Member School Highlight – Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law

Location: Villanova, Pennsylvania
Founded: 1953
Joined AALS: 1957
Dean: Mark Alexander

Founded in 1953, the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law is a private legal education institution that provides broad-based legal education that is grounded in academic rigor, practical hands-on training, and a foundation in business that prepares its 181 first-year JD students for a diverse and rewarding legal career. Villanova is located near Philadelphia, and due to its location, externship opportunities are abundant in the city and its surrounding areas. Many graduates remain in the area to begin careers with the region’s many law firms, governments, businesses, and non-profit organizations. Villanova Law School’s vibrant and diverse community is also enhanced by an active and involved network of over 10,000 alumni who regularly give back to the law school as mentors and to the community.

Villanova Law offers eight in-house clinics and more than 330 externship opportunities that immerse their students in real-world applications of their legal skills to help them become principled leaders. The law school is also home to the Eleanor H. McCullen Center for Law, Religion, and Public Policy; the David F. and Constance B. Girard-diCarlo Center for Ethics, Integrity, and Compliance; the John F. Scarpa Center for Law and Entrepreneurship; the Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law; and the Institute to Address Commercial Sexual Exploitation. These centers of excellence provide students the opportunity to pursue innovative, interdisciplinary legal fields through study, practical experience, and mentorship.

In spring 2023, Villanova Law launched the Building Bridges Discussion Series, which provides a public forum to bring together leaders with differing views to engage respectfully with each other on important topics while demonstrating civil discourse. The inaugural event featured former United States Senators Kelly Ayotte ’93 JD (R-NH) and Russ Feingold (D-WI). Developed by Mark C. Alexander, the Arthur J. Kania Dean and Professor of Law, the series models informative and thought-inspiring conversations about how we can move forward in finding what unites rather than what divides us. The next event in the series takes place on October 11, 2023, in Washington, D.C., and features two former White House Chiefs of Staff.

“This is an exciting time for Villanova Law,” explained Mark Alexander, Dean and Professor of Law at Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. “With the launch of programs like our Building Bridges Discussion Series, our new clemency and intellectual property clinics, and faculty who not only teach law but shape it through their scholarship, we are committed to delivering a rigorous legal education that prepares our students for practice and beyond. Guided by Villanova’s Augustinian values, we train our students to be the ethical lawyers, dedicated advocates, and principled leaders of tomorrow.”

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