immediately prior to joining the Center, Rachel was an associate at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP, focusing on health care regulatory and compliance matters.
Maryanne Tomazic (she/her) is a clinical instructor at the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation of Harvard Law School. She is a public health lawyer, with a focus on health care policy, private health insurance, health care nondiscrimination, and access to gender-affirming and sexual/reproductive health care. Prior to law school, Maryanne worked at the intersection of health care reform and reproductive justice at Raising Women’s Voices (Community Catalyst), served as an elected official on a board of education, and volunteered as an emergency medical technician for many years. Her work is also informed by her experience growing up with immigrant family and her academic training at Boston University School of Law (Health Law), Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health (History and Ethics of Public Health), and Swarthmore College (Biology). She is licensed in New York.
Anu joined CHLPI as a Clinical Fellow on the Health Care Access team in 2023. Anu is a former physician who is focused on health equity and access issues. While in law school Anu worked on a variety of health law justice projects including one that educated providers about their rights regarding police questioning in hospital and healthcare settings. Additionally, Anu helped develop a policy recommendation on behalf of Medicaid AABD clients in Illinois which advocates for the elimination of the asset test requirement. Anu also coauthored a note and cohosted a podcast exploring the effects of social media on direct-to-consumer advertising in the pharmaceutical space on patient drug choice.
As a physician Anu focused on clinical research directed at improving hospital admission processes for hematology patients. Anu was also part of a team that worked on creating community-based mental health services for immigrant populations. Anu hopes to use the lessons she learned as a physician to better inform her practice as a health law attorney focused on improving access and equity in our health care system. Anu has an MD from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine and a JD with a focus on health law and compliance studies from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.
Suzanne joined the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation in September 2021 as a Clinical Fellow in the Health Law and Policy Clinic. She received her JD in 2020 from Boston University. While still in law school, Suzanne worked on health and disability issues with the New York City Department of Social Services, AARP Foundation Litigation, and Health Law Advocates. As a law student, Suzanne was Co-President of BU Law’s Outlaw chapter, and a founding member of BU Disability Law Advocates and Allies. Prior to joining the Center, Suzanne was a trial court law clerk for the Vermont Judiciary. Suzanne also holds a BA in Music from Columbia University.
Sara joined the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation in 2023 as a Health Law and Policy Clinical Fellow with the Whole Person Care Team. Sara holds a Master of Laws (LL.M.) from Harvard Law School, where her focus was on health and technology law policy. During her LL.M., Sara served as a Research Assistant at the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School, working for the Digital Home Health Initiative at the Center. She was also a clinical student attorney at the Cyberlaw Clinic at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. Sara is a practicing attorney from Pakistan, where prior to her LL.M., she worked on the landmark virginity testing case, and led numerous women empowerment, and diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.
John (he/they) joined the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation of Harvard Law School in 2022 as a Staff Attorney in the Health Law and Policy Clinic. Prior to joining the Center, John was a staff attorney at the Health Law Institute in Jamaica Plain where he provided free legal services to people living with or at high risk of HIV. His prior work focused on a variety of areas, including tenant rights, public benefit appeals, and criminal record sealing. John also has expertise in LGBTQ+ organizing, harm reduction and substance use disorder, and policing and public health. He graduated from Northeastern University School of Law in May 2019 and is a licensed member of the Massachusetts Bar.
In the News
How Two FDA Moves Have Quietly Advanced Reproductive Health Care
Originally written by Jessica Rendall and published by CNET on 08/29/2023. This summer, the US Food and Drug Administration made two decisions that reflect a demand for more access to […] The post How Two FDA Moves Have Quietly Advanced Reproductive Health Care appeared first on Center For Health Law and Policy Innovation […]
September 14, 2023
Drugmakers Prep Medicare Pricing Suits for March to High Court
Originally written by Ian Lopez and published by Bloomberg Law on 08/17/2023 Major drugmakers have tailored a legal crusade against the Biden administration’s drug price negotiation program that legal scholars […] The post Drugmakers Prep Medicare Pricing Suits for March to High Court appeared first on Center For Health Law and Policy Innovation […]
September 14, 2023
HLPC Welcomes Clinical Fellows, Anu Dairkee and Sara Raza
CHLPI’s Health Law and Policy Clinic is pleased to welcome two new Clinical Fellows to the team, Anu Dairkee and Sara Raza! Anu DairkeeClinical Fellow, Health Law and Policy Clinicudairkee@law.harvard.ed […] The post HLPC Welcomes Clinical Fellows, Anu Dairkee and Sara Raza appeared first on Center For Health Law and Policy Innovation […]
September 7, 2023
Hepatitis C: State of Medicaid Access Update Signals Tipping Point on Prior Authorization Removal is Near
The Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation of Harvard Law School (CHLPI) and the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable (NVHR) today published updates to their state report cards reflecting changes to hepatitis […] The post Hepatitis C: State of Medicaid Access Update Signals Tipping Point on Prior Authorization Removal is Near appeared first on Center For […]
August 31, 2023