Insurance Law: Becoming an expert

“Insurance law is the least studied practice area in law schools, but it is the most practiced,” said Peter Kochenburger, Executive Director of the Insurance LL.M. program at the University of Connecticut School of Law.

Insurance law touches many facets of the legal profession, Kochenburger said — from healthcare to automobile insurance, and human rights to climate change.

Take, for example, four distinct practice areas such as plaintiff’s litigation, healthcare law, human rights and environmental law. Though vastly different, these practice areas are threaded by one common issue: insurance.

In litigation, lawyers must understand insurance law to receive recovery for their clients. Healthcare law is largely shaped by insurance regulators and insurance law experts. Furthermore, insurance has been identified by the United Nations as a human right, essential to the development of sustainable societies. Lastly, and perhaps most surprisingly, insurance companies are on the forefront of the effort to combat climate change to protect their financial interests in insured properties.

“In practice, you have discreet issues, and you do not have the opportunity to understand what you are doing is fitting into the larger health, auto, international and financial systems,” Kochenburger said. “Being able to see the bigger picture makes better lawyers and better insurance systems. 

The Insurance LL.M. at UConn Law is the oldest insurance law program in the country, located in the heart of the insurance industry capital of Hartford, Conn. Students of the program have opportunities to work with some of the largest insurance companies in the world, including Mass Mutual, The Phoenix, and Aetna.

Graduates of the LL.M. are highly sought after and have found employment at insurance companies, financial services firms and state insurance commissions; however, many also return to private practice using their specialized knowledge to better serve their clients.

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