Today’s lawyers practice more than just law. They often serve their clients as business consultants, problem solvers and financial strategists. In turn, recruiters are looking for legal professionals who can read a financial statement as well as they can write an opening statement. That is exactly the kind of lawyer Villanova University School of Law is producing.
Villanova Law is revolutionizing legal education by pushing the boundaries of traditional instruction and infusing vital business coursework into every student’s education. Whether you pursue corporate, criminal or public interest practice, Villanova will prepare you to become the kind of lawyer the market demands.
“Firms and institutions want attorneys who can hit the ground running,” says John Y. Gotanda, the Arthur J. Kania Dean of Villanova University School of Law. “Our efforts are designed to provide students with the skills they need to practice on day one and throughout their careers.”
These efforts are bearing fruit. Under the auspices of the Center for Law, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Villanova Law implemented two learning modules that integrate business skills into the curriculum. The Joseph Del Raso Business and Financial Literacy for Lawyers course introduces students to the must-know business and financial principles that come into play in current legal practice. Students apply what they learn to real-life scenarios and get feedback from attorneys.
In the Business Aspects of Law course, second- and third-year students learn that law is not just a profession, it is a business. The sooner lawyers grasp the nuts and bolts of legal practice, from revenue generation to project management, the more likely they will be to succeed, make informed career choices and satisfy clients who put a premium on efficiency.
“The new program at Villanova hits the mark,” says Colleen Nihill ’01, chief administrative officer at Dechert LLP and a lecturer at the Law School. “Now more than ever, students need to be prepared to understand the business of law so they can better serve their clients and launch a successful career path inside a law firm, whatever the size might be. I only wish they had had a program like this when I attended VLS!”