Thank you to everyone who’s joined us this evening. In tonight’s webinar we will be introducing our Master of Laws and Master of Arts in Health Law and Policy programs. Welcome everybody. My name is Shirley Chan Belle and I will be your moderator for today.
Before we begin I would like to go over the logistics of this presentation and get you familiar with the presentation dashboard. To cut down on background noise, you are in listen-only mode therefore you can hear the presenter but they cannot hear you. On the left side of your screen you should see the slide presenter. For the best viewing experience, please maximize this screen. At the bottom of your screen, you will see a number of buttons. I would like to take a moment to walk you through each one and its functionality.
The slides button controls the display of the slides during the presentation. The media player button controls the volume during the live and on-demand recorded sessions and also allows on-demand viewers to pause the presentation. The Q&A button controls a pop-up box allowing you to send us questions during the live session. You are welcome to ask questions as you think of them, but please note that all answers will be held until the end of the presentation. There is also a survey box. After the webinar, a short questionnaire will appear which will provide you with the opportunity to leave us with your feedback. While this is not mandatory your participation will help us improve our webinar series allowing us to provide you with more of what you would like to see. This webinar is being recorded and you will receive an email with this recording in the next week. Now that everyone is familiar with the presentation platform, let’s begin today’s webinar. We are very excited to be joined today by Professor Columbo, Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Distance Education, as well as Mr. Richman – Senior Director of Global Initiatives. Also joining us is Claudette Jones, one of our enrollment advisors for the program.
And here is our agenda for this evening’s webinar. We will start with panel introductions followed by an introduction to Hofstra University’s Maurice A. Deane School of Law. Next, we will provide an overview of the master’s in Health Law and Policy programs at Hofstra Law. Following the program overview, we will shine a spotlight on the Introduction to the American Legal System course. We will also provide detailed information on the other courses in these programs. After that, we will go over the admission requirements. Finally, we will wrap up with a Q&A session. We will try to get to as many questions as we can tonight. If your question is not answered during the session, one of our enrollment advisors will follow up with you directly. At this time Professor Colombo will provide a brief introduction – Welcome Professor.
Well thank you Shirley, I appreciate that. So, as you can see from my bio I’ve been at Hofstra law school for quite some time. My area of expertise, since 2006, my areas of expertise are basically business law, securities law. I was involved in launching this program when I was serving as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for the entire law school a few years ago and after I left that post after two years I stayed on as Dean of Distance Education, so as to remain involved in this particular online degree program which I’m very proud of and I’d like to welcome you all here today. It’s a pleasure to have you and I look forward to answering your questions and giving you some insights into the program.
Thank You Professor Colombo. Now Mr. Richman will provide a brief introduction. Welcome Mr. Richman.
Thank you so much Shirley. My name is Steven Richman. I’m currently the Senior Director of Global Initiatives and I also work very closely with the administrative management of this online program. Personally, I am a graduate of Hofstra Law School so I’m very familiar with the school and have been very involved with the day-to-day operations in making sure that all of your coursework and your registration processes on the back end here at the university runs seamlessly and smoothly. So, I really look forward to speaking with you all and giving you the chance to learn more about our program.
Thank you, Mr. Richman. Now I would like to introduce our enrollment advisor Claudette Jones. Welcome Claudette.
Thanks Shirley for such a warm welcome. Hello everyone and thank you for attending our webinar today focusing on program overview, I would like to begin by giving a brief overview or brief background of myself followed by an overview of the eligibility requirements for the program. As Shirley said, I am the enrollment advisor for the online Master of Arts and the online Master of Laws in Health Law and Policy program. I have been an advisor for over nine and a half years. It’s my role to help you determine whether or not our program is a good fit in addition to see if you meet the basic qualification and to answer any questions you may have and also assist you with the admissions process. Welcome again and thank you.
Thank you, Claudette. Now Mr. Richman will introduce everyone to Hofstra University and provide an overview of our master’s in Health Law and Policy program.
Hofstra University really is a wonderful, beautiful campus. We are very uniquely located just outside of New York City. Which really provides a unique opportunity not only to take advantage of Manhattan for our students, but Long Island. Although the coursework we offer to you in this program can be done online, you still have full access to our university which you are always welcome to join the campus so you can take part in all of the events. Certainly, all of your coursework can be done online
As far as the law school, we have over 10,000 alumni members, multiple administrators and a really phenomenal faculty that’s very distinguished in a variety of different areas, especially in the field of health law and policy. Being a part of this program, you have the opportunity to learn not just from the research faculty members that we have but also the really highly distinguished level of adjuncts who are currently working in the field and dealing with these issues on a day to day practice level.
The law school itself is very unique in fact that we do have the Gitenstein Institute of Health Law and Policy. This is one of our areas of expertise. The university itself also has a medical school, so we really have a phenomenal amount of resources for you to learn from and make sure you take part in everything we have to offer.
The school itself is an ABA-accredited school by the American Bar Association. What that means is that you get the chance to not just engage in the knowledge of learning health law and policy, but you’re learning it from lawyers in the field, which is really a unique opportunity.
So now I’d also like to take a moment and talk with you a little bit about the program details. As we said, this is a very unique program that we get the opportunity to offer this to you online, and it’s offered in one of two formats – either an LL.M, or an M.A.
The reason why we have this program is we realize with the amount of resources and expertise we have in the area, we allow you as a student to have a really practical approach to the laws and regulations that are shaping and continuing to shape the health care industry in the U.S. As you’re well aware, it’s a very heavily regulated, and certainly an ever-changing, fast-growing area.
We have this available to you as a professional in the health care field. Many of our students are actively in the health care field and have years of experience. If you’re new to it, we’re welcome to help you learn more. And the types of complex issues that we cover will range everything from the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, Medicare and Medicaid, and we also deal with many current issues ranging from disability, public health, biotechnology, drug development, and we also take the look at the business aspect in health care, bioethics, and representation of health care providers as well, so it’s a really unique program
Mr. Richman will now go over a high-level overview of the curriculum.
So, as far as the curriculum, we have a really fantastic array of courses that are offered. As you may be aware, this is offered in two different options. One is the MA which is available if you have your earned bachelor’s degree and we also offer this at an LL.M program which is offered to you if you’ve already earned your J.D. and your law degree.
Some of the main differences between them start with how the program actually begins. As an M.A. student, which is a 30-credit program which consists of 11 different courses, we have no worry if you have not had prior legal education. We make sure to get you up to speed. We have specialized designed courses which Professor Colombo will talk about a little bit in an Introduction to the American Legal System which really gives you the opportunity to come up to speed in current legal issues, having a very general understanding of how our legal system works so the rest of the courses are logical and makes sense and you are not behind if you had not attended law school. We make sure to bring you up to speed. In addition to having a general overview of the legal system, we also provide a course in health law which is an introductory course that is required for our M.A. students to make sure that you started an equal footing without having some prior legal education. And from there, the courses really run the gamut of what is in the current health law field. So, it ranges from everything as we spoke about before in the Medicare Medicaid field Law to very specialized courses in product discovery development, what’s actually out there in the field, right down to the public policy health issues and covering how statutes and regulations are understood, and compliance – which is a fast-growing area. What’s very special about this program is the fact that we have a unique capstone. The capstone allows you to take the knowledge that you’ve learned throughout the course and apply it directly to something that might be going on in your personal life or your personal career. So, it’s something that can actually be a producible document maybe a publishable quality depending on where you’re looking to have it, that you can actually apply what you’ve learned directly to the industry you’re in.
So, with that, I’m going to pass it over to Professor Columbo who’s going to spend some time and talk more in detail about our introductory course on American legal systems.
Well thank you very much, I appreciate that, and once again, welcome everybody. I will go over the courses in more detail in a moment, but for the time being, let’s focus on a course that I’ve designed and I teach regularly in the program -Introduction to the American Legal System.
As Mr. Richman pointed out, this is a course that is required for the M.A students and not required for the LL.M. students, and that’s because it’s understood that after three years of law school, you should know something about the American Legal System. The M.A students don’t have the benefit of three years of legal education and so again, as Mr. Richman pointed out, it’s essential to bring those students up to speed because they will be in law school courses taught by law school professors alongside practicing lawyers, and we want to give you everything we have so that you can keep up and excel and thrive in those courses.
You can think of this as sort of a crash course in law school and it’s going to cover the fundamental aspects of what it’s like to be a lawyer, the types of things that lawyers learn, the types of things that lawyers do, how the American Legal System works.
It’s going to start off with the three branches of government and how a bill becomes a law. It goes into the depth and detail that you’ve probably been too afraid to ask, and then it goes into and give you a very high-level review of different content areas of laws. Give you a little something to know what is American Contract Law like? What is American Tort Law like? What is American Civil Procedure look like and discovery? Just a little glimpse into each of these so as to acclimate you and so you can contextualize what you will be learning throughout the semesters ahead.
Very importantly, the course will also focus on critical legal skills – legal reasoning and legal writing. That’s what lawyers do, that’s the types of work product that lawyers produce. We want you to be comfortable with that type of work product, and to be able to produce some of it on your own. That’s the course’s objective, those are the high points of the course. That’s its purpose.
Now, let me talk a little bit of how the course is structured, because it’s typical of most courses in the program and by going through this particular course, you’ll get a sense of what most courses are like. Again, with the caveat that some professors do things a little bit differently, but for the most part this is a pretty mainstream approach.
First off, every course in the program is a seven-week course. It’s seven weeks and then you get a week off, and then the semester finishes up with another seven-week course. So, in the fall semester, you take one course for seven weeks, you have a week off, and then you take a second course that semester for seven weeks as well. Then there’s a break between semesters and spring would start and you do that all over again. A break between the semesters, and then there’s a summer session as well. Seven weeks, week off, seven weeks, break, and then starts over. So that’s how it works. This is a seven-week course. Every course in the program is seven weeks except for the capstone which is fourteen. Now some courses are two credits, some are three. This happens to be a two-credit course. The difference is because they’re all seven weeks, is the amount of workload you should expect within a course. A three-credit course will have a little bit more work, a little more reading than a two-credit course.
So how does the course work? Well, every week, we use a MOODLE-based platform. The way it would work is you would log into your course and when you log in you’ll see all the weeks laid out. Week one through seven. Certain assignments will be open for you, the week that you’re on, certain assignments won’t yet be available for you to access.
In your current week, you’ll have a list of readings, some will be PDF links, some will be just a listing of pages to read in an assigned textbook for the course. My course is a combination. There’s an assigned textbook, and there’s supplemental readings that are posted on the website. Again, I think that’s fairly typical of courses in this program.
So, you do the readings, and then the readings are supplemented with a PowerPoint voiced-over presentation. This presentation can run ten to twenty minutes or so depending on the week. The point of the presentation is to pull together the readings and materials that you are introduced to that week – to help again explain it, bring it together, address current issues that are arising under it. It’s the type of thing that you’d get in a classroom lecture. So, it’s not just the reading on your own, you have an instructor then, help explain material to you. So, there’s that video to watch. That’s every week.
Now on top of that, every week will usually feature a quiz or assignment of some sort, and that’s to test your knowledge, make sure you’re keeping up with the material. The quizzes will test content, the assignments will usually test your mastery of certain skills.
In my course, there’s a legal interpretation, a statutory interpretation assignment, there’s also a legal memo writing assignment to make sure you’ve mastered, or at least are starting to practice those skills of legal writing and legal research. The quizzes are commonly multiple choice, sometimes they’re short answer, they’re typically timed. We can’t do closed-book exams because you’re at your laptop, or you’re wherever you are at home, but we can time the exams which is what we do to give you an incentive to know the material before you open up the exam or the quiz.
Finally, and very importantly each week usually features a discussion board. This is a really important facet of each course. The discussion board allows the students to interact with each other as they respond to a question or two posed by the instructor. You get to share opinions with one another. These are not what we see in let’s say, the modern media or cable news, all that stuff.
These are informed. We expect informed, high-level discussion of issues based on your readings and your life experiences. I think you’ll be very happy with the level and the quality of the conversation and discourse that goes on in these discussion rooms. It’s astounding, and it’s really, really good. It’s one of the high points of the program. You will learn a lot from each other in the discussion boards. Of course, the instructor participates as well and moderates as need be.
Now, some courses will have special projects on top of this, where they will have students interact in teams and do projects together as teams. My course doesn’t, but other courses do.
I should mention a couple of other things. We have ZOOM video live chat sessions. My course has it three times over the seven weeks. Some courses have it more frequently. I don’t think any have it less frequently as far as I know. These are voluntary because the entire course is asynchronous. We want it to be as flexible as possible. You do not have to commit to being at a certain place at a certain time. That defeats the flexibility of the course. That said, for those who wish to have that sort of live experience, I schedule two weeks apart, three times throughout the semester 7PM-8PM live ZOOM chat session. It’s a really good technology where students log on, you get to see each other on the screen together and we go over a topic, or an issue or maybe an assignment, depending on what’s going on that week. It’s an opportunity to put a face with a name, to actually hear a voice, and to ask questions live as you would in a classroom or in an office hours setting.
Those are also an amazing opportunity to interact with one another and with the instructor. I would highly recommend that if your course does have that, you take full advantage of it. So as not to disadvantage those students who are unable to make these sessions, each and every one will be recorded, and they will be available for you to view at a later time within the course website.
Last of course, but not least, most courses including mine have a final exam. Final exam formats vary. A lot of times, there are essays that need to be written. They are typically submitted through TurnItIn. I don’t know if you’re familiar with that software, but basically, it’s an application whereby you just have to upload your Microsoft Word document into the system and it makes its way securely to the instructor. My final exam is a combination of short answer and essay questions, other professors may vary.
Typically, the way that would work for a final exam, it would be timed as well, but my timing is like a couple of days. Think of it as a take-home exam. The quizzes will typically give students thirty minutes to complete, ten questions in thirty minutes. The final exam, you usually have a couple of days from the day you read the exam.
So that’s a typical format of a typical course which is which is my particular course and the one I know the most about. If anyone has questions about that, I’d be more than happy to field them during the Q&A.
What I do now is go back to the courses that Mr. Richman talked about, and go through some of the content a little deeper so you have an idea of what the curriculum would be like.
This is a lock-step program. A student in the program will have to take each and every one of these courses – these are not a list of electives – you have to take each and every one of these courses to earn the degree. The exception would be the first two courses – Introduction to the American Legal System and Health Law. As mentioned, those two courses are only required for M.A students, the LL.M students do not take those courses.
So, what are these courses about? I just told you about the first one. The Health Law course is really an introduction to health law. This is a course for students who currently don’t have a J.D., and it’s designed to provide an overview of the health care system and health law. The courses that follow, that everyone has to take, go into greater detail into particular facets of health law.
The third one on this list, Medicare and Medicaid Law, as the name suggests, addresses the two most important government-funded health care programs in the United States. You’ll learn the law governing those programs.
Bioethics and the Law is a very exciting course that covers all the hot button bioethical issues that are part and parcel of the health care industry these days. Medical issues requiring the ethics of treatment in certain situations – death, dying, abortion, reproductive technologies, genetics, research on human subjects, research on stem cells, organ transplants, all these types of issues are discussed in that particular course. I think you’ll find it a fascinating course. We’re familiar with the debates, but to have the issues presented to you by an expert in the field and with the level of information at your disposal in the class, I think you’ll find exhilarating.
Law of Medical Product Discovery, Development and Commercialization focuses on how products and drugs and processes in the medical field are discovered, developed and ultimately commercialized. It also addresses the effect it has on various stakeholders. It talks about the government regulations that attach to the situation, and even how these products can be marketed at the global stage. Students will learn how lawyers go about negotiating agreements in this context, resolving disputes, how policy is made and related issues. Again, this is a very business-oriented course within the health care field.
The next course is as well. Business Transactions is an actual follow-up to that course. What it will do is explore the most prevalent kinds of commercial business transactions in the health care industry today. The emphasis will be on how these transactions work to create sustainable business combinations. You’ll walk through, as a student in this course, the fundamental elements of negotiating an acquisition, due diligence process for example, preliminary negotiations, draft agreements, how transactions are structured, how agreements are finalized, and the post-closing relationship. Again, another sort of practical business-oriented health law course.
Public Health Law, Policy and Ethics talks about ethics from a public policy perspective -a little different from bioethics. This class addresses things such as mandatory vaccinations, how to deal with addictions, obesity, hunger, genetic testing, environmental pollution, bioterrorism, natural disasters, access to health care, limitations on access to health care, how does a nation provide health care for those who can’t afford it, that type of thing. This addresses the ethical issues regarding health care public policy whereas the bioethics classes, if you had to force a divide, I’d say address more of the private patient-doctor relationship and the private researcher. Health law policy and ethics course addresses more of the larger issues of how should a government go about taking care of its people. That’s sort of the issue there and the ethics relating to that.
Understanding Statutes and Regulations is an indispensable course for everyone in the program. The health care industry is highly regulated. These regulations come in the form of statutes and regulations. This course will help you develop the expertise needed to interpret, apply, and argue those statutes and regulations – argue against them or show how they work in your client’s favor, in your industry or your particular company’s favor. It’s an indispensable course that helps you develop the art and the science of interpreting rules and regulations.
Representing Health Care Providers – as the name suggests – focuses on what it’s like for an attorney to represent a health care provider. Now that could be an individual health care practitioner, it could be a group, an institution, or it could be a large health care system. These all have different issues and this course will explore the issues that come up in all those relationships.
Before we get to the very last course, the Capstone, is the Health Care Compliance course.
Again, a natural follow-up to the Understanding Statutes and Regulations course. Whereas Understanding Statutes and Regulations helps you acquire the skills to interpret statutes and regulations, Health Care Compliance homes in on specific statutes and regulations that regulate the health care industry. For example, HIPAA, HITECH, data privacy and medical privacy issues – the actual rules that health care professionals need to comply with, this course focuses on those actual rules and regulations – the most common and important one.
And then finally, there is the capstone which I think Mr. Richman did a fabulous job explaining. This is an opportunity to take what you’ve learned throughout the program and pull it all together in a final product that is relevant to what you’re working on, or what you want to work on, where your career is and where you want to go. It’s a combination of what you’ve learned with your life’s experience, your professional experience, to put together that and come up with a final product. That’s a five-credit, fourteen-semester course.
So that’s the run-down of the courses in the program.
Thank You, Professor Colombo for that in-depth look into the Introduction of the American Legal System course, as well as providing insightful details on all of the other courses in these programs. Now I’d like to turn this presentation over to Claudette to go over the admission requirements for these programs.
Thanks again, Shirley. This evening, I will be giving you a brief overview of the admissions requirements and how you may apply to the program. GMAT, GRE or LSAT test is not required for admissions. In order to apply to the Master of Arts and Health Law and Policy applicants must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited institution and discipline. For the Master of Laws in Health Law and Policy program, a J.D which is Juris Doctor or a Bachelors of Law degree is required if you’re an international applicant. There is an online application available so if you intend to apply, please contact me directly and I will send over the link to the online application system along with the detailed application instructions. My contact number or my contact information will also be available on the last slide.
Once you’ve completed your application form, the next step is to enter the names and email addresses of your recommender so they can receive the link to complete the recommendation form. After that, you will request your transcript either electronically or by mail. The remaining documents including a professional statement and resume can be added to your application via upload at any point. This process, usually takes anywhere from two to three weeks so remember the first step is to start your application online. Decisions and admissions are usually made within 5 to 10 business days. Now, the application is made of various parts so while the application deadline for January is December the 12th, I would highly recommend and encourage individuals to complete their application prior to Thanksgiving. Based on my experience as an advisor, it is much easier to secure transcripts and letters of recommendations prior to the onset of the holiday season. Once you submit your application for review, we will reserve your space for the spring start date. Thank you for listening everyone.
Thank You, Claudette. We would now like to begin the question and answer period. The first question goes to Claudette. Is the LSAC used for the application process?
I can assist with that question. The LSAC, which is a law school admissions council, so for those students that that would be looking or asking that question, you would most likely be seeking the LL.M program because you would already have a J.D. The LSAC would be the way that most law students would apply to law school. So, while this program is available through LSAC because it is offered as an LL.M option for those J.D. graduates, we do encourage everyone to apply directly to us. So, you’re certainly welcome and the process is much more smooth because if you know that we’re the only school that you’re considering for this type of program because of its unique nature, we encourage you to apply through one of our enrollment advisors and Claudette would be more than happy to have the application direct with us. So, while LSAC is an option and if you do choose to apply through them because you have a pre-existing profile with them, you’re certainly welcome to do so and notify us about that, but we would encourage that the easiest way to apply would be direct through our application.
The next question goes to Professor Columbo. What legal research resources are available to students?
We have a few resources that are available. First of all, any student in the program gets complimentary access to Westlaw. That is the premier legal database, the premier legal research database that everyone uses. And you will receive some training but options for additional training during the orientation. So, that’s primarily what you have available. You also have available though, our library at the law school – in person of course – but if you’re not in the Long Island New York City area you’re welcome to access its very, very impressive online resources as well. So, I would say those are the primary legal research and reference and materials you have at your disposal – the Westlaw database, our library’s online content and of course any time you wish our library’s hard volume content as well.
The next question goes to Mr. Richman. Are there networking opportunities?
Yeah Shirley, thanks. Great question – Yeah networking opportunities are definitely a very very real option in this course and the primary reason is number one you’re built on a cohort-based model and because the general student make up for those that attend the program are established individuals in the field, you have a great opportunity to network within your own cohorts. What’s very nice about what Professor Columbo was talking about in this being a lockstep program, it allows you the ability to really get to know your classmates and extend your network that way, but in addition to the classroom aspect for those relationships you build online throughout the program, we do have Career Service offices on campus that are available and the network can actually grow with the faculty members that you work with because so many of them are experts in the field they can help grow your network as well.
The next question goes to Professor Columbo. How does the current student population interact?
Well that’s a great question. I hear that often by applicants in the program. So, there are a few opportunities for students to interact. I touched on some of them. I think others I may have omitted. Let me go through them all.
First off, as I mentioned there are the ZOOM chat sessions right. So, you have multiple opportunities throughout the semester to actually see one another over the computer monitor and to talk to each other in real time through those experiences and with the professor. Secondly, there are the discussion boards. Now, that’s not in real time, but anyone who’s ever participated in a chatroom or discussion board knows, those who’ve played with Facebook or anything like that, knows that you could have you know quite an interesting little discussion through that medium and so the discussion board is yet another way for students to interact with one another and with their instructor.
Also as a student in the program, you are able to get a complimentary ZOOM chat account of your own. You could use that. I don’t know how many students take advantage of this, but you could certainly use that technology if you wish to set up your own chat sessions on the side with whatever subset of your student colleagues you wish to do so. So, there’s that opportunity as well, and I imagine that that’s essential for small group projects that you may be assigned in some of the other courses that do that sort of thing. And then of course, there’s the good old-fashioned email. Students frequently email me throughout the course. I know that they email each other through the message board system that’s part of the course platform, the Moodle platform. So, I’m frequently getting communications through emails, through messages, through the Moodle system from my students and I get back to them and we answer questions and do all the sorts of things you would do if you’re a student in a regular law school. In fact, even though I teach in online and in-person, very frequently I’ll interact with my in-person students via email because a lot of them just find it more convenient. They don’t want to raise their hand in the classroom.
Finally, there the telephone and I’m not averse, and I imagine most of our professors are not averse to picking up the phone if a student requests a phone call. I was on the phone today with the student, so it happens and if that’s necessary we’re more than happy to oblige that way as well. Finally, I should mention there’s nothing to prevent you from coming to campus and if you could set up an appointment with the many of your professors and they happen to be available, I imagine almost all of them would be thrilled to see you in person if the schedules and could be coordinated to allow that sort of thing. So, there are a lot of lots of opportunities to see one another virtually, perhaps even in person, over the phone, email, discussion boards. So, I think there is some really good quality and lively interaction to all those sources.
Thank you Professor Columbo. Here’s another question for you – Does the curriculum include an overview of the health insurance legalities?
The health insurance legalities? Well, health insurance is covered in a number of courses. I don’t completely know what the question is really asking about. If the question is “do we cover the law of health insurance?”, Yes. That is covered in I think a number of courses. You know, as for the public policy and what you’re allowed to insure what you’re not allowed to insure, that that is covered in across a few courses as far as I know. We don’t have a particular course devoted just to health care insurance other than Medicare and Medicaid, but other insurance related material I think you’d find in representing health care – not providers – Health Care Compliance, I imagine addresses that. So, I can get you more information on that if necessary, but I am certain that health care insurance is a major component of many courses in this program.
Thank You, Professor Colombo. Here is the question for either Professor Columbo or Mr. Richman – If one decides to complete the M.A, then decides to apply to the Hofstra J.D. program, would there be any credits offered towards the J.D. upon acceptance?
Oh, I can answer that actually. Well let me jump in – I know this well for my days of the Academic Dean. The ABA currently prohibits students from earning J.D. credits prior to a matriculation in a JD program, so it’s not just us, but no one as far as I am aware would be able to give you J.D. credits for any coursework done prior to matriculating in a J.D. degree program, so unfortunately no. I don’t know Steve, if you have any additional insights on that. No, that’s absolutely correct. Yeah, I mean you certainly would have a very welcome first-hand look as to an understanding of some of our faculty and the type of coursework we provide, but unfortunately the credits would not be able to transfer. Good question though.
Thank You, Professor Colombo and Mr. Richman. The next question is about ordering books for the course. So, if one doesn’t live near Hofstra, do we order books from the school, which are then mailed?
Yeah, I’m happy to answer that. Sure. There’s obviously these days, quite a few different methods to get books. We do ensure that any book that a faculty member may choose to use, which will vary course to course, that our on-campus bookstore will have it available. Our bookstore at Hofstra is actually an affiliate of Barnes & Noble, who you may know is a very large bookseller, so they have the ability to ship your books anywhere you might be, so you certainly don’t have to be on campus and our bookstore would be able to accommodate getting the books to you.
Thank you, Mr. Richman. The next question is… a perhaps Mr. Richman could answer this – What percentage of your M.A. students are practicing medical professionals? Our viewer is saying that he is a nationally certified registered nurse.
Yeah, so it’s another great question. I wouldn’t want to give you inaccurate information. I don’t have the specific statistics on the percentage, but a high majority of the persons that are currently enrolled in the M.A program are in the health care field. By being a health care professional, that obviously can mean a variety of different things. I can assure you that we do have registered nurses, some of which, many of which actually, take a more administrative role in the hospital systems they may work with where they found this degree valuable, but certainly that would be an appropriate background where we do have students in our program with that type of background.
Yeah, I’ll just mentioned in my last semester I had, in addition to some nurses, I had a physician, a doctor- medical doctor, you have people that work for pharmaceutical development companies, all sorts of a medical background, so it’s been my experience. Of course, what Mr. Richman said is a hundred percent spot-on. It seems the sense that I get that almost all my students are in the field. Again, I didn’t poll them, but it seems like almost everybody is a health care professional. And that’s what lends to such tremendous discussions in the discussion boards, because people really know, they really have a lot of experience and they’re able to take what they’re learning and apply it – apply the law to the situations they’ve lived and they’ve seen, and it really makes for tremendous discussion.
Thank You, Professor Colombo. The next question is for Mr. Richman. Can students of this online program use campus resources, for example the library or the gym?
Yeah, another great question. So, as a student in our online program, you are a student of Hofstra University. You are a student at the law school through our graduate program, so you are afforded all access to campus resources. As you might imagine, Hofstra being a full functioning university has everything from a gym to a pool, right down to the library resources, the cultural resources and as a student in this program we do not make a distinction. You are still a student of Hofstra University and if you have the ability to come use our resources, we encourage you to and we look forward to seeing you on campus.
Shirley – may I add something to my previous answer?
So, I just wanted to say although the vast majority of students are indeed health care professionals from least my experience, I will add this. When this course was designed, it was designed for those students who want to take that career of theirs to the next level, but it was also designed for students who might not already be in the health care industry and they want to break into it. We wanted to give them an opportunity to gain some knowledge and a credential that would help them transition into a new career or a new phase of their career. So, I wouldn’t want anyone to be frightened about jumping into this out of a concern that somehow they don’t have a health care background, this is not for them. No-No, this was designed for students specifically who had and who didn’t have a health care background and so we’ve designed the courses and teach the courses with that in mind. I just want to make sure I was clear about that.
Thank You Professor Colombo. The next question is for Claudette. Could please address the program costs?
Thank You Shirley. Currently, the cost of the program per credit is at $1,192 per credit with an overall depending on which program you’re pursuing, the Master of Arts would be a total of $35,760 and for the Master of Laws students it’s still $1,192 per credit and overall $29,800. Books are additional.
Thank You, Claudette. Now is a question that I think any of our panelists could address. So, the question is including lecture time how many hours of study time should we expect to commit to weekly in order to be successful?
Ron Colombo here – that’s a tough question to answer. If you remember your days back in school, whether it’s law school or whether it’s undergrad or grad school, medical school, what have you, I think you’ll remember that some professors give a lot of reading and some professors don’t give so much reading. I will tell you this – each and every course in the program is designed with the busy professional in mind. So, we do not want to bury anyone under mountains and mountains of reading. We understand that time is particularly precious, that you’re doing this in the very rare few spare minutes you might have here and there, and again, we design the courses with that in mind. It is hard to say, in terms of credit hours – my sense is probably a few hours each week, probably done in bunches. Maybe some students spend an hour a night, some students spent four or five hours and one day – a chunk of time. That’s my thinking, but my sense is and in talking to my students that it is manageable. Some weeks are more manageable than others. Some courses are more manageable than others. There are highs and lows but for the most part, students have not been complaining. And by the way, I should mention, we review very closely the evaluations that we receive and the feedback we receive from each and every course and as far as I could tell so far, from that feedback we’ve been getting it just right. People aren’t complaining that too much or too little.
Thank you, Professor Colombo. The next question – are LL.M candidates who hold an LLB allowed to sit for bar exams nationwide?
Yeah, so again – very, very good question. So, this program, while you certainly would be welcome to apply for the LL.M program with a foreign law degree depending on what jurisdiction, it would not allow you to sit for the New York Bar Exam. I can say that quite confidently. It wouldn’t meet those requirements. We do offer programs that will allow you to meet that qualification, but this program being focused on health on policy would not. As far as other state bars are concerned, you certainly would be able to check in with the individual state bars, but as a New York Law School, this program would not be designed for the intention of sitting for a bar exam.
Thank You Mr. Richman. The next question is for any of our panelists – What makes Hofstra’s program unique?
That is a great question -a really good question. So, to some extent and I’m just being frank, every program is unique in the sense that every program has a particular lineup of courses and a particular roster of instructors.
We found that the students that come to this program come to this program after looking at, well not surprisingly, many other programs. I mean this is this is a big step to take and they think it through quite thoroughly and the students that come to this program are not surprisingly attracted by the offerings in this particular program. The program’s particular bent, its particular approach. So, I would say there are a few things that are unique, but right off the bat I’d say that the particular courses we chose and the emphasis we’re placing on particular subject areas in our curriculum is one thing that makes it unique. No other program as far as I know – I’m pretty sure of this – has a that type of a lineup and that type of an emphasis – the emphasis in ethics, the emphasis on public policy. If you look at other programs around the country, you’ll see they lean in different directions, and you have to find out which direction is the best for you. This course won’t be all things to all people. You have to make sure that this direction and the focus is the one that’s best for you, the one that you’re most interested in.
Secondly, Hofstra has a great medical school that’s allied with North Shore Hospital system. This wasn’t fabricated because you know like some programs might be, just because we felt it would be a fun thing to do. We did this because we had great expertise in this area. We’re a nationally-ranked law school joined by a state-of-the-art in medical school and we have the Gitenstein for Health Law and Policy which has been on site for quite some time now. So, putting all that together, we felt that this was something that we were uniquely well-suited and qualified to offer students and so I think that’s another thing that that makes us unique. Again, if there’s anything else that Mr. Richman would like to add, because he looks at other programs very closely, he might have something to add to that, but that’s that’s my response to that question.
Yeah, I mean I really couldn’t say it better myself. The only other thing I might add to that is what makes it unique. And …it might be humble of Professor Colombo to say of him and his colleagues, but we really do have a fantastic faculty who have spent a very, very concentrated effort to make sure that the courses that are designed are not just applicable to the current laws but are useful to you with that in mind. And I think because this area of health law, and hopefully one of the reasons you’re interested in this program is you’re aware of how ever-changing this program is, so to make sure you have a faculty that’s behind designing these courses that really know their subject matter area and know how to focus on what’s important in this field that will help you in your career, really does make it unique, because it’s a mixture between scholars who are designing these courses as well as practitioners. Our location to the New York area, and our strong alumni base, the affiliation with the hospital system really allows us the opportunity to attract that specialized faculty that can help design those courses that will help you in your future.
Thank You Mr. Richman and thank you Professor Colombo. Now I’d like to ask one final question of the webinar and this is for all our panelists- What advice do you have for students?
Picking up on what I said earlier, I really would look at the course carefully, look at the program carefully, look at other programs, and talk to people about Hofstra, about our medical school or law school. Educate yourself and make sure this is something that is right for you. I would also just ask you to consider the following – If you’re currently in the health care industry, I’d say to yourself, is your job getting less complicated or is it getting more complicated? Are there less regulations or are there more regulations? I think you’ll find that this will be an invaluable tool to further your career or if you’re thinking of breaking into the health care industry, I think it will be a tremendous asset and credential for you to have. So, I would say think long and hard about it, but maybe not too long and hard because time moves quickly. So, I really do think educate yourself on the program as you’ve done tonight, which I think is a great first step or maybe hopefully for many of you, a final step, and you’ve already done your homework and this was sort of just, you wanted to sort of follow up on what you’ve already read and learned about the program. So, I would just say do your due diligence and I think then you’ll be armed to make a very informed decision.
Thank You, Professor Colombo Mr. Richman do you have anything you’d like to share with students in terms of advice?
Sure. Well, the first piece of advice is to apply. We can’t look at you as a someone that’s part of the program until we see a little bit about you, so we really do encourage you to apply to the program. But before doing so, taking everything that Professor Colombo said into consideration, we welcome the questions. Obviously, you’re getting a nice overview of the program, but this is a very general overview. You may have specific questions based upon your specific backgrounds, based upon your specific career goals that we really welcome the opportunity to speak with you. The type of program that we operate and have always operated as a law school, is the type of program where we want engagement from our students, and that begins right at the beginning to making sure that you’re as invested in this program as we are. So, you know with Claudette on the phone as well, or on this webinar as well, she’s welcome to take the questions. I know I can speak for myself and I believe for Professor Colombo, we welcome the opportunity to answer any questions you might have because in this process we want to teach you but we also want to learn about how we can best serve you in your future career goals.
Thank You, Mr. Richman. Claudette, would you like to add some advice for our students?
Yes, I would. Thank you, Shirley. So, the first step I would recommend that you apply. If you wish to apply speak with me directly. Please start your application and have it completed within less than two weeks. Stay focused, motivated and very important, be committed to deadlines. During the application process, your advisor – either Anne or I – is your main point of contact and we’re always happy to assist you whenever or wherever possible. And lastly, and a big biggie – plan to succeed! This means manage your time wisely. Since many of our students are full-time workers, it is imperative to set aside the appropriate amount of time for your application. We’re here to help. Contact us.
Thank you to all of our presenters for participating in today’s webinar and also thank you to all of you for attending. We hope you have received some valuable information about the Master of Laws and Master of Arts in Health Law and Policy programs. Please take a moment now to complete a three-question survey. Your participation will help us improve the webinar series and bring you more of what you like to see. So, just some closing remarks before we end this webinar, an enrollment advisor will be following up with you over the next few days to answer any questions we were not able to answer during the webinar tonight. If you would like to contact your advisor immediately, you may reach them by calling the number on this screen. And this concludes our webinar thank you again for your time.