Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

Public Health Law

Public Health Law and Policy Program

The Public Health Law and Policy Program (PHLP) brings together scholars, practitioners, policymakers, students, and others to focus on critical issues at the intersection of law, ethics, policy, and the public's health. With additional health law offerings at the College of Law, PHLP is nationally-ranked 19th on the U.S. News and World Report's 2016 Health Law Programs. 

PHLP hosts the Western Region Office of the national Network for Public Health Law, a multi-year initiative funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The Western Region Office provides public health law technical assistance, training, and other guidance to practitioners in 11 Western states and on other topics nationally. To date, it has received over 1900 requests for assistance. The RWJ Foundation has continued funding for the Western Region Office through April 30, 2017.

PHLP is also an academic home to the Masters of Laws (LLM) in Public Health Law and Policy. This unique academic program is avaialable to JD candidates interested in studying core facets of public health law and policy through diverse, advanced coursework over 1-2 years. 

Guided by a diverse group of faculty, scholars, fellows, and partners, PHLP seeks to promote the role of law as a tool for improving the public's health by:

  • Conducting legal research and analysis in targeted areas of public health through a variety of public health law projects;
  • Working with international, federal, state, tribal, and local public  health leaders to provide technical assistance on public health law and policy issues;
  • Developing innovative public health law tools, reports, and training/education materials;
  • Serving as an interactive resource for practical and scholarly information on public health law, policy, and ethics; and
  • Developing scholarly and practice-based resources and other tools in public health preparedness and other topics. 

As part of ongoing development of the field of public health law, PHLP conducted a review of colleagues teaching public health law (or similarly-titled courses) at schools of law, public health, and medicine in the United States. See the accompanying PowerPoint Illustration, the Public Health Law Professor Survey - Results (as of Nov. 14, 2012), and accompanying article in the Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics (JLME).

Among additional projects and issues in public health law and policy include: