Crafting a career in health law: Tobin Klusty

​​​
F​​irsthand experience never hurts, especially when it comes to crafting your legal career.

Just ask second-year student Tobin Klusty. Fresh from an American Medical Association Ethics Department Scholar position this past summer, the promising second-year student is embracing the intersection of health care and civil rights.

A graduate of Michigan State University, Klusty came to DePaul University College of Law for its location and deep alumni network. “Chicago is full of practicing attorneys, and has a very large professional network. DePaul’s large group of alumni enhances my ability to make important connections, which will aid my career search,” he said.

Klusty credits Legal Writing Instructor Allison Ortlieb, Mary and Michael Jaharis Health Law Institute​ (JHLI) Executive Director Katherine Schostok and JHLI Faculty Director Wendy Netter Epstein with guiding his journey at DePaul. His specific academic journey focuses on litigation, but he is also interested in pursuing policy and trial advocacy.

“I am attracted to litigation due to its competitive atmosphere and complex argumentative nature. I am also attracted to policy because of its wide impact on the 
community,” he said. “Within litigation and policy,” he added, “I am most interested in health law and civil rights, specifically how health law impacts civil rights.”

“Professor Ortlieb has been an outstanding role model, being a reliable source of professional advice and helping me craft my legal writing skills. Professor Schostok has guided me through my quest as a fellow of the Jaharis Health Law Institute, and recommended me for the [American Medical Association] Ethics Scholar position.

Lastly, but certainly not least,” he continued, “Professor Epstein has been an exceptional mentor, and has expanded my knowledge of the U.S. health care system through my research assistant position for her upcoming literature-review manuscript on health care compensation models.”

Health law is a very interesting and expanding field that has a high demand for competent young attorneys,” Klusty said. “The application of health law also has strong influence on civil rights, namely the opportunity for minority groups to access affordable and adequate health care.” Klusty added that his dream job would be a litigator for the Office of General Counsel for the Department of Health and Human Services, and he seems to have found his footing along the right path.

As the AMA’s Ethics Department Scholar this past summer, Klusty said he was able to see how a self-regulating organization conducts itself in practice and he learned the importance of wording when it comes to policy. As such, Klusty developed a strong interest in working with policy.

Among the projects Klusty contributed to as an AMA Ethics Department Scholar include researching legal implications of the AMA’s Code of Medical Ethics; drafting the Reference Committee on Amendments to Constitution and Bylaws Report during the AMA’s annual policy meeting; coproducing the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs Report in conjunction with Ethics Policy staff; preparing detailed summaries about the legal and ethical issues of “responsible physician prescribing, the relationship between pregnancy and advance directives, and informed consent regarding medical research”; and authoring and coauthoring several articles on pivotal cases in health law and topics at the intersection of health law, medicine and bioethics for the AMA Journal of Ethics.

Klusty’s time spent with the AMA helped him develop his ability to write for a publication under a short deadline while focusing on conducting thorough research. He also was able to observe the judicial function of the AMA’s Office of General Counsel and the Council of Ethical and Judicial Affairs. This experience helped refine his career vision, giving him a much clearer understanding of what he wants his career path to be and how he will achieve his professional goals with the support of DePaul Law’s faculty, staff and alumni along the way.