Petrie-Flom Student Fellowship Testimonial

Applications for the 2017-2018 Student Fellowship are due this Friday, August 11, so apply today! Full details here

By Shailin Thomas, 2016-2017 Petrie-Flom Student Fellow

The Petrie-Flom Center student fellowship was an incredible opportunity for me as a law student interested in health law and policy.  Not only did it give me a substantive legal foundation in health law, it also helped me hone my short- and long-form academic writing.  I can confidently say that I am a better law student and a better legal scholar than I was a year ago, and that is largely the result of the skills and connections I developed through the Petrie-Flom student fellowship.

Of particular importance to me was the mentorship provided to student fellows.  The faculty members that mentor student fellows are some of the most thoughtful voices in health law scholarship.  At every step of the fellowship process, the mentors are there to offer guidance — from tips for writing more engaging blogposts to advice on finding a journal to publish the fellowship paper. A large part of being a lawyer is formulating and showcasing your thoughts in the most compelling, persuasive ways possible, and the Petrie-Flom fellowship advisers are experts at increasing the impact of legal and academic work.  The ability to form strong relationships with these prominent health law academics, while getting their input and feedback on my writing, has put me in a much better position to launch my legal career.

The opportunity to publish regularly on the Center’s Bill of Health blog was also important to my development as an aspiring legal scholar during my fellowship.  Blogging helped me stay abreast of pressing issues in health law, while also providing me with valuable short-form academic writing experience.  I never imagined that I would be cited in a law review as a second-year law student, but the blog posts I wrote during my fellowship on artificial intelligence and medical malpractice have been cited in legal and policy publications.

Serving as a Petrie-Flom student fellow has been central to my academic and professional development in law school.  I cannot recommend the program highly enough, and encourage any Harvard graduate students interested in the intersection of health, science, and law to apply.

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