Jaharis Health Law Institute Spotlight: Professor Katherine Schostok, Executive Director of JHLI

Professor Kate Schostok attended Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts for her undergraduate degree. She majored in psychology and sociology, with a concentration in criminology. Professor Schostok intended to pursue a career in criminal law, so she interned during the summers with the Illinois State Police, the Lake County Public Defender’s Office, and various criminal defense firms. However, her family is a blend of attorneys and health professionals so she always felt some underlying interest in medicine and health policy. As a result, she incorporated neuro-scientific approaches and public health concerns into her criminal psychology research.

After starting the JD program at DePaul, Professor Schostok was exposed to the broad area of health law and she quickly focused most of her studies on medical malpractice, public health, and healthcare regulation. She served as a staff writer for the HLI newsletter, now known as the E-Pulse, and a student board member. She also received her Health Law Certificate while at DePaul.

While in school, Professor Schostok worked at a civil litigation firm, and then at Power Rogers & Smith in downtown Chicago.  Following graduation, she worked as a contract attorney in the areas of medical malpractice and personal injury, while pursuing her Master of Laws in Health Law degree at Loyola University Chicago School of Law.  During that time, Professor Schostok published in the areas of risk management and patient safety, healthcare fraud and abuse, and healthcare technology. She accepted a position as an attorney advisor for the Social Security Administration in 2009 and began teaching the Healthcare Fraud and Abuse course at DePaul. Professor Schostok served as an Advisory Board member to the DePaul Health Law Institute until 2013, when she stepped down to take over as Director of what is now, the Mary and Michael Jaharis Health Law Institute.

There are numerous reasons why Professor Schostok remained active in the DePaul law community following graduation and why she eventually joined the staff at the College of Law. She says that the most influential factors are her fond memories of her academic career while a student at DePaul, the opportunities afforded to her through the HLI, as well as her father’s experience as a graduate of the College of Law in 1962. The HLI program was one of the first of its kind that grew out of a public health concerns and awareness for health lawyers to become more involved. JHLI maintains strong ties to lawyers in the Chicagoland area and across the nation. Professor Schostok is very proud to be a graduate and now employee of DePaul. 

Professor Schostok served on the Advisory Board as Chair of the Student Outreach Committee for four years before resigning to take over as Director in 2013. In 2015, Professor Wendy Netter Epstein was appointed Faculty Director and the Jaharis Faculty Fellow and Professor Schostok was appointed the Executive Director of JHLI. Professor Epstein and she worked closely to oversee all aspects of the Institute. 

The primary focus of the JHLI is the students at DePaul. In 2013, JHLI redeveloped a student board for the Institute. With the assistance of the board and Professor Epstein, JHLI has been able to grow our programming offerings at the summer scholar program significantly. The Institute now has over 60 fellows and corporate sponsorship for our lecture series. We have been able to offer our annual symposium in collaboration with other institutes and departments and offer both CLE and CME credit. We have doubled the size of our summer scholars program to offer stipends and summer positions at some of the most prestigious health law departments in Chicago, including Walgreens, the AMA, Accretive Health, Baxter, Rush, Presence, and Husch Blackwell.

As Executive Director of JHLI, Professor Schostok is responsible for overseeing Institute activities, including all programming, fundraising, marketing and social media presence, externship and job development, publications, and budgeting. She works closely with the faculty committee, including Professor Epstein and the other health law faculty, to develop the health law curriculum and strengthen the academic reputation of our department. Professor Schostok works with the Journal of Health Care Law staff in planning the annual symposium and selecting peer reviewers. She also serves as the liaison to the JHLI Advisory Board and faculty advisor to the JHLI Student Board of Directors. 

The recent endowment has opened a world of opportunity to develop additional online course offerings, explore academic research and programming at the intersection of health law IP, and further develop our summer scholar program to offer new and exciting opportunities for the JHLI students. JHLI is looking for collaborative opportunities with other departments and institutes to offer an interdisciplinary approach to our discussions. They also plan to continue to develop our professional mentorship program to connect students with passionate and dedicated members of the legal community who may assist them in navigating their career in this great field. 

“We have accomplished a lot in the past few years with the help of the dedicated faculty and staff, our passionate students, and the generous Jaharis foundation endowment, but there is much work remaining,” says Professor Schostok. She believes JHLI has a bright future and the Institute will strive to ensure that we offer our students and the community a high level of coursework, career opportunities in health law and intersecting fields, and programming addressing the current state of healthcare in this country and internationally. 

Professor Schostok hopes that our students and alumni are excited about the success and rebirth of the Institute. The renaming of the Institute and the endowment funds will allow for significant growth over the next decade and our students and graduates have remained steadfast in their support of our efforts. Professor Schostok and JHLI plan to offer exciting programming and even better opportunities in the professional world for our students.

We encourage alumni to remain involved through our Advisory Board, mentorship offerings, peer review opportunities, and summer scholar program. We highly recommend that students take advantage of any and all of the JHLI opportunities and program offerings and remain active participants in the Institute’s efforts through the student board and volunteering their time to assist. JHLI has an active presence in social media now and offers many ways for students and alumni to publish through our online publications. Please ask us for more information if interested and, as always, thank you for being a part of JHLI!

Kate Reynolds is currently a 2L at DePaul University College of Law. Ms. Reynolds completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Illinois Springfield. Ms. Reynolds wishes to pursue a career in Health Law after graduating in May of 2017.​