Villanova University School of Law
|Affiliation||Roman Catholic (Augustinian)|
Radnor Twp, Pennsylvania, US
|Website||Villanova Law Website|
Villanova University's Charles Widger School of Law (known as Villanova University School of Law) is part of the Villanova University System. The University is the oldest and largest Catholic University in Pennsylvania. Villanova was founded 150 years ago by the Augustinians, a prominent Roman Catholic teaching order. The University is located 25 minutes from Center City Philadelphia in the Main Line suburb of Villanova.
Opened in 1953, the School of Law is approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS). Approximately 720 students study full-time in the J.D. program which offers more than 100 offerings including foundation courses, specialty offerings, drafting courses, clinical experiences, seminars, simulation courses and externships. The faculty /student ratio is 17:1.
In November 2007, the Villanova School of Law began construction on a new building to house classrooms, offices, and research facilities. The building was completed in August 2009. The new facility was built according to LEED standards and incorporate a park like setting with a walking trail.
- J.D./M.B.A. with School of Business
- J.D./LL.M. in Law and Taxation
- J.D./LL.M. in International Law
Juris Doctor (JD)
Villanova offers a legal education designed to teach the rules of law and their application; to demonstrate how lawyers analyze legal issues and express arguments and conclusions; to inculcate the skills of the counselor, advocate, and decision maker; and to explore the ethical and moral dimensions of law practice and professional conduct.
Joint JD/MBA program
The Villanova University School of Law and the Villanova School of Business offer a joint-degree program permitting simultaneous study for the Juris Doctor and the Master of Business Administration degrees. The Villanova School of Business is one of the few business schools in the nation whose Master of Business Administration and Department of Accountancy program have been approved by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. In the program, credit is given for certain courses by both the School of Law and the School of Business. Through this program, degrees may be completed in less time than it would take to obtain them separately.
Graduate Tax Program
The Graduate Tax Program is an interdisciplinary program led by Leslie M. Book conducted under the auspices of the Villanova University School of Law and Villanova’s School of Business. The program has over 30 courses, which are also available to JD candidates, who are able to enroll in LL.M. courses as well as participate in the joint JD/LL.M. program. Business students participating in the Graduate Tax Program may earn a Master of Science in Taxation (MST) degree.
Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law
The Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law was created in 2012, and was funded by a $5 million donation from San Diego Padres vice chairman and CEO Jeffrey S. Moorad (a 1981 graduate of the law school). The Center prepares students for careers in sports-related fields. It is one of only a few in the United States dedicated to the study of sports law, and it is run by director Andrew Brandt, a lawyer, former NFL team executive, and ESPN commentator.
Beyond the skills of written and oral expression developed in the first-year writing program and the required upper-level moot court program, drafting, and seminar courses, Villanova University School of Law students acquire the fundamental skills of the practicing lawyer—including counseling, negotiation, advocacy, mediation, dispute resolution, conciliation, and mature judgment. Hands-on clinical opportunities allow students to apply classroom experiences to real-world client representation, often while performing public service. Clinical programs include Federal Tax; Civil Justice; Asylum, Refugee, and Emigrant Services; and Farmworkers Legal Aid.
The school also strives to provide leadership in information technology, law and psychology, taxation, and international law, among other fields.
Rankings and honors
The 2016 edition of U.S. News & World Report's "Best Graduate Schools" increased Villanova Law's ranking to 74th in the country overall. In previous years, U.S. News & World Report's "Best Graduate Schools" ranked Villanova Law #87 (2015), #93 (2014), #101 (2013), #81 (2012), #67 (2011), and #61 (2010).
The 2015 edition of Above the Law's Top 50 Law Schools ranked Villanova as the 38th best law school in the country.
In 2015, the National Law Journal ranked Villanova Law as the #34 "Go-To" law school based on its employment statistics with the nation's largest law firms.
- Total Number Applicants: 2333
- Total Enrolled: 220
- In-state: 49%
- Out-of-state: 51%
- Students of Color: 17%
- Undergraduate Schools Represented: 121
- Median GPA: 3.51
- 25th Percentile GPA: 3.29
- 75th Percentile GPA: 3.69
- Median LSAT: 158
- 25th Percentile LSAT: 155
- 75th Percentile LSAT: 161
Students of the Juris Doctor (JD) program are involved in preparing and publishing the Villanova Law Review, as well as other law journals. Members of the law review are selected on the basis of academic rank or through an open writing competition. The Villanova Law Review was first published in 1956.
The law journals are:
- Villanova Law Review
- Environmental Law Journal
The Villanova Environmental Law Journal publishes both student and outside articles dealing with environmental issues.
- Jeffrey S. Moorad Sports Law Journal
- Journal of Catholic Social Thought
- Joseph Dellapenna
- John F. Dobbyn
- Edmund V. Ludwig
- John F. Murphy
- Eduardo C. Robreno
- Juan Ramon Sanchez
- Frederick Anton III – (law class of 1958), President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Manufactures Association and the Pennsylvania Manufactures Insurance Company
- Richard Joseph Arcara – (law class of 1965), Judge, United States District Court for the Western District of New York (1988–present; Chief Judge, 2003–2010)
- Adrienne Arsht- American philanthropist and banking executive (namesake of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts)
- Kelly Ayotte – (law class of 1993), Current United States Senator (Republican from New Hampshire) (2011–present); formerly New Hampshire Attorney General (2004–2009)
- Lewis R. Carluzzo – (law class of 1974), Trial Judge of the United States Tax Court
- J. Scot Chadwick – (law class of 1978), a former Republican member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives (1985–2000)
- Mary Little Cooper – (law class of 1972), federal judge on the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey (1992–present); formerly VP and General Counsel, Prudential Property and Casualty Insurance, Holmdel (1990–1992); Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Banking (1984–1990)
- Ryan Costello – Chester County Commissioner
- Craig Dally – (law class of 1988), current Judge for the 3rd District of the Northampton County Court of Common Pleas (2010–present); former member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for the 138th District (1996–2010)
- Bishop Michael Fitzgerald – auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia
- Dave Frankel- Philadelphia TV Anchor
- Charlie Gerow – Influential Republican political strategist
- David F. Girard-diCarlo – (law class of 1973), attorney and United States Ambassador to Austria (2008–2009); former Managing Partner and Chairman of Blank Rome
- William J. Green, III – former Member of the United States House of Representatives (1964–1977); Mayor of Philadelphia (1980–1984)
- Joseph Hare – executive and retiredRear Admiral, US Navy
- Mark A. Kearney – United States District Judge, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (2014–Present)
- Matthew F. McHugh – former Member of the United States House of Representatives
- Jeff Moorad – owner, San Diego Padres
- Ed Rendell – former Governor of Pennsylvania (2003–2011); former Mayor of Philadelphia (1992–1999)
- Marjorie Rendell – Federal Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (1997–Present); former Judge for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- Matthew J. Ryan – former Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
- William H. Ryan, Jr. – Acting Attorney General of Pennsylvania (2011–present); formerly District Attorney of Delaware County (1988–1996)
- Jennifer Santiago – (law class of 1987), Emmy Award-winning journalist
- Donald William Snyder – (law class of 1982), Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives (1981–2000; Majority Whip 1997–2000)
- Michael J. Stack III – (law class of 1992), 33rd and current Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania
- Gerald R. Stockman – (law class of 1959), noted fair housing advocate and former New Jersey State Senator (1982–1992)
- Richard Trumka – President of the AFL-CIO and former president of the United Mine Workers of America
- David Worby – Trial lawyer known for advocacy on behalf of 9/11 workers
Each year, second and third-year students practice lawyering skills through the Client Interviewing and Counseling Competition. Students also have the opportunity to participate in the Reimel Moot Court Competition once during their time at Villanova, which is where students are required to write appellate briefs and compete in multiple rounds of oral arguments. The competition is run by the Villanova Law Moot Court Board.
Library and physical facilities
In the law library, students have access to 130 computer workstations located in a computer lab and throughout the library’s stacks. There are an additional 40 computers dedicated to student usage throughout the remainder of the law school. In addition, all students with laptops can access Villanova University’s high-speed internet connection and all of the technology resources throughout the law school via wired and wireless connections. Finally, the law library contains more than 500,000 volume-equivalents in books and microforms, along with subscriptions to numerous legal databases to which students have ready access.
Career strategy and advancement
The mission of the Career Strategy and Advancement Office is to provide career planning education, recruitment programs, and individual counseling as the foundation for future career development and satisfaction of the students. The office's features and programs include three attorney-advisors, including a public service/pro bono specialist; an open-door policy, including a daily "on call" advisor for walk-ins and "quick questions"; small group workshops for 1Ls; dozens of career workshops and panel programs on topics ranging from interviews, résumés, and networking, to public interest careers, judicial clerkships, and a multitude of practice specialty areas; "Practice Specialty Expo," which brings nearly 100 attorneys to the law school for a networking experience; recruitment programs throughout the year, including an array of employers in private practice (large and small firms), government, nonprofits, the judiciary, and corporations; special recruitment programs designed to enhance diversity in the profession; job fairs targeting unique geographic or practice preferences; and job search coaching for new graduates on the job market.
According to Villanova's official 2014 ABA-required disclosures, 70% of the Class of 2014 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation, excluding solo practitioners.
Pro bono programs
Pro bono programs, such as the clinics and other projects, provide students with the opportunity to serve the disadvantaged while developing skills and positive relationships with practicing attorneys.
Villanova Law's student body has the opportunity to participate in the "Lawyering Together" program. Through the program, law students are matched with volunteer attorneys who assist clients referred through Philadelphia pro bono organizations. The referring organizations include Senior Law Center, Philadelphia Volunteers for the Indigent Program (VIP) and the Support Center for Child Advocates.
Sargent graduated magna cum laude in 1973 from Wesleyan, received an M.A. in Medieval Studies in 1975 from Cornell University, and graduated from Cornell Law School in 1978. He began teaching law in 1980, was the Piper & Marbury Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Director of the Law & Entrepreneurship Program at the University of Maryland School of Law. He has also previously taught law at American University, Southern Methodist University and the University of Baltimore Schools of Law.
In 2006, Dean Sargent worked with the Pepper Hamilton LLP to launch a diversity initiative that included two full tuition scholarships for minority students and hiring two Villanova Law School minority students each year as first-year summer associates and then as part-time law clerks during their second or third academic years. In July 2009, Villanova Law School Dean Mark Sargent resigned, citing medical and personal reasons. A week later, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Sargent was connected with the solicitation of prostitution, although he was never charged. In February 2011, Villanova's newly appointed dean, John Gotanda, revealed that a Law School committee had determined that the under the leadership of the former Dean Mark Sargent, false data had been reported to the American Bar Association about incoming students for several years before 2010. This resulted in censure by the ABA as well as a 2-year probation by the AALS. Villanova began a comprehensive internal investigation and commissioned an independent audit by Ropes & Gray to determine the nature and scope of the false reporting.
Dean John Gotanda became dean at Villanova University School of Law on January 1, 2011 after having previously served as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Associate Dean for Faculty Research, and Director of the J.D./M.B.A. Program. Dean Gotanda received his J.D. from the William S. Richardson School of Law, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the University of Hawaii Law Review. Before coming to Villanova in 1994 he was a staff attorney with the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He also worked as an associate attorney with Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C., and later with Goodwin, Procter & Hoar in Boston. In February 2016 Dean Gotanda was named president of Hawai‘i Pacific University.
Dean Mark Alexander became dean of the law school on July 1, 2016 due to Dean Gotanda becoming president of Hawai‘i Pacific University. Alexander was previously the Associate Dean for Academics at Seton Hall School of Law. Prior to his Seton Hall Law School role, he clerked for Chief Judge Thelton Henderson of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California and was a litigator with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in San Francisco. Alexander earned both his Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor Degrees from Yale University.
Notes and references
- "Stats and Facts". Fall 2010 Entering Class Profile. Villanova University School of Law. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
- "Official Press Release". Archived from the original on 2007-10-27. Retrieved 2007-10-26.
- "Press Release". Villanova Law Brings Home the Gold. Villanova Law School. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
- "Law, Villanova School of". www.law.villanova.edu. Retrieved 2015-06-07.
- "U.S. News and World Report Law School Rankings". Retrieved 2016-03-20.
- "The 2015 ATL Top 50 Law Schools". Above the Law. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
- "The Top 50 Go-To Schools". The National Law Journal. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
- Stats and Facts: Villanova Law School VLS website
- http://www1.villanova.edu/villanova/law/academics/journals/MSLJ.html. Missing or empty
- "Richard Joseph Arcara". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- "Kelly Ayotte". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
- "Lewis R. Carluzzo". taxcourt.gov. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
- "J. Scot Chadwick". wayback machine. Archived from the original on May 29, 2000. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
- "Mary Little Cooper". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
- "Chester County Commissioner Ryan Costello to run for Jim Gerlachs seat". Times Herald. Retrieved November 4, 2014.
- "Craig Dally". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
- "Michael J. Fitzgerald". ARCHDIOCESE OF PHILADELPHIA. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
- "David F. Girard-diCarlo". Notable Names Data Base. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
- "William J. Green, III". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
- "Joseph Hare". 2013 Zoom Information, Inc. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
- "Matthew F. McHugh". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
- "Jeff Moorad". http://sandiego.padres.mlb.com/. Retrieved 18 April 2013. External link in
- "Ed Rendell". National Governors Association. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
- "Marjorie Rendell". Notable Names Data Base. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
- "Matthew J. Ryan". 1997-2013 PG Publishing Co., Inc. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- "William H. Ryan, Jr.". 2013 Bradford PA Today. News & Information. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- "Donald William Snyder". wayback machine. Archived from the original on February 1, 2000. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- "About Lt. Governor Mike Stack". Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
- "Richard Trumka". Notable Names Data Base. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- "Employment Data".
- "Employment Summary for 2014 Graduates".
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 28, 2011. Retrieved April 10, 2013.
- David Lat (7/3/09) Dean Mark Sargent - You Can Call Him John Above the Law. Retrieved 2/5/11.
- Jeff Blumenthal (7/7/09) Villanova dean resigned over prostitution Philadelphia Business Journal. Retrieved 2/5/11.
- "2011 ABA Public Censure Documents". Villanova University School of Law. Retrieved 14 December 2012.
- Martha Neil (2/4/11) ABA Journal. Retrieved 2/5/11.