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Patient advocates

Health law graduates lead the way at major healthcare organizations

Improving health care for patients goes way beyond the scope of doctors. Healthcare lawyers play a vital role, and many School of Law graduates go on to top leadership positions at major healthcare organizations. Here, three Loyola University Chicago law graduates share their stories of how specializing in health law at Loyola’s nationally ranked Beazley Institute for Health Law and Policy has transformed their careers.

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Loyola ranks #3 in the country in health care law by U.S. News & World Report

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The curriculum includes over 60 courses in health law

8%

of our 2020 JD graduates earned the health law certificate

Fatema Zanzi (JD ’06) initially planned to become a pediatrician but wanted to learn more about the healthcare industry before applying to medical school. Working as a revenue cycle and operational consultant at hospitals around the country for several years, she quickly found the complexities in the business side of health care fascinating.

“I chose health law over a business degree because I knew the health law degree would be much more versatile,” says Zanzi, who is senior vice president, chief legal officer, and corporate secretary of the Board of Directors at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. As a transactional and regulatory lawyer, Zanzi is well qualified to provide both legal and strategic business advice to her employer.

“What drove me to Loyola was its dedicated curriculum that includes adjunct professors who are practicing as either in-house or outside counsel,” she says. “We didn’t just have academic exercises in class; we got practical, application-oriented experiences that taught us the law and how to translate it into practical advice for our clients.”

Cory Bagby (JD ’09) became interested in health law while growing up with a mother who had a number of health challenges. That early inside look at health care in America from a patient’s point of view pushed him to get an education that would help others. Before becoming vice president and chief general counsel for Central Maine Healthcare, an integrated healthcare delivery system that serves 400,000 patients, Bagby worked as in-house counsel for a number of large healthcare systems in the Chicago area.

“From the day I graduated, I was well positioned to get a job in a law firm, in-house, or at a government agency where I could immediately create meaningful change,” he says. “I knew how to understand and interpret regulations, which added value to me as a young attorney while also benefiting

Like Zanzi, Sarah Mick (LLM ’11) initially thought she would become a physician. However, while volunteering in an emergency room during college, she realized that her interest in health care extended beyond direct patient medical care. “There were so many facets of the healthcare system that I wanted to explore, so I decided to enter the industry from a different angle,” she says.

After obtaining a JD degree in 2007 and working as a law clerk at a civil and commercial litigation firm in Chicago, she was accepted for a fellowship to Loyola’s Master of Laws (LLM) in Health Law program.

“There were many aspects of the program that were instrumental to me in bridging the gap between attending school and working in health law,” she says. “In addition to the highly accla

“We got practical, application-oriented experiences that taught us the law and how to translate it into practical advice for our clients.”

Through interactions with her mentor, Carolyn Metnick (LLM ’07), who also had worked in litigation before receiving an LLM from Loyola, Mick learned of a position at a large international firm with a respected health law department. “They hired me because the well-rounded education I received at Loyola was a valuable asset to the firm,” she says.

Today, Mick serves as associate general counsel for Advocate Aurora Health, which serves 3 million patients in Wisconsin and Illinois.

She thanks the program and exemplary faculty of Loyola’s Beazley Institute for instilling in her an understanding and appreciation of the importance of health law in helping patients. “I credit Loyola for positively impacting the trajectory of my career both substantively and professionally.”


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Linking classroom study with hands-on experience and inspired by the Jesuit philosophy that promotes service to others, Loyola’s six clinics encourage students to contribute to society while gaining vital practical experience. Through the Health Justice Project, our students provide effective representation to low-income clients by working in collaboration with healthcare providers to overcome the social and systemic barriers that prevent long-term health and stability. Learn More