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Contact IHLS

Institute of Health Law Studies
225 Cedar Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 619-239-0391

The Institute of Health Law Studies (IHLS) is an interdisciplinary center joining together legal, health, medical, and scientific communities to address important issues through advocacy, education, community service, and scholarship. IHLS is directed by Professors Susan Channick, J.D., M.P.H. & Joanna Sax, J.D., Ph.D.

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Academic Programs

Health Law Pathways to Practice and Area of Concentration

Our Health Law curriculum contains “pathways to practice” in three distinct areas of health law.  Please contact us at if you are interested in completing a “pathway to practice".

Pathway A: Representing Healthcare Organizations

  • Health Law & Policy (SWO)
  • Representing Healthcare Organizations
  • Practicing Healthcare Compliance
  • Healthcare Transactions
  • Administrative Law or Business Organizations
  • Internship

Pathway B: Regulatory/Pharmaceutical/Life Sciences

  • Health Law & Policy (SWO)
  • FDA Law
  • Patent Law
  • Licensing
  • Law, Science & Medicine
  • Internship

Pathway C: Medical Malpractice

  • Health Law & Policy (SWO)
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Risk Management
  • Trial Practice
  • Internship

Each pathway was designed through the collaborative effort of faculty and practitioners. All courses offered subject to instructor availability, minimum enrollment requirements, and other factors. Please contact Professor Joanna Sax,, for individualized counseling and course selection.

Master's in Health Policy & Law Degree Program

Combining the academic strengths of UC San Diego and California Western School of Law, the two schools offer a joint master's degree in Health Policy & Law. The only program of its kind the western U.S., the program equips graduates with a more complete understanding of the best scientific, ethical, regulatory, and management practices in both professions, with a goal of establishing compatible solutions in policy and practice.

» Master's in Health Policy & Law Web page at USCD

News & Events

Health Law Newsletter

Attend an upcoming Health Law Information Session

  • Check back soon for session information.

In the News

Scholarship & Publications

Bulletin of Health Policy & Law

The IHLS has its own peer review journal, the Bulletin of Health Policy & Law. In addition to peer review articles, the Bulletin provides an opportunity for students to publish short articles on recent developments in the field of health law.

» Bulletin of Health Policy & Law web site

Faculty Scholarship

California Western faculty members contribute to a greater understanding of the relationship between law, medicine, and science through their publications.

Recent publications include:

Professor Susan A. Channick

  • Susan A. Channick, The ACA, Provider Mergers and Hospital Pricing: Experimenting With Smart, Lower-Cost Health Insurance Options, 6 Wm & Mary Pol'y Rev. 1 (2014).

  • Susan A. Channick, Health Care Cost Containment: No Longer an Option but a Mandate, 13 Nev. L. J. 792 (2013).

Dean Emeritus Steven R. Smith

  • Steven R. Smith & Joseph C. Sanfilippo, Applied Ethics for the Physician, in MBA for Healthcare Professionals (Joseph Sanfilippo et al. eds.) (forthcoming).
  • Steven R. Smith & Joseph C. Sanfilippo, Business Law for Health Care Professionals, in MBA for Healthcare Professionals (Joseph Sanfilippo et al. eds.) (forthcoming).
  • Steven R. Smith & Joseph C. Sanfilippo, Risk Management in Health Care, in MBA for Healthcare Professionals (Joseph Sanfilippo et al. eds.) (forthcoming).
  • Joseph S. Sanfilippo, Steven R. Smith & Shirley M. Pruitt, Could Thorough Documentation Have Changed the Outcome of this Trial?, OBG Mgmt., August 2014, at 45.

Professor Joanna K. Sax

  • Joanna K. Sax & Neal Doran, Food Labeling and Consumer Associations with Health, Safety and Environment, 44 J.L. Med. & Ethics (forthcoming 2016).
  • Steven H. Strauss & Joanna K. Sax, An End to Event-Based Regulation of GMO Crops, 34 Nature Biotechnology 474 (2016).
  • Joanna K. Sax, Dietary Supplements are Not all Safe and Not all Food: How the Low Cost of Dietary Supplements Preys on the Consumer, 41 Am. J.L. & Med. 374 (2015).
  • Joanna K. Sax, The Separation of Politics and Science, 7 Stan. J.L. Sci. & Pol’y 10 (2014).
  • Joanna K. Sax, The Tobacco Diaries: Lessons Learned and Applied to Regulation of Dietary Supplements, 73 Md. L. Rev. Endnotes 20 (2013).

Professor Robert A. Bohrer

  • Interviewed on San Francisco public radio station KQED about a lawsuit filed against several pharmaceutical companies by two California counties claiming that the sale of prescription painkillers is creating a population of addicts

Professor Glenn C. Smith

  • Interviewed by KPBS Radio and Television about the U.S. Supreme Court case, Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius, regarding religious freedom and the Affordable Care Act.

Faculty & Staff

IHLS Co-Directors

The Institute of Health Law Studies (IHLS) is pleased to introduce the appointment of Susan A. Channick and Joanna K. Sax as co-directors of the program.

Susan A. Channick
Susan A. Channick
Professor Channick has a distinguished career in health law and her recent focus includes analysis of the Affordable Care Act, implementation of exchanges, and healthcare policy.
Joanna K. Sax
Joanna K. Sax
Professor Sax combines her background in basic biomedical science with her legal experience to address issues in the life sciences and the FDA.


Susan A. Channick
Co-Director of the Institute of Health Law Studies
Professor of Law

Joanna K. Sax
Co-Director of the Institute of Health Law Studies
Professor of Law

Robert A. Bohrer
Professor of Law

Steven R. Smith
Professor of Law
Dean Emeritus
Former Chair, ABA Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar

Adjunct Professors:

  • Matt Souther
  • Richard Sheridan
  • Paul Arshagouni
  • Nancy Vaughan
  • Richard Gates
  • Martha Ann Knutson