Introducing Professor Emily Whelan Parento

Emily Whelan Parento
Emily Whelan Parento

Professor Emily Whalen Parento joined the faculty of Louisville Law in Fall 2019. She is teaching health law, torts and administrative law. Professor Parento comes to Louisville from the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown Law. She has also taught at the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law and was a visiting professor at Louisville Law several years ago.

Her primary scholarly focus is the intersection of domestic health law and policy with the human rights framework for the right to health and health equity.

Parento, a Kentucky native, served as Executive Director of the Office of Health Policy for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, advising the administration of Gov. Steven Beshear during the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

She also served as a federal judicial clerk for the Hon. John G. Heyburn II, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky and practiced litigation at Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York and California as well as at Stites & Harbison in Louisville.

Getting to know Professor Parento:

What about Louisville Law are you most excited for?

I'm so excited to help shape the next generation of legal talent for the community. I was born and raised in Louisville and have the utmost respect for the legal community here, and it's an honor to join the Louisville faculty.

What scholarship are you working on now?

I'm currently working on a number of projects regarding access to healthcare, both in Kentucky and nationally. A particular area of focus is the impacts of supply side management programs such as certificate of need on healthcare quality and access. Another is the relative ability of individuals to access healthcare based on geography, type of insurance and additional factors.

What does it mean to you to come back to the commonwealth?

It was a tremendous opportunity to assist Governor Beshear's administration in implementing the Affordable Care Act here in Kentucky. It was through changes in law that nearly 500,000 Kentuckians gained access to insurance, many for the first time in their lives.

It is my goal that students develop the ability to use law in ways that benefit not only their clients, but society as a whole. To that end, I'm very fortunate to be able to teach students as part of a diverse student and faculty community at Louisville, where ideas can be challenged and improved through robust and respectful dialogue.