Center for Law, Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Villanova School of Law Center for Law, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation

About the Center

Today’s lawyers often practice more than just law. They are business consultants. Problem solvers.  Financial strategists.  That’s why at Villanova University School of Law, we’re pushing the boundaries of traditional legal instruction and infusing vital business coursework into every student’s education. Whether you’re pursuing corporate, criminal or public interest practice, Villanova will prepare you to become the kind of lawyer the market demands.

Our new Center for Law, Entrepreneurship and Innovation embodies this philosophy. It’s a hub for cross-disciplinary programming, groundbreaking coursework and real-world learning opportunities.  It’s an incubator for creativity and collaboration. This is where entrepreneurs come to get legal help to launch new businesses. This is where you will engage with experts on front-page issues. This is where faculty scholars will train you to be practice ready in today’s fast-paced, interconnected world.

This is where law meets business.


From the Director

Welcome to the Center for Law, Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Villanova University School of Law.  It is my great privilege to serve as the inaugural Director of the Center. As a practicing attorney for more than 25 years, I look forward to working with Villanova students, legal practitioners and entrepreneur during this exciting and innovative time. I am grateful for the generous gift of Charles Widger ’73, founder and executive chairman of Brinker Capital, and his wife, Barbara, which provided initial funding for this Center. 

Whether interested in corporate, criminal or public interest law, legal graduates of the 21st-century must have a more sophisticated, hands-on approach to both the legal industry and to the business practices of their future clients. At Villanova, we are introducing curricular innovations and new programming that infuse these vital business principles into the core of legal education. 

I invite you to learn more about the Center and its programs throughout this page. I look forward to meeting you at the Center, electronically or in person.


Rufus King
Director, Center for Law, Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Villanova University School of Law


Curricular Innovations

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.


Clinic for Law and Entrepreneurship

Launching Spring 2015

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.




Rufus King

Rufus King, Director

Rufus King is the inaugural Director of the Center for Law, Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Villanova University School of Law. King is also a Lecturer in Law at Villanova, teaching the Business Aspects of Law module.

Prior to his appointment in 2013, King was an equity partner in the Private Investment Funds Group at Goodwin Procter LLP in Boston, where he represented a broad range of finance clients, including venture capital and other private equity funds. He also advised high-tech companies, from inception through initial public offerings and public-to-public mergers. King was previously a Partner and Chief Financial Officer at Testa, Hurwitz & Thibeault in Boston. 

King received his AB, summa cum laude, from Dartmouth College, his BPhil from the University of Oxford, and his JD cum laude from Harvard Law School. He has been a frequent lecturer on private equity and venture capital funds, including at Harvard, Dartmouth and MIT. 


Melanie McMenamin, 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. 



June 12, 2014:

Conference on Current Topics in Life Sciences Law, Regulation and Business Development

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:

Becoming the Entrepreneur of Your Own Career

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:

Venture Capital – The Catholic Healthcare Way

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 Major Curricular Innovations and Full-Tuition Scholarship Program

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:

Professor Michael Risch Quoted in Wall Street Journal Blog

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


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Contact Us

Center for Law, Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Villanova University School of Law
Room 328
299 North Spring Mill Road
Villanova, PA 19085 USA

Tel.: 610-519-6471
Fax: 610-519-5672