With graduation coming in a few weeks, most students are slowing down, but Jasmine Becerra (J.D. ’20) hasn’t missed a beat. She is the vice president of programming for the Student Health Law Association, working on a real Supplemental Security Income case in the HeLP Legal Services Clinic and is weeks away from completing the certificate in health law, alongside her J.D. After graduation, she will be working at King & Spalding, an opportunity she got through participation in on-campus interviews.
She says that the flexibility of the part-time program at Georgia State Law allowed her to take advantage of these opportunities because she could keep her full-time job as a legal assistant at a local law firm.
“Being able to work during law school is an experience I don’t think I would have had anywhere else,” said Becerra. “Getting experience with attorneys during the day and taking classes at night was crucial for me.”
Science led Becerra to health law. She grew up in Alpharetta, Ga. and was pre-med at the University of Georgia. However, after taking a number of science classes, she found that she liked writing and research more than cellular structure. Law was a natural fit and all of those pre-medicine classes and internships with physicians translated to an interest in health law.
Georgia State boasts the No. 2 Health Law program in the country, according to the U.S. News & World Report. The high ranking, downtown Atlanta location and proximity to family made it the perfect fit. She says that her favorite class has been Health Law: Financing and Delivery with professor Erin Fuse Brown. In the class, students learn about everything from health care organizational structures to federal fraud and abuse laws, lessons that experiential learning classes have reinforced.
She got a deeper dive into these issues in the health law certificate program.
“The courses that are offered in the certificate program build off of and complement one another to provide a comprehensive understanding of this specialized field, which opened several doors during my job search,” said Becerra.
After her second year of law school, she switched from part-time to full-time in order to get more involved. This was made possible through a graduate research assistant position at the Georgia Health Policy Center, which covers tuition.
Since then, she joined the Law Review, writing her student note on the False Claims Act, and participated in the National Health Law Transactional Moot Court Competition in Chicago. She has also won numerous awards, including the 2019 Student Health Law Award, Best Brief Award for Lawyering Advocacy, 2019 ABA/BNA Award for Excellence in Health Law and three CALI Awards.
At King & Spalding, she will be working in the litigation practice group. Her goal is to pursue health care litigation, specifically health care fraud and abuse and government investigations. Her advice to underclassmen?
“Get involved early and meet as many people as possible,” said Becerra. “Networking with local attorneys can lead to mentorship and job opportunities, and becoming close with your classmates and professors will provide a strong network of support that will remain with you even after graduation.”
Written by Kelundra Smith