Student Leader Helps Create Change for Law School Community

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From the moment she first arrived at Villanova Law, Meghan Fleming ’24 has been determined to make a positive impact on the law school community.

“Since arriving on campus, I have found a strong sense of community among my peers from so many different walks of life,” said Fleming. “But I saw gaps in what law students need outside the classroom, and I knew I wanted to get involved and make an impact that the next generation of law students could recognize.”

Raised in the Philadelphia suburbs, Fleming’s law school aspirations began at a young age, inspired by her father—a lawyer who received his undergraduate degree at Villanova. Her desire solidified when she helped start a mock trial team at her high school.

With a plan to attend law school immediately after completing her undergraduate degree, her top choice was Villanova Law.

“Growing up in a Villanova house, I always dreamed of attending Villanova Law,” explained Fleming. “When I learned of all the externship and co-curricular offerings, I knew Villanova Law could give me everything I was looking for from my law school experience.”

To immerse herself in the Villanova Law community, Fleming pursued opportunities to get involved beyond the classroom. She is a legal writing teaching assistant and joined the Moot Court Board in her second year before being elected chairperson this past fall. With aspirations to improve law student well-being, she joined the executive board of the Student Mental Health Society and was selected as a 3L representative to join the Deans' Mental Health & Well-being Advisory Council.

Through her work with the society and the council, she has helped advocate for additional mental health resources offered by the law school. As a result, in partnership with the University Counseling Center, Villanova Law now has two onsite counselors available two days per week exclusively to law students. Previously, law students could only access counseling services elsewhere on campus.   

“Being able to offer dedicated counselors solely for law students is something I am very proud of,” said Fleming. “An initiative like this ensures we bridge the gap between University and Law School resources and show Villanova Law students that well-being and mental health is a top priority in our community.”

Nancy Whalen, director of student affairs and well-being at Villanova Law, recognizes Fleming's and the advisory council's tangible impact.

“Having our students engage in discussions about law student well-being and advocate for mental health resources is incredibly important,” said Whalen. “It takes effort from student leaders like Meghan, and I have no doubt that other law students will benefit for years to come.”

Now in her final semester at Villanova Law, Fleming will be an incoming associate attorney at the Philadelphia office of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC this fall. Besides aspiring to become a litigator, she also wants to continue supporting law students and advocating for mental health resources in the legal profession. 

“I have been fortunate to have some really great mentors through various Villanova Law alumni networks like the Villanova Law Women’s Network and alumni of the Moot Court Board,” said Fleming. “My goal as I enter the legal profession is to give back and offer the guidance given to me to the next generation of Villanova lawyers. I hope I can be more than a professional mentor but also a mental health advocate for students and professionals in our industry.”

Ready to begin her career, she’s grateful Villanova Law is part of her journey.

“My time here has offered me so much positive growth and development, personally and professionally,” said Fleming. “This has been a wonderful place to explore and find my passions within the legal profession, but it has also given me the space to learn how to advocate for myself and my peers. And, if a student four or five years from now benefits from change that my peers and I advocated for, that is exactly the legacy I hope to leave.”