Health Law Scholar Sepper to Join Law Faculty

Health law scholar Elizabeth Sepper has accepted a position as associate professor of law, effective July 1, 2012. She is currently a Center for Reproductive Rights Fellow at Columbia Law School, where she has been in residence since 2010.

“Liz will be an outstanding addition to our faculty,” says Kent Syverud, dean and the Ethan A.H. Shepley Distinguished University Professor. “She is a promising scholar and teacher in the area of health law and an important emerging voice in considerations of health care institutions and medical ethics. Her appointment adds a crucial health law component to our curriculum and creates exciting opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations with the new Institute for Public Health and the medical school.”

Sepper’s current scholarly work challenges the standard account of the role of conscience in health care delivery, an account which limits conscience to those medical providers who refuse to deliver various treatments. Sepper analyzes how legislation limited in this way undermines the consciences of medical providers who want to deliver those very same treatments, concluding that medical providers should have “equal claims of conscience, irrespective of whether they refuse or are compelled to perform contested treatments.”

Sepper also has published in the areas of human rights, women’s rights, and international health law. Her authored and co-authored articles have appeared in the Texas International Law Journal, University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law, International Lawyer, and New York University Law Review.

After earning her J.D. and LL.M. in International Legal Studies from New York University, Sepper clerked for the Hon. Marjorie Rendell of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. She next served as a legal fellow for Human Rights Watch in New York, where she designed and led advocacy campaigns at the United Nations on human rights issues, including health, sexual violence, and access to humanitarian aid. Sepper was subsequently a legal fellow at NYU School of Law’s Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, where she managed projects on social and economic rights, humanitarian assistance, and sexual violence in Haiti.

Sepper received her B.A. in history, summa cum laude, from Boston University. At N.Y.U. Law School, she was Order of the Coif and an editor of New York University Law Review.