The new federal healthcare overhaul will be the subject of an entire course this fall at the University of Iowa College of Law. Law Professor Herb Hovenkamp says the college is launching the class in an effort to prepare students for the changing healthcare landscape.

“It won’t be an ideological course or a course in the legislative process,” Hovenkamp said. “We’re much less interested in how the bill got passed than we are in how it works, how it might benefit the economy, who will be better off…and how, as lawyers, they can better represent the various constituencies that hire them.” Hovenkamp says the course will take a multidisciplinary approach and include faculty from other colleges.

“Lawyers have to be abreast of what’s happening in the world in which they practice and they certainly claim competency in health law and related areas unless they know something about this act,” Hovenkamp said. The primary instructor for the course will be David Ortenlicher, a public health law expert who is visiting next year from the Indiana University law school.

Hovenkamp says he sees applications for attorneys in a variety of specialties, including insurance, employment and constitutional law. Beginning in the fall, the University of Iowa College of Law will also have a new dean with expertise in public health. Gail Agrawal is leaving the University of Kansas School of Law for the post at the University of Iowa.