DePaul Faculty Spotlight: Professor Max Helveston, JD


Professor Max N. Helveston sat down with the E-Pulse to discuss his experience as a practicing attorney, what drew him to DePaul, and why first years are his favorite students to teach.

Professor Helveston attended the University of Michigan, where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Psychology. At Michigan, his honors thesis delved into issues of medical goods rationing and organ transplants. His interest in health policy and governmental involvement in health care led him to pursue a law degree at Yale Law School. At Yale, Professor Helveston was an editor of the Yale Law Journal, editor-in-chief of the Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law, and Ethics, and co-president of the LGBT group, Outlaws.

After graduating Yale Law in 2008, Professor Helveston worked at Latham & Watkins LLP in Chicago, where he practiced complex civil and commercial litigation. From Latham & Watkins, Professor Helveston clerked in the 7th Circuit for the Honorable Richard Cudahy and eventually came to DePaul as an assistant professor in 2011. Professor Helveston was drawn to DePaul because he had been looking to make the transition into academia. DePaul was the perfect opportunity to remain in Chicago and move out of practice and back into the classroom.

In terms of extracurricular activities, Professor Helveston suggests that any student interested in health law join the Health Law Institute. He believes that it is a great way to learn more about the field and make connections with professors and practitioners. In addition, he thinks that Journal work is helpful and important to any student. Professor Helveston also advises students interested in litigation to join Moot Court because this allows for some experience in a courtroom setting. For students interested in transactional work, the Health Law Institute chooses two teams to compete in a transactional health law competition in the Spring semester. There are also negotiations competitions that students interested in transactional practice should pursue.

Professor Helveston makes sure that he tells all of his students that it is never too early to start networking! It is important to reach out and meet practitioners in order to make important connections and learn about what day-to-day practice in a particular field of law is like. Additionally, Professor Helveston believes that through networking, a student can identify what type of career he or she wants to pursue and can begin to work towards it early on.

What surprised Professor Helveston most about the legal profession when he entered practice was the extent to which a lawyer has to put a client’s interests ahead of his or her own. Particularly in litigation, a lawyer needs to do what the client wants, regardless of what you think is right or wrong.

As a professor of Contracts, Insurance Law, and Business Organization, Professor Helveston was quick to say that his favorite class to teach is first year Contracts. When asked why, he explained that he finds first year students to be extremely eager to work hard and enthusiastic about participating in class.

Professor Helveston is currently teaching Contracts and Business Organizations. We at the E-Pulse would like to thank Professor Helveston for taking the time out to meet with us and share his insights with our readers!

Sydney Mayer is a current student at DePaul University College of Law in Chicago. Ms. Mayer completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Illinois at Chicago in political science and French. She will complete her law degree and certificate in health law in 2016.