CARLISLE, Pa. — Third-year Penn State Dickinson Law student Anthony Fanucci (class of 2021) was named the recipient of the 2020 Fink Family Scholarship by the American Society for Pharmacy Law (ASPL). He received the award on Friday, Nov. 6, during the ASPL fall virtual meeting.
Established by Joseph L. Fink III and his family, the Fink Family Scholarship supports a pharmacist attending law school who demonstrates academic, professional or service-related achievement, and is most likely to use their law degree to further such achievement and contribute to the benefit of society.
“Being selected for a scholarship is one thing, but being recognized by an organization with remarkable mentors — all of whom I admire — means even more,” said Fanucci, who chose to attend Dickinson Law after earning his doctor of pharmacy from the Nesbitt School of Pharmacy at Wilkes University. “I applied for this scholarship because it recognizes a pharmacist that decided to attend law school. I take a lot of pride in my career path, and this scholarship gives me the opportunity to thank many people that helped me get to where I am today.”
Fanucci attended his first ASPL conference in 2016 as a student-member of the organization. “For the first time in my life, I had the opportunity to connect with an abundance of pharmacist-lawyers that were able to shed light on the path I was contemplating,” he said. “I am so glad that one of my greatest mentors encouraged me to attend that conference because it solidified my decision to enroll in law school.”
Fanucci believed that attending law school would show others how versatile a pharmacy degree could be and allow him to use his background to excel in an unexplored area and improve outcomes for others. During his first and second years of law school, Fanucci worked as a community pharmacist. His pharmacy experience and improved writing skills enabled him to enter the medical writing arena. Recently, he assisted multiple physicians and pharmaceutical professionals throughout the global health pandemic.
“I helped a physician launch his telemedicine website and a dietary supplement company interpret vitamin D data in COVID-19 patients,” said Fanucci, who also combined his legal education with his pharmacy experience as a summer associate in the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) practice group with Alston & Bird in Washington, D.C.
“My legal education drives me to think critically and view problems from various angles, while my pharmacy degree enables me to see the big picture and ask strong questions,” said Fanucci.
Fanucci also credits his professors for setting him up for success in his internships and while a summer associate with Alston & Bird.
“My health law professors converted a spark of interest into a fire of passion,” said Fanucci. “They have not only educated me about the nuances of health law, but they have also made me a better person. Rather than merely striving to find 'the answer' to a legal question, I now consider variables such as why a given law exists, what disparities coincide with that law, and how we can improve outcomes as lawyers. I am beyond grateful for the lessons they have taught me.”
In addition to completing Dickinson Law’s health law curriculum, Fanucci is pursuing a certificate in health law and policy as part of the Law School’s Certificate Program, which allows students to hone their expertise in a specific area by taking a prescribed combination of core and elective courses. The elective courses that are part of the certificate requirement, including Administrative Law; Law and Medicine; Health Care Law and Policy; and Biotech, Pharmaceuticals and the Law, have been his most influential and memorable courses while in law school.
“The professors for these classes not only improved my skillset, but they provided real-world experience that furthered my interest in the field,” said Fanucci.
After earning his juris doctor degree in May 2021, Fanucci will begin his legal career as an associate with Alston & Bird’s FDA practice group in Washington, D.C.
“The opportunity to work alongside legal experts and assist major clients with complex issues is exhilarating,” said Fanucci. “I hope that I can make a positive impact in the pharmaceutical space by serving clients as an attorney while keeping my pharmacy principles in mind. Above all, I want to mentor others that are interested in pursuing the wonderful pathway of a pharmacist lawyer.”
“Pharmacy school and law school are rigorous,” he said. “I am grateful, however, because it is a true privilege to be on this pathway. I am eager to continue learning and eventually contribute back to organizations that have shaped my journey.”