1. Where do you attend law school and what led you to law school?
I am a second year student at Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland, OH and hold a Master’s in Applied Medical Ethics from Arizona State University. I became interested in law while researching issues in public health ethics. While doing this research, I confronted the massive overlay of laws and regulations that affect public health and discovered I was more interested in studying the macro aspects of public health regulation than I was in pursuing the original research question.
2. What experiences with administrative or regulatory law have you had?
Unfortunately, I have had very little experience with administrative law beyond research in public health. I am however, currently working with the City of East Cleveland, through a CWRU course, to develop legislation for the regulation of flavored non-cigarette tobacco products. Additionally, I am hoping to work with one of the plethora of public health agencies this summer and gain insight and experience into the regulatory/policy side of this field.
3. How did you become interested in studying or pursuing a career in administrative law?
While pursuing my Master’s I learned two major points that led me administrative law. First, that good philosophy doesn’t necessarily make good policy; and second, that the law’s impact is very much determined by administrative/regulatory bodies.
4. Based on your experiences thus far, what do you perceive to be challenges facing administrative law practitioners?
I believe one of the greatest challenges facing administrative lawyers is a lack of resources necessary for agencies to take on the panoply of important tasks they’ve been assigned. While administrative agencies’ responsibilities continue to grow, their budgets are being cut. This lack of resources is especially troubling in the health care field, where even delays in services can severely impact the agencies’ mission.
For law students or new attorneys considering a career in administrative law, what do you think would be a good way of familiarizing themselves with the field?
Administrative law is everywhere’ as a practitioner you can’t avoid it. I personally believe Admin Law should be a required course. Though, this could be personal zeal speaking. Interested students should remember that administrative agencies work at every level of government, from local communities to the national level. Students and new practitioners should look for these opportunities and also the opportunity to clerk for administrative law judges.
5. From a law student’s perspective, how would you characterize the dialogue between academics, students, and practitioners in the area of administrative law?
I think the Administrative Law Section does a wonderful job facilitating dialogue. The Section offers law students free admission into the Section and free attendance at many Section events. Because of geographical limitations of holding events, one can’t be everywhere at once, so the ability to communicate through events is somewhat limited. However, the Section also holds teleconferences and webinars to promote further dialogue.
6. As the Law Student Division representative to the Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice Section, what were your goals for the year? What do you think could be done in future years to foster interest in administrative law or joining the Section? What have you enjoyed most and found to be most challenging in your role?
The Administrative Law Section’s motto is “Admin Law, everyone does it.” I think the truth of this motto should be the basis for outreach to law students. No matter what area of law one intends to practice there’s likely an administrative agency the attorney will have to deal with. I’m hoping to help put together some sort of programming that is easily accessible to law students – perhaps a webinar – and that introduces the vast array of administrative bodies and their effect on the practice of law. I think that such an outreach program would help increase interest in the field to the many law students who don’t realize the impact administrative law has on their future practice.
As for difficulties in my role, I think the most difficult challenge has come from the geographic divide. The Section and many of its leaders are in D.C. and I’m sitting in Cleveland, which is a seven-hour drive away. I think this difficulty is similar to the difficulties the Section has with outreach generally. However, I think the Section does a great job with communication and inclusiveness.
7. Outside of the law, what are your favorite activities or hobbies?
I have been a rock climber for the past seven years. Due to the general lack of climbing in the Cleveland/Ohio area and the time necessary to focus on law studies, I built a climbing wall in my apartment. On a few warmer weekends, I travel to climb.
This post was originally published on the legacy ABA Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice Notice and Comment blog, which merged with the Yale Journal on Regulation Notice and Comment blog in 2015.