ASU A-Z Index
Colleges & Schools
News & Events
Centers & Programs
Alumni and Friends
Support ASU Law
College of Law News
College launches program to give law students experiences in health-care settings
Law students Noah Albertus and Todd Farnsworth aren’t waiting until they graduate in 2011 to test the legal waters and figure out their true jurisprudence calling. Instead, they participated in a new program that gave them unique experiences in the field of health-care law.
Albertus and Farnsworth were the first students in the Healthcare Entrepreneurship Program, a part of the College of Law’s Innovation Advancement Program (IAP). The students had class with
, a Clinical Professor and Director of the IAP, and met weekly with Dr. John Shufeldt, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of NextCare Urgent Care.
Shufeldt, a 2005 alumnus of the College of Law, said he wants law students to gain practical experience to bolster their skills and resume, and also to learn to think outside the box when it comes to problem solving.
“A lot of lawyers I know tell you what you can’t do, but they don’t tell you how you can do it,” he said. “The goal of the program is to say, `Here’s a challenge, and on the surface, it looks like a road block. Now let’s figure out a legitimate way around it.”
Albertus and Farnsworth worked closely with Laura Plimpton, NextCare’s chief legal counsel, on “the nuts and bolts” of legal consulting, Shufeldt said, including business formation, lease negotiations, exit strategies and other basics. Eventually, the program will accept as clients health-care start-up companies to benefit directly from the students’ work.
Albertus said the program gave him the chance to understand and apply some of the concepts he learned during his internship doing legal compliance for PF Chang’s China Bistro Inc.
“Law school can seem stifling when it comes to creative ideas and their real-world application, so having the opportunity to excel in a new setting while being exposed to some fascinating ideas in motion is a definite benefit of the program,” Albertus said.
Farnsworth said the Clinic experience not only was a resumé builder, but a chance to play a role in new ventures. “We worked on a venture in the health-care arena that required research in anti-trust laws, insurance laws, and health laws and regulation,” he said.
Both students expressed delight at working with Shufeldt, whose degrees in medicine, law and business have given him a unique understanding of the many dimensions of health care, Farnsworth said.
Added Albertus, “He is the true definition of an “idea man,” but has such an expanse of knowledge in so many fields that we couldn’t help but enthusiastically get behind his projects. Additionally, his non-traditional use of his J.D. to progress in a highly successful business gives hope to those of us who are in a state of worry about finding viable employment after graduation.
“This clinic has given me a chance to think beyond my initial ideas for a career upon entering law school,” Albertus said. “It appears I have caught the entreprenuerial/business spirit, as I am leaning toward partnering with some of the amazing students I have met here and practicing in our own capacity.”
Farnsworth, too, has started thinking about opening his own firm after he graduates in May: “I really like the sound of Farnsworth Law, PLLC!”