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First-in-the-Nation Partnership Establishes Innovative Law Program for PA Students

The next generation of physician assistants (PAs) now has the ability to partake in a new partnership—the first of its kind in the country—established by Wake Forest University’s School of Law online Master of Studies in Law (MSL) Program and medical school’s PA Program.

The new cross-disciplinary initiative is designed to develop PA leaders who are prepared to transform the delivery of health care while navigating a complex legal marketplace.

The Emerging Leaders Program in Law (ELP-Law) graduates will earn a Master of Studies in Law (MSL) and Master of Medical Science (MMS) in PA Studies.

The 36-month sequential degree program began accepting applications in April.

Accepted ELP-Law students begin their first year in May 2019 with online MSL coursework, moving to their PA studies in May 2020 and graduating in 2022 with both MSL and MMS degrees.

The online MSL is designed to provide working professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to address the legal requirements in their fields, not practice law.

“All of our MMS graduates benefit from our program’s patient-centered approach, which immerses students in real-life cases and fosters their clinical problem-solving abilities,” said L. Gail Curtis, PA-C, MPAS, associate professor and chair of the Department of PA Studies at the School of Medicine.

“Our ELP-Law graduates will receive the additional benefit of an in-depth, practical understanding of how law impacts the work of direct-care providers and the delivery of health care today.”

To learn more about the new program, contact Sobia Hussaini of the Department of PA Studies at or Ellen Murphy of the online MSL at