The Clinic for Law and Entrepreneurship (CFLE) is a clinical law program that provides pro bono legal representation to entrepreneurs, small businesses, and social ventures. CFLE supports the Philadelphia region's diverse entrepreneurial community in creating and sustaining endeavors that address unsolved problems and unmet needs, and promote job creation and human flourishing.
CFLE provides upper-level law students with an immersive experience in the role of counselor to for-profit and non-profit enterprises, giving students an opportunity to practice and reflect on the concepts, competencies, attitudes and perspectives that bear on counseling business clients. CFLE invites students to consider both the creative possibilities of lawyering, and the business, ethical and other contextual considerations that inform the lawyer’s role.
We award a preference in client selection to ventures that align with Villanova University's mission to: provide a public service to the community, better the human condition, create a more sustainable world, show concern for the poor and foster responsible stewardship for the environment.
In concert with The John F. Scarpa Center for Law and Entrepreneurship, CFLE advances Villanova Law’s commitment to educate lawyers who understand both the business of law and the needs of business clients. CFLE was founded in 2014 with a generous grant from Charles Widger ’73, Founder and Executive Chairman of Brinker Capital, and his wife, Barbara.
Melanie M. McMenamin
Melanie became the inaugural director of Villanova’s Clinic for Law and Entrepreneurship in July of 2014. She came to Villanova from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where for five years she acted as the Clinical Supervisor and Lecturer in Penn’s Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic. While there, Melanie co-managed the clinic, supervising students to provide pro bono transactional legal services to for-profit and non-profit ventures. Prior to Penn, she was an associate in the Real Estate Finance Group at Dechert, LLP. She received her undergraduate degree in International Business from Georgetown University, and her JD from University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she was elected to the Order of the Coif and was an editor of the Journal of Law and Social Change and a Legal Writing Instructor.