Samantha is a Chicago native and a graduate of DePaul undergraduate with a double major in Political Science and Women's & Gender Studies, minor in LGBTQ Studies. She initially wanted to go into public interest law but also was interested in IP Law and Health Law. Samantha chose to pursue a Health Law certificate because she liked the more direct intersection of law and policy, where her undergraduate experience could make a difference in regard to minority healthcare access. In her third year, she expanded her education to practical writing based courses to supplement her certificate.
Among Samantha’s favorite classes were Health Law and Policy, because it gave a broad overview of the intersection health and law; Health Care Fraud and Abuse, because she got to enhance her understanding of these laws by externing for a federal judge and watching federal fraud and abuse trials; Pre-trial Civil Litigation, because it afforded students an opportunity to develop their writing skills and understanding of pre-trial logistics; Moot Court, because it was great for writing and oral advocacy; Bioethics, because she enjoyed learning about ethics within the health law field; and Trial Advocacy, because it was just a fun class, even for those not looking to go into the litigation field. She believes Trial Advocacy was good for public speaking and learning how to develop theories of a case.
DePaul has given Samantha a well-rounded health law education by allowing her to really design her certificate's curriculum. While she may not specialize specifically in health law, it has helped Samantha understand the American health care system, what can be improved, and how she can contribute to advocacy that demands a better health care system for low-income, minority Americans.
Samantha’s advice to other students is to not pigeon hole yourself in a specific area unless you are 100% sure that is the field you want to be in. She came in not expecting to be a litigator and, initially, only focused on transactional work. However, she fell in love with oral advocacy through moot court and developed as a better lawyer because she challenged herself by getting outside my comfort zone. Samantha advised to take classes that will give a beginner’s understanding of the law that one may never have a chance to study again. Also, make the most out of the professors. They are there for us to utilize. Samantha wished she was less shy and more aggressive in pursuing certain job opportunities or advice from them.
As for the plans for the coming year, Samantha will be studying for and taking the Illinois bar exam in July. She will also be attending interviews for post-grad jobs, and looking to enjoy finally being out of school since she was in kindergarten. She also would like to do more pro bono work because it is something that has always fulfilled her outside of school and now she will have more time for it.
We at the Jaharis Health Law Institute would like to thank Samantha for all of her hard work though her time at DePaul and wish her all the best.