Christina J. Segreto
Christina J. Segreto, a 3L student, transitioned from healthcare consulting to law, driven by a desire to make a more direct impact. Transferring to Seton Hall, she found a supportive community and pursued a concentration in health law. Christina's experience at Johnson & Johnson in Supplier Contracting Services highlights her integral role in healthcare provider contracting, handling a range of agreements. With a keen interest in transactional health law, Christina aims to navigate the intersection of health law and corporate practice post-graduation.
What made you decide to attend law school?
After I graduated from college in 2015, I began working in sales. I started in pharmaceutical sales and ended up in Medical Sales in the Post-Acute Sector (nursing homes, home health, hospice, EMS, Assisted Living). In this role I worked as a consultant for these facilities, advising them on products and processes and technology that they need to remain compliant with CMS and state regulations. In April 2020 I had my second child, and while I was out on maternity leave, I had a home call me crying asking for body bags and masks, both of which were on backorder. It was then that I realized I was not able to ACTUALLY help providers and patients in the medical community.
Law school had always been something I wanted to pursue but I never felt ready to take the leap. After the experience of working in healthcare through covid, I felt like I needed to do more to help people. Further, I wanted to show my two daughters that it is never too late to follow your dreams.
What drew you to apply to transfer to Seton Hall after your 1L year?
I was born and raised in New Jersey and my whole family still lives here. I had left the state in 2011 and lived elsewhere but after having children I wanted to come back and be near family. I wanted to be near my aunt, Sandra (who is more like a sister to me as we are close in age) and her husband. They have kids close in age to my own two and have always been role models to me. They are both Seton Hall Law grads ('04) and incredibly successful lawyers in their practice areas. I knew that if Seton Hall Law could put out lawyers like them, then transferring to Seton Hall would be the logical choice for me when moving back to New Jersey and I am so happy to be here and continue the family legacy!
What have you found to be different about Syracuse and Seton Hall?
The community at Syracuse was so welcoming and fantastic for students. The common area was set up in a way that encouraged collaboration and there were always so many events that brought students together. I do wish that there was a bit more of that here at Seton Hall. However, the quality and specificity of courses offered here are much greater than what is offered at Syracuse, and Seton Hall Law offers many more opportunities to learn the skills necessary to practice law.
The other huge difference is the alumni network here. I have yet to interview or work somewhere where I am not interacting with a Seton Hall Law graduate and every one I have met has had a successful career and is always so willing to help out and make connections. I can't wait to join that network and help others the way I have been helped.
Do you have any advice or tips for our newly transferred students?
Don’t be afraid to reach out to your classmates and fellow transfers! Without my transfer buddy Marisa (who I met on orientation day) and James (the first person I sat next to in my first class at Seton Hall Law) I would have had a really hard time adjusting. It’s also helpful to find a faculty member that you connect with and talk to them about the different options and concentrations here at Seton Hall Law. It can be so overwhelming to parse it all yourself and try to figure out what things are, especially if you came from a school that doesn’t have skills classes or so many required courses.
Did you know that you wanted to concentrate/practice in health law when you went into law school?
I really thought I wanted to go into employment law! With both of my children I had pregnancy discrimination issues. I was answering emails while giving birth and had my company ask me if I could stop breastfeeding because my federally protected right to take pump breaks was “irritating to work around”. But my 1L year everything I learned I kept tying back to my experience in healthcare. After talking to some employment lawyers, I realized that it wasn’t truly an area I was interested in, and my true interests were in health law.
What classes have you taken thus far in the health care concentration that you found helpful or interesting?
Healthcare Fraud and Abuse was the most interesting course and the most helpful in fully understanding all the considerations of regulation in healthcare. Compliance skills taught by Professors Stansel and Freeman was great in understanding how healthcare corporations navigate regulation and the challenges that they face. I also loved the compliance certificate program over the past summer. All the presenters are active in healthcare compliance and hearing their different experiences was eye-opening.
Can you talk about your time working with Johnson and Johnson and what you’ve done there?
I started with Johnson and Johnson in January 2023 as a Co-op in Supplier Contracting Services. Because of my interests and experience I was put in the Healthcare Provider Contracting group. This group works exclusively on contracts for healthcare providers, healthcare entities, and universities. In this role I am responsible for reviewing contract requests that come from business partners within Johnson & Johnson, ensuring that they are approved by compliance, and then drafting, redlining, and negotiating contracts. I work closely with our legal department to ensure that all our contracts meet regulatory requirements and discuss what I think should be included in our contracts. I have worked on sponsorship agreements, licensing agreements, pharmacy-student affiliation agreements with various universities, speaker program agreements, steering committee agreements, advisory board contracts, and outcomes research agreements.
It has been a great learning experience, as contracting requires a lot of skills not necessarily taught in law school - attention to detail, understanding the relationship between different kinds of corporate entities in arrangements, negotiations in a corporate setting, redlining best practices and how to send contracts to the opposing party, and collaborating professionally. I have also become more proficient in MS Word than I ever thought possible.
Do you have any advice for students who are seeking employment in health law?
In general - Don't be afraid to apply to the job! Every position I have held over the past decade, I thought that I was underqualified for and "would never get the job." This goes for any kind of employment. Also - take every interview, even if you aren't interested in the position or have gotten a job, the practice and opportunities for feedback are priceless. You can always hone your interview skills and improve.
Specifically for health law – if this is an area that you KNOW you want to be in, take the time to learn the regulatory schemes that govern healthcare. This is an area of law that is HEAVILY REGULATED by many government agencies, and companies and firms will want you to have a baseline knowledge of these rules and regulations because training on all of it really takes years. Pay attention to what the Department of Justice is doing, what guidance documents and advisory opinions are being put out, follow The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of the Inspector General and different enforcement agencies on LinkedIn, join American Health Law Association, listen to podcasts, etc. Not only is this a highly regulated field, but it is an area that is constantly changing. The best way you can market yourself is by showing potential employers that you are up to date on what is going on in this space and be confident that you know what is going on!
What do you hope to do after graduation?
I know I want to work in a transactional health law setting. I love health law and corporate law and want to be in a position that puts me at the intersection of the two. Whether I stay at Johnson & Johnson or go to a firm, I am figuring this out. Because I have two young children, work-life balance is a must for me. I have recently interviewed with a boutique health law firm and Johnson & Johnson just extended my co-op contract to June, so I will have to decide soon. What I know for sure is that after graduation and the Bar exam, I plan to take at least a month to just sit back and relax with my husband and daughters!