Focus Areas of Study

    In addition to the courses required for graduation, the Law School offers numerous courses that students may elect to satisfy the credit requirements for graduation.  Lawyers, of course, may do different things.  Criminal defense lawyers and prosecutors, for example, focus on different issues than corporate or family law practitioners. The same is true of patent lawyers, environmental lawyers, securities law lawyers, tax lawyers, and so on.  A student cannot take courses covering every potential legal practice area.  Moreover, students may not settle into a particular practice area until after graduation. T he reality of legal practice is that, with a solid and diverse legal education, one can learn and become an expert through experience and post-law school study even without having taken courses covering a specific area of specialization.

    Nonetheless, many students have a focus on one or more identifiable subject areas during law school and want to take courses that may help them strengthen their basis of knowledge and skills in these areas.  Accordingly, the faculty prepared guides to certain focus areas of study that identify the courses with the most direct relevance to specific practice fields.  You are invited to use these guides as a starting point in planning your course of study for your second and third years at Villanova Law School.

    It bears repeating, however, that you may become a lawyer who handles or specializes in a particular subject matter area even if you did not take any related law school elective.  You are strongly encouraged to follow your own diverse interests in all areas of the law, theoretical, substantive and practical.  Law school should provide you with the skills to solve legal problems through finding the relevant information and analyzing that information to answer any question you confront.  You can gain these skills in a great variety of courses.  These focus area guides are intended merely to bring certain courses to your attention and aid you in understanding the types of information and skills attorneys in various practice areas may wish to have.  You should not feel as though you must take every course listed on a particular guide in order to be prepared to practice in that area.  These course guides are not intended as requirements but rather suggestions.