3L Spotlight: Gretchen Harper

Gretchen Harper is a bright young woman who continues to inspire the students in the Health Law Institute through her dedication to the Institute and to the health care field. Gretchen majored in Health Information Management and was pre-medicine at St. Louis University. Although her love of the health care field did not waiver, she says her love of organic chemistry did! Like many students, Gretchen recognized the dynamic field of health care, and wanted to, as she says, “get in on the action.” Gretchen did just that; she became the Editor-in-Chief of DePaul’s Journal of Health Care Law and impressively published five issues, putting the Journal back on track. Gretchen calls herself a “regulatory dork” whose favorite classes at DePaul were “Health Care Fraud and Abuse”, which she says lent itself well to clinical application, and the “Special Education Advocacy Clinic” because it exposed her to very real legal issues to which she had not been previously aware.

Gretchen has had many experiences in the health care field including a legislative consultant position at the American Osteopathic Association where she was able to see legal issues from a health care practitioner’s point of view and better understand the legislative process. She worked as a senior law clerk at the Illinois Department of Professional and Financial Regulations where she was able to use her 711 license to get her own cases in the administrative law field. Finally, Gretchen is currently working with Ungaretti & Harris, LLP as a law clerk for their Healthcare Department. She chose to work with Ungaretti because it was a phenomenal opportunity to work with highly qualified attorneys on healthcare transactional and compliance work, which is where Gretchen sees herself in the future.

After sitting down with Gretchen, she had some advice for future health law students in which she recommends that students utilize the 711 student attorney option and to get involved in as many facets of health law as possible during their academic career. She explains it will not only make the student more marketable, but also will help the student figure out what subsets of the vast health law umbrella may interest them. She also says that she wishes she had reached out to professors and speakers whose specialty areas lined up with her interests earlier, because network opportunities are extremely beneficial and they’re always genuinely interested in helping out future fellow health lawyers.

Gretchen, who will be sitting for the Illinois Bar this summer, will be greatly missed by the Health Law Institute and the students at DePaul, but we know she will be an amazing resource for current and future students. Gretchen’s dream job, of course, would be to become the United States Health and Human Services Secretary. She ended the conversation with these wise words: “Dream Big… right?.” We look forward to Gretchen’s big dreams, which we’re sure she will actualize in the future.  

We here at the E-Pulse wish Gretchen good luck on the upcoming bar exam and all the best in her future endeavors!