Kadeja Thomas (J.D. ’21) first struck up an interest in law from watching legal TV shows like Matlock with her grandma growing up. Initially, she figured she would become a criminal defense attorney to help those that might be overlooked by the criminal justice system. But as she got older, she started shifting her interest towards health law, which is also a field where she can make a large impact on people’s lives.
Thomas is now one year out from graduating Georgia State Law with a certificate in health law. The decision to attend Georgia State Law was an easy one for Thomas. Along with its nationally ranked health law program, she was drawn to the opportunities and lifestyle of being downtown Atlanta compared with the small city of Columbus, Georgia where she grew up. Here, she discusses her goals after graduation and how attending Georgia State is helping her achieve them.
What experiences have been most impactful for you at Georgia State Law?
I definitely enjoy all of my health law classes. I think Georgia State has done a great job employing professors that are extremely knowledgeable and experienced in their field. In particular, the HeLP Clinic is amazing experiential learning for anyone. It gives you an opportunity to represent clients who have health issues that permeate in multiple areas of their lives such as housing, income, and education. It’s also interdisciplinary, you get to work with students at Morehouse School of Medicine, administrators from schools, and landlords in housing cases. Finally, it’s just so rewarding at the end to see it all work out and know that it’s one less thing a family has to worry about because health can be so uncontrollable.
What are your goals once you graduate?
My ideal job would be working for a law firm that represents healthcare providers, manufacturers, or organization doing regulatory compliance work. I would like to be the attorney making sure the provider or organization understands all of the current laws such as HIPAA, Stark law, or anti-kickback statutes. This allows them to function at their best capacity in such a complex system because if they understand the laws and they understand what they’re able to do within those laws, then ultimately it should improve the health outcomes and experiences of the population they’re serving.
What makes Georgia State Law unique?
Before you come to law school, you hear so many stories about how competitive it is and how many people may not always have your best interest. I don’t feel that at all at Georgia State. I feel as though my classmates, professors and the rest of the faculty and staff are always looking out for me. It’s such a good place for camaraderie and community. I have met people who I know are lifelong friends, whether through being in the Black Law Students Association, the Student Health Law Association, or just meeting them in my classes. I feel welcome here and it’s so much easier to excel in an environment like this.
Interview by Mara Thompson