Villanova University School of Law
Villanova University's Charles Widger School of Law (known as Villanova University School of Law) is a law school and part of the Villanova University System. Villanova University in general is the oldest and largest Catholic University in Pennsylvania. The University is located 25 minutes from Center City Philadelphia in the Main Line suburb of Villanova, Pennsylvania.
|Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law|
|Parent school||Villanova University|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic (Augustinian)|
|Website||Villanova Law Website|
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 student/faculty 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)Edit
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 programEdit
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 ProgramEdit
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 LawEdit
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 honorsEdit
The 2021 edition of U.S. News & World Report's "Best Graduate Schools" ranked Villanova Law at 62nd in the country overall. In previous years, U.S. News & World Report's "Best Graduate Schools" ranked Villanova Law #71 (2020), #65 (2019), #77 (2018), #74 (2017), #87 (2016), #93 (2015), #98 (2014), #101 (2013), #84 (2012), #67 (2011), and #61 (2010).
Fall 2016 Entering Class Profile:
- Total Number Applicants: 1783
- Total Enrolled: 222
- In-state: 49%
- Out-of-state: 51%
- Students of Color: 18.5%
- Undergraduate Schools Represented: 121
- Median GPA: 3.54
- 25th Percentile GPA: 3.24
- 75th Percentile GPA: 3.7
- Median LSAT: 157
- 25th Percentile LSAT: 153
- 75th Percentile LSAT: 159
- 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), former Republican United States senator from New Hampshire (2011–2017); formerly New Hampshire Attorney General (2004–2009)
- Lewis R. Carluzzo (law class of 1974), special trial judge of the United States Tax Court
- J. Scot Chadwick (law class of 1978), 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, former Chester County Commissioner and former member of the United States House of Representatives
- 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)
- Joseph T. Doyle, Pennsylvania State Representative for the 163rd district (1971-1978)
- Bishop Michael Fitzgerald, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia
- Dave Frankel, Philadelphia TV anchor
- Charlie Gerow, 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 retired rear 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
- Collins J. Seitz, Jr., justice of the Delaware Supreme Court
- 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 former lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania
- Thomas J. Stapleton (law class of 1972), Pennsylvania State Representative for the 165th district (1975-1978)
- Gerald R. Stockman (law class of 1959), noted fair housing advocate and former New Jersey state senator (1982–1992)
- Michael Testa, New Jersey State Senator for the 1st Legislative district (2019-present)
- 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
- John Waldron - American criminal defense lawyer
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 programsEdit
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 statistical data including entrance LSAT scores had been reported to the American Bar Association about incoming students for several years before 2010. As a result, the American Bar Association issued a censure to the school A 2-year probation was also issued 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 from 1992–93 and was a litigator with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in San Francisco from 1993-95. Alexander earned both his Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor degrees from Yale University.
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- "About Lt. Governor Mike Stack". Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
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- Martha Neil (2/4/11)  ABA Journal. Retrieved 2/5/11.