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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

In fall 2014, a new Health Law curriculum will be rolled out. These new "pathways to practice" will include 3 areas of concentration:

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
  • Products Liability
  • Trial Practice
  • Internship

Each pathway was designed through the collaborative effort of faculty and practitioners.

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

News & Events

Health Law Newsletter

Recent Events

  • Watch the recording and slide show from the March 5 event, "TracKING v. Burwell : Will Insurance-Exchange Subsidies (& Obamacare Itself) Survive the Latest Supreme Court Review?"

Attend an upcoming Health Law Information Session

  • Tuesday, March 3 - Spring 2015 Master’s in Health Policy and Law Program Information Session
    Our Next Information Session will take place Tuesday evening March 3, 2015 from 5:30 – 7:00pm. It is an opportunity to learn more about the program, meet program management and recent graduates. To attend RSVP to Jan Keane.

    Location: La Jolla Village Professional Center
    8950 Villa La Jolla Dr., Suite A-124
    La Jolla, CA 9203

    More information can be found at:

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

  • "Taming the Beast of Health Care Costs: Why Medicare Reform Alone is Not Enough," in the Annals of Health Law, Health Law Professors Conference Special Edition, 2012.

  • "Health Care Cost Containment: No Longer an Option But a Mandate," in the Nevada Law Journal, 2013.

  • 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.

Dean Emeritus Steven R. Smith

  • "Supreme Court 2012-13: Dogs, DNA, and DOMA," in the Register Report, Fall 2013.

  • "Applied Ethics for the Physician," in MBA for Healthcare Professionals, forthcoming.

  • "Business Law for Health Care Professionals," in MBA for Healthcare Professionals, forthcoming.

  • "Risk Management in Health Care," in MBA for Healthcare Professionals, forthcoming.

Professor Joanna K. Sax

  • “Financial Conflicts of Interest in Science” in the Annals of Health Law, 2012.

  • “Application of Default Rules to Address Financial Conflicts of Interest in Academic Medical Centers” in the Indiana Law Journal Supplement, 2012.
  • “The Tobacco Diaries: Lessons Learned and Applied to Regulation of Dietary Supplements” in the Maryland Law Review Endnotes, 2013

  • “The Separation of Politics and Science” in the Stanford Journal of Law, Science & Policy, 2014.

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
Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development

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