After graduating from Colgate University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental studies, Salhia Moore’s career path was driven by a desire to make a meaningful impact on the world.
Over the next three years, Moore held jobs hoping to help her navigate her way towards her true passion, traveling to Thailand to teach English to children, working at the Humane Society and serving as a special needs tutor for high school students.
In 2017, she began working at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to perform intake for appeals of agency decisions regarding federal employees’ claims of discrimination — a role that had her working closely with attorneys.
“After I joined the EEOC, so much of my job centered around law,” said Moore. “Becoming a lawyer was something I had considered earlier as an undergraduate and my experience at the EEOC brought that more into focus. I started talking about it with my colleagues, several of whom were lawyers, and their advice and support helped me find the confidence to push forward in pursuit of my dream.”
Moore’s interest in health law and bioethics, which started during her undergraduate study abroad in Australia, was solidified during her first year of law school.
“In my first year, I took a bioethics and law elective taught by Co-Dean Jessica Berg that made an impression on me,” said Moore. “There are so many sides to medicine and ways to deal with them through law – the conflict and controversy in figuring out the most equitable solutions had an immediate appeal.”
Interested in a deeper exploration of equality of access to research trials and health-care decision making, Moore enrolled in the dual MA/JD degree program with the CWRU School of Law and School of Medicine, allowing her to simultaneously earn her law degree and an MA in Bioethics and Medical Humanities.
“I truly enjoy the challenge of balancing two programs, learning about health care controversies and gaining experience in addressing them from both a bioethical and legal lens,” said Moore. “I encourage anyone interested in health care law to consider the JD/MA program because it provides the perfect framework for approaching controversies and equality issues from a variety of perspectives.”
This summer, Moore worked as a legal intern for the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, Inc. (AAHRPP), an organization that promotes high-quality research standards through an accreditation process to strengthen human research protection programs worldwide. The internship will extend through the fall semester and also serve as her capstone.
“The start of my internship has already been a great experience,” said Moore. “AAHRPP has an evaluation instrument used as a baseline to determine if a site is eligible for accreditation, but some counties may have laws that are more stringent. My job was to research those laws and reconcile them with the AAHRPP’s evaluation instrument. It was challenging but interesting to find out how other countries interpret research ethics and what their policies are.”
In addition to working as an editor on Health Matrix, the law school’s Law-Medicine Journal, Moore will spend the fall semester in Washington D.C., working again with AAHRPP to drive her career forward in healthcare, bioethics and research policy and compliance.
“My fall capstone will continue the work I started in the summer, but instead of an international focus, I’ll work on conflicts of law in the U.S., because some matters are federally regulated while others are left to the states, which can implement different degrees of protection,“ said Moore. “I’ll also deliver presentations for researchers on financial conflicts of interest and join site visits to determine compliance.”
Closing in on graduation and the start of her career, Moore plans to rejoin the federal government, looking to use her legal skills to effect meaningful change in the world.
“My professors have made such a positive impact on me — Co-Dean Jessica Berg has been great to consult for career advice or what classes to take, Professor Hoffman has been very supportive of my work for the Health Matrix journal and Professor Katharine Van Tassel was invaluable in helping me with my note,” said Moore. “It has been a long journey but I’m so close to passing a major milestone in my life.”