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Villanova University School of Law, Villanova, PA

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Villanova is ranked number 60 on U.S. News and World Report's list of the Top 100 Law Schools. According to the school's admissions website, of the 2,834 applicants for the 2006 entering class, 248 are currently enrolled. The median GPA was 3.44 and the median LSAT score was 162. The website also says that 95% of the class of 2005 has reported that they are employed or seeking post-J.D. education nine months after graduating.

One of the emphases at the school of law is "experiential learning." To that end, students are encouraged to learn through hands-on and out-of-classroom experiences, such as externships, clinics, national competitions, and volunteer opportunities. The Villanova Law J. Willard O'Brien American Inn of Court is a group of judges, lawyers, students, and other people involved in academia who meet monthly in order to network and discuss matters important to lawyers such as ethics and professionalism.

As students at a Catholic institution, students at Villanova are encouraged to participate in pro bono work. To make pro bono work important to the students, the school has created the Lawyering Together program, which pairs law students with practicing attorneys to help work on a pro bono case. According to the school's site, more than 20 percent of the student body is involved in the program. Other pro bono programs at Villanova include VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance), the PIRC Habeas Project, and the Chester County "Street Law" Legal Education.

There are 34 organizations for students to get involved in. The school's website says that "student life at Villanova Law is enriched and diversified by its student organizations, extracurricular activities, and sense of community and tradition." Organizations include the American Constitution Society; the Tax Law Society; United Front; and Men Against Violence, Rape, Intimidation, and Coercion.

This summer, the School of Law and the University of St. Thomas School of Law will host the first annual Summer Law Study Abroad Program in Rome. The program, which will run from July 2 through August 4, will allow students to earn up to six hours of credit while exploring all of the sights and experiences the Italian city has to offer. Each year, four rotating classes will be offered. For the 2007 program, the classes offered will be Complex Litigation in the United States and Abroad; International Art and Cultural Property Law; Modern Catholic Teaching on the State, Society, Justice, and Law; and Religion in Public Life.

"You will find much more than a conglomeration of unrelated specialties and separate programs. You will find a commitment to a coherent plan of general legal education offered by deeply engaged, accessible teachers," Dean Sargent said. "You will find a sophisticated advanced curriculum that will prepare you for practice in transactional law or in litigation, in a big firm or a small one, in a DA's office or a public defender's, in a federal agency in Washington or a general counsel's office in a large corporation, in an office on Main Street, U.S.A., or in a multinational firm in Paris or Dubai. You will find Villanova graduates in all those places. We take pride in knowing that Villanova Law prepares our students splendidly for any legal career they choose to pursue."

Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law


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