Central to Villanova’s cutting-edge approach to legal education is The John F. Scarpa Center for Law and Entrepreneurship, which serves as the hub for the School’s cross-disciplinary programming, groundbreaking coursework and real-world learning opportunities. Under the auspices of the Center, new learning modules— focused on the intersection of business and law—were added to the School’s core curriculum for JD candidates. These courses are designed to immerse all Villanova students in the practical application of their law studies and better prepare them for today’s business-centric legal practice.
Vital hands-on experience is also offered through the Center’s Clinic for Law and Entrepreneurship, which provides legal services to start-up ventures and budding entrepreneurs and serves as a resource for the Law School, the University, and the Delaware Valley region. Working with full-time faculty, clinic students become a primary counselor to emerging businesses—advising on a diverse array of challenges common to launching, operating and growing sustainable ventures. While contributing to the Greater Philadelphia entrepreneurial ecosystem, students are empowering local innovators to turn their dreams into realities.
Interim Director, The John F. Scarpa Center for Law and Entrepreneurship
Sara Lee Keller has held numerous leadership positions in business and law, including General Counsel of GMTO Corporation and Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Clear Channel and Associate General Counsel at GE Capital. A member of the Villanova Law Board of Consultors, Keller will help lead the Center into its next phase.
Villanova’s WHERE LAW MEETS BUSINESS philosophy comes to life with two required and credit-bearing courses that broaden your business knowledge and prepare you for today’s fast-paced marketplace. We worked with industry experts and leading law firms to design innovative courses that directly align with the demands of professional practice:
Joseph Del Raso Financial Literacy for Lawyers (1L)
Crafted and presented in consultation with business and financial leaders, including Reuben Advani of BarBri, this module introduces law students to critical business and finance concepts. Beyond learning to read a financial statement, this course allows students to exercise creative problem solving, strategic thinking and professional judgment, and learn to work effectively with colleagues and senior attorneys. Students put these new concepts into practice as they work through real-life legal scenarios—the purchase of income-producing real estate and the sale and purchase of a business—to identify and better understand the business and financial issues faced by practicing lawyers.
In its inaugural year (2013), lecturers included Joseph Del Raso ’83 and James Jumper, of Pepper Hamilton; Stanley Milavec, Judy Wang Mayer ’07 and Doug Coopersmith ’74, of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney; Michael Trachtman ’74 and Eric Wilenzik, of Powell Trachtman; and Samuel Becker ’78 and Kevin Baum ’97, of Blank Rome.
Business Aspects of Law (2L)
As the legal industry continues to evolve, understanding the business of practicing law has never been more important. The structure, personnel and economics of a law firm, and how to properly manage legal projects are all topics that today’s legal graduates must understand to be successful. This week-long course offers real-world lessons in the business of practicing law.
Designed in consultation with legal management leaders with coursework tailored to what graduates need to know, this dynamic module covers topics such as legal management structures, ranging from the sole practitioner to large international firms; law firm personnel and their roles; revenue generation and overhead; and resource management for legal projects.
In its inaugural year, lecturers included Tony Licata of Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, Colleen Nihill ’01, of Dechert LLP; Arthur Greenberg of Goodwin Procter LLP; Amy Schuh ’98 of Merck & Co.; Meredith Carter ’06 of Rembrandt IP Management; and Steve Sugarman of Steven L. Sugarman & Associates.
The Clinic for Law and Entrepreneurship provides students with valuable hands-on learning experiences in entrepreneurial law. Working with full-time faculty, you will become a primary counselor to emerging businesses —advising on business-related, transactional matters such as corporate formation, intellectual property, contracts and more. Students’ clinical work also serves as a vital community resource, empowering local innovators to turn their dreams into realities.
Director of the Clinic for Law and Entrepreneurship
Melanie McMenamin joined Villanova University School of Law as Director of the Clinic for Law and Entrepreneurship in June 2014. McMenamin was previously the Clinical Supervisor and lecturer of the Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic at University of Pennsylvania Law School. Prior to her role at Penn, she was an associate in the Real Estate Finance Group at Dechert, LLP. She received her BS/BA cum laude from Georgetown University, and her JD cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she was elected to the Order of the Coif and was a member of the Journal of Law and Social Change as well as a Legal Writing Instructor.
Getting Started/Legal Documents
September 8, 2015:
Villanova University School of Law will host a special dedication event for the John F. Scarpa Center for Law and Entrepreneurship on September 8 at 12:00 p.m. The event’s featured speaker is Joe Plumeri, Vice Chairman of the First Data Board of Directors and former Chairman/CEO of Willis Group Holdings. Plumeri—a renowned business leader and philanthropist—is known for his ability to transform the way companies think and operate. His inspirational speeches have moved thousands and his 2011 Commencement Address at the College of William and Mary was named among “The Best Commencement Speeches, Ever” by NPR. Based on his book, The Power of Being Yourself, Plumeri’s lecture will offer guidance on how to stay positive, motivate yourself and others and achieve success in life work. Read more
The John F. Scarpa Center for Law and Entrepreneurship presents the second annual conference on Current Topics in Life Sciences Law, Regulation and Business on Thursday, June 11 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. This year’s featured speaker, Zane Memeger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, will discuss “Healthcare Fraud Enforcement & Business Compliance.” Read more
November 20, 2014:
Villanova University School of Law’s Center for Law, Entrepreneurship and Innovation will host a lecture on venture capital—the second event of its Financing Growth Business Lecture Series—on Thursday, Nov. 20 at 12 p.m. in Room 102. Three panelists from local venture capital firm, Safeguard Scientifics, will discuss the negotiation dynamics between venture capitalists and entrepreneurs that drive the terms and structure of VC financings of growing businesses. As one of the pioneering venture firms, Safeguard made early investments in companies like Comcast, QVC and Novell, and has completed more than 100 M&A transactions and more than 20 initial public offerings (IPOs). Read more
October 23, 2014:
Villanova University School of Law’s Center for Law, Entrepreneurship and Innovation will host a lecture on Crowdfunding on October 23. Crowdfunding— Internet-based financing that involves ordinary investors— is changing the way entrepreneurs raise capital for their growing businesses. Join us for an interactive session with legal expert Yoel Kranz as he discusses the various ways to raise money that are permissible under current rules, and what may be coming soon. Read more
June 12, 2014:
Villanova University School of Law’s Center for Law, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, in partnership with Thomson Reuters, will present a special one-day forum on Current Topics in Life Sciences Law, Regulation and Business Development on June 12 at the Law School. Helmed by a faculty of professional thought leaders, this conference will create a formal venue for legal, compliance and business development professionals to discuss important topics affecting the Life Sciences sector in 2014 and beyond. Intended to showcase the vibrant Life Sciences sector of the greater Philadelphia/New Jersey region, this industry-focused summit offers ample networking opportunities for business and legal professionals to engage, communicate and connect. This program has been approved for 3.5 CLE credits. Read more
March 25, 2014:
Villanova University School of Law’s Center for Law, Entrepreneurship and Innovation is hosting a lecture entitled “Becoming the Entrepreneur of Your Own Career.” The event will be held on Thursday, March 25 in Law School Room 102. Join us for an interactive session with longtime entrepreneur and philanthropist, Dr. Richard Caruso, who will discuss his 35 years of experience in the entrepreneurial field. Read more
February 13, 2014:
Villanova University School of Law’s Center for Law, Entrepreneurship and Innovation is hosting a lecture entitled “How the Nation’s Largest Catholic Healthcare System Invests in Innovation” on Thursday, February 13 from noon to 1 p.m. in Room 203. Join us for an interactive session with seasoned venture capitalist, Matt Hermann, who will discuss his experiences in a field where medical innovation intersects with the venture capital market and the Catholic healing mission. Read more
January 21, 2014:
Villanova University School of Law announces significant changes for the law school in 2014 that radically transform the curriculum to provide students with both the academic and practical skills needed to succeed in today’s highly competitive market, and that make law school more affordable by implementing a new “Innovation Scholars” program for academically eligible students. Read more
June 12, 2013:
Villanova University School of Law Professor Michael Risch was quoted in a Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog post about President Barack Obama’s plan to take executive action against so-called “patent trolls.” An intellectual property expert, Professor Risch has written extensively on the topic with his article, “Patent Troll Myths,” cited often. Read more