Rising 2L Erin Sclar’s Summer Gig with Harvard’s Center for Health Law Policy & Innovation

The UC Hastings student spent her summer at the Harvard Law School’s Center for Health Law Policy and Innovation (CHLPI) to assist their efforts to make systemic changes that help people get better health care.

Rising 2L Erin Sclar discusses her experience at UC Hastings, her love of the San Francisco wine scene, and her work at the Harvard Law School’s Center for Health Law Policy and Innovation (CHLPI) in Boston this summer.

Where are you from?

Tinley Park, IL.

Why did you choose to attend law school at UC Hastings?

UC Hastings has a strong identity as an institution that cares about social justice and public service. It is also a collaborative environment. I love that faculty and students are always willing to help each other and learn from each other.

Are you focusing on any type of law and why?

I’m a Law & Health Sciences Concentration student. Before law school I worked in health care advocacy and policy, and I want to use my JD to broaden the ways in which I can work for health care access for all people.

What have been some of your highlights at UC Hastings?

Definitely getting to know the faculty and students. There are so many amazingly intelligent, dedicated, and kind people at UC Hastings.

What are you doing this summer?

I’m working at the Harvard Law School’s Center for Health Law Policy and Innovation (CHLPI), in Boston, MA. The center advocates for health care access for all, especially people who have complex illnesses and low incomes.

What’s the absolute best part of your summer gig?

Definitely the people! Everyone who works at CHLPI cares deeply about making systemic changes that help people get better health care. And each person at CHLPI does so in a unique way. For example, some staff focus on litigation, others focus on lobbying, and others focus on supporting grassroots advocates. It has been really informative to learn about the types of work lawyers do in each of these roles.

What did you hope to learn through this experience?

I came to CHLPI hoping to learn how impact litigation can help people get social services they are or should be entitled to under the law. At CHLPI I’ve had the opportunity to support their impact litigation work, which seeks to ensure access to Hepatitis C drugs for people who have Medicaid insurance.

How has what you learned in the classroom at UC Hastings prepared you for this opportunity?

Professor Dave Owen’s Legislation and Statutory Interpretation class was amazingly helpful in understanding the basics of administrative law! A significant amount of CHLPI’s work focuses on pushing back against new federal regulations that would make it harder for people to get health insurance or health care services. For example, the federal government is now allowing states to impose work requirements for people with Medicaid. It has been really important for me to understand the types of legal challenges advocates can bring to fight against policies like this.

Do you miss San Francisco?

Boston is a great city, but I really miss the wine scene in San Francisco (in my spare time I study wine). It’s amazing to have so many local winemakers coming through San Francisco, and being able to visit their wineries on the weekends!

What are your goals for after law school?

I hope to continue working in health care advocacy, either as a litigator or in policy or both. Health care policies have changed tremendously over the past 10 years, and I want to make sure that any future changes help people get the health care they need.

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