FOCUS AREAS OF STUDY

Law is a diverse profession with many different specialty areas and settings in which individuals may practice. While enrolled in law school, students are encouraged to explore and to follow their own diverse interests in the law through coursework, clinical experiences and externship placements. Many students choose to focus on one or more specialty areas, enrolling in courses that help strengthen their basis of knowledge and hone the skills necessary for practice.  

The below guides describe specific practice fields and identify the courses most relevant to those fields. Students may use the guides as a starting point in planning their courses of study at Villanova Law:

Business and Transactional Practice is an umbrella term that encompasses several areas of law in which attorneys assist clients in solving business issues. These areas include corporate governance, securities regulation, mergers and acquisitions, investment management, bankruptcy, hedge funds, venture capital and corporate compliance. These lawyers practice in and serve a variety of industries, including finance, healthcare, communications, entertainment and nonprofit, to name a few.

Instead of litigating cases, attorneys in this field assist their clients in achieving their business goals by drafting and reviewing contracts; negotiating the financing, acquisition or sale of companies; incorporating or restructuring organizations; and preparing required disclosure documents.

Reflective of our Where Law Meets Business approach, Villanova Law’s programs infuse vital business principles, professional skills, ethical training and practical experiences into each student’s education. The School’s John F. Scarpa Center for Law and Entrepreneurship serves as the hub for cross-disciplinary programming and innovative coursework. Our required business modules introduce all first and second-year students to key financial concepts, including financial statements, valuation and the economics of law firms. The rigorous Duane Morris LLP Legal Writing program provides a strong foundation and offers an upper-level transactional course in which students learn to draft the documents needed to represent clients in typical business settings. Students pursuing this practice area also have the opportunity to gain hands-on legal experience in the Clinic for Law and Entrepreneurship, which regularly handles business-related cases.

Those interested in a more intensive experience in this field may pursue the Business Law Concentration or a JD/MBA offered in partnership with the Villanova School of Business. Through the concentration, students gain an even stronger foundation in business law with required coursework in business organizations, corporate finance, securities regulation, accounting, federal taxation and business tax. Those enrolled in the Reza Taleghani JD/MBA program concurrently pursue advanced degrees in both law and business, typically graduating within three years with both degrees.

Villanova Law is ideally located just short drive or train ride from Philadelphia and Delaware, each home to major corporations and firms specializing in Business Law. Students are encouraged to pursue an externship in the field and may seek placements in a variety of practice settings, including in corporations and law firms (see below for a list of recent placements). Externships are supervised by both an on-site field instructor and a full-time faculty member who works closely with each student to monitor progress and to ensure overall professional development.

 

Clinics & Externships

  • Federal Tax Clinic
  • ARRIS
  • Consumer Bankruptcy Assistance Project
  • Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
  • FisherZucker
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Hamilton Lane
  • Louis Vuitton
  • Pepper Hamilton
  • Pennsylvania Attorney General (Consumer Protection)
  • Saint Gobain
  • UGI Corporation-Amerigas
  • Wawa

Criminal Law is a broad area of practice and study. It includes the investigation and prosecution of criminal cases, the representation of individuals and corporations suspected or accused of crimes as well as those who have been victimized by others, and policy work surrounding the criminal justice system. Practicing criminal lawyers work in offices of the U.S. Department of Justice, state attorneys general, local district attorneys, public defenders, and private firms. They lead investigations; interview, counsel and prepare witnesses; draft motions; try cases before judges and juries; and argue cases on appeal. Those involved in policy work may advocate for victims’ rights, prisoners’ rights, and lobby for changes in legislation and procedure. Even attorneys who do not practice criminal law need an understanding of this area, as their clients may need guidance or a referral to someone who specializes in this area.

Villanova Law offers numerous courses related to Criminal Law, including the Criminal Law course in the first semester and a first-year elective in Criminal Procedure: Investigation. As the practice of Criminal Law involves both trial and appellate practice, students interested in this field should enroll in courses designed to develop and hone those skills.

Upper-level courses develop a student’s understanding of the more complex issues of substance and procedure that arise in criminal cases and investigations. In the annual Villanova Sentencing Workshop, students, sitting Pennsylvania Common Pleas judges, members of the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole and prosecution and defense attorneys discuss the complexities of real-life criminal sentencing and sentencing policy through the lens of pre-screened and redacted actual cases.

The School is also home to the Villanova Law Institute to Address Commercial Sexual Exploitation, which educates and provides technical assistance to policy makers, law enforcement officials and others who respond to commercial sexual exploitation in Pennsylvania, as well as throughout the United States and beyond, to promote victim-centered, trauma-informed multidisciplinary collaboration.

Students interested in this area are also encouraged to pursue an externship in the field. A hallmark of Villanova’s educational experience, our externship program offers placements throughout the criminal justice system. Externships are supervised by both an on-site field instructor and a full-time faculty member who works closely with each student to monitor progress and to ensure overall professional development.

 

Externships

  • Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Bucks County District Attorney's Office
  • Bucks County Public Defender
  • Chester County District Attorney's Office
  • Criminal Justice Center
  • Defender Association of Philadelphia
  • Delaware County District Attorney's Office
  • Judicial Externships
  • Montgomery County District Attorney's Office
  • Montgomery County Juvenile Justice
  • Montgomery County Office of the Public Defender
  • Pennsylvania Innocence Project
  • Philadelphia District Attorney's Office
  • Philadelphia District Attorney's Office (Trial Division)
  • U.S. Department of Justice

Employment and Labor Law relate to all aspects of the relationship between employees, unions and employers. Labor Law deals with unions and the concerted activity of non-union employees to collectively advocate for their rights. Employment law encompasses all other employee-related matters, including hiring, wages, hours, working conditions, discrimination and unemployment, among others.  

Employment and Labor Law are fundamentally about human relationships—how people work together, supervise each other and interact in the workplace. Attorneys practicing in the areas of Employment and Labor Law may execute a wide-range of tasks—litigating cases; drafting contracts, severance agreements and employee policies; counseling employers or employees; and investigating HR-related complaints.

Villanova Law offers a number of courses related to the practice of Employment and Labor Law. Students pursuing these fields have the opportunity to gain hands-on legal experience in the Farmworkers Legal Aid Clinic, which regularly handles employment-related matters. Cases have included worker’s compensation, unemployment, sex discrimination, harassment, wages and hours and working conditions. Additionally, the Clinic for Law and Entrepreneurship assists start-ups with a variety of legal issues, including employee policies and non-compete clauses.

Students interested in these areas are also encouraged to pursue an externship in the field. A hallmark of Villanova’s educational experience, our externship program offers placements in a variety of practice settings, including in government, at law firms and with non-profit organizations (see below for a list of recent placements). Externships are supervised by both an on-site field instructor and a full-time faculty member who works closely with each student to monitor progress and to ensure overall professional development.

 

Externships

  • Corporate Legal Departments (e.g. GlaxoSmithKline, Saint Gobain, UGI, Wawa)
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Obermayer, Rebman, Maxwell & Hippel, LLP
  • U.S. Department of Labor

Environmental Law focuses on laws such as the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act that protect human health and the environment. Energy Law involves a variety of laws—ranging from federal energy policy statutes to local land use regulations—that govern energy production, distribution, and use.  Attorneys practicing environmental or energy law engage in a variety of tasks, including litigating cases, advising clients, managing complex permit requests or enforcing regulations for local, regional or national government agencies. Environmental and Energy lawyers are often charged with managing complex and multifaceted projects, such as construction of a renewable energy project on property contaminated from a previous industrial use. Attorneys regularly collaborate with professionals beyond the legal field, partnering with colleagues in finance, ecology and engineering to find creative and innovative solutions to complex issues.

Villanova’s program offers students a distinctive problem-based format and practice-based focus to learning Environmental and Energy Law that allows students to explore and gain a better understanding of the field, while preparing them with the skills and knowledge to succeed in practice. Students in the introductory Environmental Law course and Energy Law course learn the material through a series of problems similar to those an attorney would encounter in practice. Environmental Lawyering is a simulation-based course in which students follow a hypothetical case through the entire semester as the professor injects various obstacles and legal situations often encountered in practice.

Students interested in Environmental Law are encouraged to pursue an externship in the field. A hallmark of Villanova’s educational experience, our externship program offers placements in a variety of practice settings, including in government, at law firms and with non-profit organizations (see below for a list of recent placements). Externships are supervised by both an on-site field instructor and a full-time faculty member who works closely with each student to monitor progress and to ensure overall professional development.

The Villanova Environmental Law Journal is a national legal publication dedicated to the scholarly review of environmentally related topics. The Environmental Law Journal is published two times per year in the Winter and the Summer by a staff of student editors and writers who have been invited to join the Environmental Law Journal based on their performance in an open-writing competition.

 

Externships

  • Clean Air Council
  • Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance
  • Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Lieberman & Blecher
  • French and Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust

Family Law focuses on all matters related to traditional and non-traditional familial relations, including marriage, divorce, adoption, parental rights, custody and issues of child neglect or abuse. It is a complex, yet rewarding area in which lawyers help ordinary people resolve legal issues that are often emotionally charged and deeply personal.

Attorneys practicing Family Law require knowledge of a wide range of legal skills, including litigation; alternative dispute resolution (arbitration, mediation, negotiation); client interviewing and counseling; and writing and drafting agreements.

Villanova Law offers numerous critical skills courses relevant to the practice of Family Law, covering areas such as transactional legal writing, alternative dispute resolution and litigation. Most notable is our rigorous Duane Morris LLP Legal Writing Program, which offers upper-level transactional writing courses that train students to draft the agreements frequently encountered in practice. Our strong professional skills program prepares graduates to effectively interview and counsel clients, negotiate on their behalf and represent them in court. Those interested in Family Law are also encouraged to enroll in the Civil Justice Clinic, in which students represent low-income clients in a range of civil disputes under the supervision of a full-time faculty member. Clinic students regularly represent parents and other parties in custody matters, support, paternity and other related legal issues.

Students interested in this area may also pursue an externship in the field. A hallmark of Villanova’s educational experience, our externship program offers placements in a variety of practice settings, including corporate, government, and nonprofit (see below for a list of recent placements). Externships are supervised by both an on-site field instructor and a full-time faculty member who works closely with each student to monitor progress and to ensure overall professional development.

 

Externships

  • The Bardsley Group (mediation)
  • Philadelphia Defender Association—Child Advocacy Unit
  • Education Law Center
  • Juvenile Law Center
  • Montgomery County Juvenile Justice

Lawyers in government practice help to write and enforce laws and regulations at the federal, state and local level. It is a diverse field that intersects with many other legal areas, including employment, environmental, energy, health care, intellectual property, tax, drugs and bioethics.

Those working in government practice are often employed by administrative agencies, such as the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They may engage in various legal work, including implementing statutory law or administrative regulations; litigating cases in court or before administrative law judges; lobbying on behalf of agencies or private clients; and counseling clients on their dealings with administrative agencies. Opportunities in government practice are concentrated in Washington, DC, and in the state capitals, though practitioners may work at the local level or in regional offices of federal and state agencies as well.

Villanova Law offers a number of courses related to government practice. Students interested in this area are encouraged to pursue an externship in the field. Our School’s location allows students to participate in placements in downtown Philadelphia (12 miles), Harrisburg (100 miles), or Washington, D.C. (135 miles). A hallmark of Villanova’s educational experience, our externship program offers placements in a variety of practice settings, including corporate, government, and nonprofit (see below for a list of recent placements). Externships are supervised by both an on-site field instructor and a full-time faculty member who works closely with each student to monitor progress and to ensure overall professional development.

 

Clinics & Externships

  • Civil Justice Clinic
  • Clinic for Asylum, Refugee and Emigrant Services (CARES)
  • Farmworker Legal Aid Clinic
  • Federal Tax Clinic
  • Education Law Center 
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 
  • Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
  • Internal Revenue Service
  • New Jersey Office of the Attorney General
  • Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office
  • Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
  • Pennsylvania Supreme Court—Office of Disciplinary Counsel 
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 
  • U.S. Department of Labor
  • U.S. Department of Justice
  • U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
  • U.S. Social Security Administration

Health Law is a wide-ranging practice area that relates to laws and regulations that govern the vast health care industry, which accounts for nearly a fifth of the U.S. economy. Attorneys practicing in this field may engage in either litigation or transactional work.

Examples of health law litigation include health care fraud and abuse prosecution and defense, malpractice actions, antitrust challenges, insurance coverage actions, and tax-exemption disputes.  Litigators also participate in administrative hearings on behalf of health care insurers, providers, consumers or government agencies.  

Transactional health lawyers may advise and assist clients in structuring agreements and establishing policies that minimize the client’s risk of compliance violations. They also work with the legislative and executive branches of government, or interested private parties and organizations to draft, advocate for and implement rules governing licensure, payment, quality of care, patient rights and access to services.

Villanova Law’s Health Law program provides students with a practical understanding of legal regulation of the health care industry. Students can take advantage of numerous learning opportunities in the classroom, in a clinical setting and through externship placements. Health Law is one of three practice areas for which Villanova offers a JD concentration. This intensive course of study allows students to show the breadth and depth of their Health Law experience.

A highlight of our offerings is the Interdisciplinary Mental and Physical Health Law Clinic, in which law students and graduate nursing students work collaboratively to assist low-income clients to understand and assert their rights within the health care system, and to access necessary treatment. In this litigation-based clinic, students represent clients who are fighting for disability benefits, seeking to assist with surrogate decision-making, or fighting a denial of coverage by a commercial, insurer, Medicare, or Medicaid.

Students may also pursue an externship in the field. A hallmark of Villanova’s educational experience, our externship program offers placements in a variety of practice settings, including corporate, government, and nonprofit (see below for a list of recent placements). Externships are supervised by both an on-site field instructor and a full-time faculty member who works closely with each student to monitor progress and to ensure overall professional development.

 

Clinics & Externships

  • Farmworker Legal Aid Clinic
  • Capital Health System
  • Community-Based Care
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Medical-Legal Community Partnership
  • Philadelphia Legal Assistance
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Warren & McGraw, LLC 

Intellectual Property (IP) Law focuses on the study of legal rights to intangible assets, intangible creations and products of the mind. New advancements in the Internet, virtual reality and other technologies make this an exciting time to study this ever-changing field.

Intellectual Property encompasses four primary sub-fields: trade secrets, patents, copyrights and trademarks. In each of these areas, the goal of an IP lawyer is to help clients protect their new ideas and implement products and services in a way that they do not run afoul of the IP owned by others. Attorneys practicing in this field work in various areas, including litigation, licensing, clearance, transactions and acquisition. Individuals of all academic backgrounds can pursue IP, though some of the work in patents typically requires a science or engineering degree.

Villanova Law’s comprehensive IP program offers students numerous learning opportunities in the classroom, in the Clinic for Law and Entrepreneurship and through externship placements in corporate, judicial, governmental and nonprofit settings. Intellectual Property is one of three practice areas for which Villanova offers a JD concentration. This intensive course of study allows students to show their breadth and depth of their IP experience.

Our campus is advantageously located just 30 minutes from Delaware, where many of the nation’s largest companies are incorporated. Recent changes to the law mandate that plaintiffs must sue companies in the state of incorporation, resulting in nearly 30% of the nation’s patent cases being adjudicated in Delaware. Many Villanova students have secured placements with firms or judges in Delaware, providing an immersive experience at the cutting edge of the field (see below for a list of recent placements). Externships are supervised by both an on-site field instructor and a full-time faculty member who works closely with each student to monitor progress and to ensure overall professional development.

 

Externships

  • ARRIS
  • Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts
  • Judicial Externships in the District of Delaware

In this increasingly globalized world, it is crucial for today’s lawyers to understand issues that arise under international law, as well as the procedures that lawyers must follow when representing international clients. International Law governs relationships between nations and public and private relationships across international borders. In contrast, Comparative Law focuses on similarities and differences between the legal systems of different countries. Attorneys practicing International Law work in various fields and typically specialize in either transactional or litigation work. Those working in Public International Law deal with matters of public rights, including immigration law, the law of war, law of diplomatic relations and human rights. Private International lawyers represent their clients in business contexts, focusing their work in areas such as contracts, taxation, business transactions, trade and arbitration.

Villanova Law offers several international study options, international and comparative law courses and practical opportunities to observe and assist in international practice. Students may choose to enroll in the JD/LLM International Studies, which offers the opportunity to earn both a Villanova Law JD and an LLM or MRes (Master’s Degree in Law) from a host school abroad. Partner schools include the University of Edinburgh School of Law (Scotland); Leiden Law School (The Netherlands); Birkbeck School of Law (England); National University of Singapore Faculty of Law (Singapore); and City University of Hong Kong School of Law (China). Students may also study abroad during the summer or semester, with approval of the Law School.

The Law School offers first-year students two unique opportunities to study international law – the Legal Writing II International Advocacy course and Public International Law. Those interested in practical experience may enroll in the Clinic for Asylum, Refugee and Emigrant Services or the Farmworker Legal Aid Clinic, both of which regularly represent clients in asylum or immigration cases.

Villanova students also have the opportunity to pursue internationally-based externships. A hallmark of our educational experience, the Villanova Law externship program offers placements in a variety of practice settings, including corporate, government, and nonprofit (see below for a list of recent placements). Externships are supervised by both an on-site field instructor and a full-time faculty member who works closely with each student to monitor progress and to ensure overall professional development.

 

Externships

  • Philadelphia Bar Association—Summer Externship in Lyon France
  • Ad Hoc Externships Abroad (Summer Semester)

Attorneys may encounter issues related to religion and philosophy while practicing in various areas, including civil rights litigation, government practice, healthcare and public interest, or while working for a non-government organization.  Those interested in furthering their knowledge of law, religion and philosophy will find at Villanova Law a lively communal environment where—in the Augustinian Catholic tradition of which our University is a part—students and teachers work together as a community of scholars. Our programs invite critical engagement from the widest range of perspectives.  The School is home to the Eleanor H. McCullen Center for Law, Religion and Public Policy, which builds upon the institution’s mission to create new academic programming focused on advocacy, law and religion. The Center hosts conferences and symposiums, including the annual Joseph T. McCullen Jr. Symposium on Catholic Social Thought and Law.

Several related courses are offered at Villanova, including the first-year elective Justice and Rights. Students participating in the Clinic for Asylum, Refugee and Emigrant Services gain hands-on experience as they represent refugees who have fled human rights abuses, such religious or political persecution, under the guidance of a full-time faculty member. Villanova’s other clinics advocate for and provide free legal assistance to low-income individuals and other vulnerable populations.

Students may also pursue an externship with related organizations. A hallmark of Villanova’s educational experience, our externship program offers placements in a variety of practice settings, including corporate, government, and nonprofit (see below for a list of recent placements). Externships are supervised by both an on-site field instructor and a full-time faculty member who works closely with each student to monitor progress and to ensure overall professional development.

 

Externships

  • ACLU of Pennsylvania
  • Pennsylvania Innocence Project

Litigators represent clients in the adversarial resolution of legal disputes in a court or through alternative dispute resolution methods including mediation, negotiation or arbitration. Litigators can be found in most legal specialties and often concentrate in a particular area, such as corporate, health, employment and labor, family or criminal law.  Litigators may handle a wide range of criminal or civil cases. As part of their work, they often lead investigations; interview, counsel and prepare witnesses; draft motion briefs; present cases in court; and brief and argue cases on appeal.

Villanova Law offers numerous courses—both procedure and practice-based—that develop and hone the knowledge and skills needed to be an effective litigator. In the School’s trial advocacy courses, students learn how to execute a trial strategy by conducting crisp and compelling witness examinations, handling exhibits with precision and confidence, and delivering clear and persuasive arguments. Upper-level legal writing courses focus on areas such as appellate advocacy and pretrial motion practice.  Additional classes focus on key substantive topics, such as damages or expert witnesses, and important skills such as interviewing, counseling, and negotiation.

Numerous hands-on experiences are available through Villanova Law’s litigation-based clinicsCivil Justice ClinicClinic for Asylum, Refugee and Emigrant ServicesFarmworker Legal Aid ClinicFederal Tax Clinic and Interdisciplinary Mental and Physical Health Law Clinic—in which students, under the supervision of a full-time faculty member, represent real clients in court or before administrative agencies. A hallowed Villanova Law tradition, the annual intra-school Theodore L. Reimel ’24 CLAS Moot Court Competition fosters student development in written and oral advocacy through simulated appellate argument.

Students interested in this area may also pursue an externship in the field. A hallmark of Villanova’s educational experience, our externship program offers placements in a variety of practice settings, including corporate, government, and nonprofit (see below for a list of recent placements). Externships are supervised by both an on-site field instructor and a full-time faculty member who works closely with each student to monitor progress and to ensure overall professional development.

 

Externships

  • Defenders’ Association of Philadelphia
  • Delaware Department of Justice
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
  • Judicial Externships
  • U.S. Attorney’s Office
  • U.S. Department of Justice
  • U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Public interest attorneys work to advance public causes, such as environmental protection or criminal justice reform, or to provide vital access to justice through representation of individuals who otherwise cannot afford a lawyer. Public interest work spans various areas of civil and criminal legal practice, including health law, family law, consumer protection, employment law and criminal defense, among many others. Attorneys practicing in the field may provide direct litigation or transactional-based representation to individuals or community groups; engage in research or policy work; or participate in legislative advocacy.

The focus of study to prepare for a career in public interest depends on one’s area of interest.  For example, someone interested in pursuing a career representing indigent clients seeking government health care benefits might take courses in health law and administrative law in addition to coursework generally oriented toward public interest practice.  Many public interest attorneys end up playing a leadership role in a nonprofit organization, for which business law courses can be helpful.

Key to Villanova Law’s public interest offerings is a robust clinical program that focuses on assisting poor, disadvantaged and underrepresented populations. The six on-campus clinics—Civil Justice ClinicClinic for Asylum, Refugee and Emigrant ServicesClinic for Law and EntrepreneurshipFarmworker Legal Aid ClinicFederal Tax Clinic and Interdisciplinary Mental and Physical Health Law Clinic—provide students with vital practical experience while furthering the University’s mission as an Augustinian Catholic institution. Students directly represent clients under the supervision of full-time faculty members, negotiating with government agencies or private parties, litigating in court and in administrative hearings on their clients’ behalf, or representing entrepreneurs in transactional matters.

Students interested in public interest practice may also pursue an externship in the field. A hallmark of Villanova’s educational experience, our externship program offers placements in a variety of settings that are relevant to a public interest practice, including federal, state and local government and nonprofit organizations (see below for a list of recent placements). Externships are supervised by both an on-site field instructor and a full-time faculty member who works closely with each student to monitor progress and to ensure overall professional development.

 

Externships

  • ACLU of Pennsylvania
  • Capital Area Immigrant Rights Coalition
  • Community Legal Services of Philadelphia
  • Consumer Bankruptcy Assistance Project
  • Defender Association of Philadelphia
  • Earthjustice
  • Education Law Center Externship
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • HIAS PA
  • Homeless Advocacy Project
  • Juvenile Law Center
  • Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania 
  • Military Assistance Project
  • National Immigrant Justice Center
  • Pennsylvania Innocence Project
  • Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
  • Philadelphia District Attorney's Office
  • Philadelphia Legal Assistance
  • Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts
  • Senior Law Center
  • Supervision to Aid Reentry (STAR) Program (also known as Reentry Court)
  • The Humane Society of the United States
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Youth Sentencing and Reentry Project

Real Estate Law involves the purchase, sale, leasing and development of property for commercial and residential use. These transactions are often lengthy and complex, involving multiple parties, each with its own interest.  Attorneys are needed throughout the process to negotiate and draft contracts and leases, to navigate zoning ordinances, to obtain governmental approvals, to obtain financing and to manage the bidding procedure for construction projects. As the real estate industry crosses multiple disciplines, lawyers in this field regularly partner with professionals in finance, tax, architecture and engineering to find creative and innovative solutions to complex issues.

Villanova Law offers several courses related to practice of Real Estate Law. Students interested in pursuing a career in real estate need solid grounding in contracts, taxation, business organization, partnership law and estate planning. Knowledge of environmental law is also recommended.

Students interested in this area are also encouraged to pursue an externship in the field. A hallmark of Villanova’s educational experience, our externship program offers placements in a variety of practice settings, including corporate, government, and nonprofit (see below for a list of recent placements). Externships are supervised by both an on-site field instructor and a full-time faculty member who works closely with each student to monitor progress and to ensure overall professional development.

 

Clinics & Externships

  • Civil Justice Clinic
  • Alterra Property Group
  • Brandywine Realty Trust
  • Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzburg LLP
  • Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection

Sports and Entertainment Law are dynamic and diverse practice areas that encompass the representation of sports teams, entertainment companies, athletes, entertainers, universities, stadium managers and corporations that sponsor sporting and entertainment events. Both are among the most exclusive and competitive areas of legal practice.

Lawyers practicing in Sports and Entertainment Law regularly encounter a wide range of legal and business issues, including licensing, trademarks, copyright, endorsements, real estate, labor negotiations and regulatory compliance, among many others. These fields are rapidly evolving as a result of increasing globalization within the industry and the continual emergence of technologies such as entertainment streaming services and daily fantasy sports.

Villanova Law is home to The Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law, one of only a handful of centers in the U.S. dedicated to the study of sports law. Through rigorous coursework, scholarship, and externship opportunities, the Center’s programming prepares students for legal careers in amateur and professional sports. Its marquee event—the Jeffrey S. Moorad Sports Law Symposium—convenes industry insiders for an examination and discussion of the most relevant topics in sports law and business. Throughout the academic year, the Center also brings to campus noteworthy individuals—including team owners, professional and amateur coaches, athletic directors, NCAA staff and agents—as part of its annual speaker series. Students also participate in sports law negotiation competitions and contribute to the Moorad Center’s blog.

Several sports and entertainment law courses, as well as a comprehensive externship program, are offered at Villanova, allowing students to tailor their education to align with their career goals. The biannual, student-run Jeffrey S. Moorad Sports Law Journal publishes scholarly articles on topics of importance in the sports and entertainment law fields, serving as an interpretative guide and research tool for practitioners, academics and students. Through their work on the Journal, students hone their legal writing skills and gain invaluable legal research experience.

 

Externships

  • Drexel University Department of Athletics, Office of Compliance
  • EMG Sports
  • Eric Feig Entertainment and Media Law Inc.
  • Excel Sports Management
  • Jekielek & Janis, LLP
  • Jerrold Colton (Sports Agent/Attorney)
  • Jet Sports Management
  • NBA Coaches’ Association
  • Philadelphia Freedoms – World Team Tennis
  • Tier 1 Sports Management
  • Villanova University Department of Athletics, Office of Compliance

Tax Law includes all legal aspects of taxation at the federal, state, local and international levels. Tax professionals practice in three main areas: compliance, planning and controversy. Tax compliance deals with the accurate payment and filing of tax returns on both state and federal level. Tax planning involves the structuring of both individual and entity affairs, domestic and international, in a way that is tax efficient. Lawyers specializing in tax controversy represent taxpayers in disputes in court, before the IRS or with state agencies.

Attorneys specializing in tax may engage in a broad range of litigation, transactional work or legal counseling in private practice, as in-house counsel, or in government. They may advise businesses regarding the tax implications of their decisions; assist individuals with federal, state, local and international tax problems; specialize in estate planning and wealth distribution; work for a federal or state government agency interpreting or enforcing tax law; or work with the legislature in assisting in the developing and drafting of tax legislation.

Villanova Law offers a rich array of tax coursework through its JD and Graduate Tax programs. Students planning to practice in this field may choose to pursue a JD/LLM in Taxation in which individuals work toward an LLM degree in Taxation while completing their JD degree. LLM courses are offered through the Graduate Tax Program, a joint program of the Law School and the Villanova School of Business in which lawyers and accountants learn with and from each other in integrated classes that allow for in-depth, interdisciplinary examinations of tax principles and policies.

A highlight of our JD offerings is the Federal Tax Clinic in which students advocate for low-income taxpayers in their disputes before the IRS and in Federal Court. Under the supervision of a full-time faculty member, student counselors work in teams to represent taxpayers in examinations, administrative appeals, collection matters and cases before the United States Tax Court and Federal District Courts.

Students interested in this area may also pursue an externship in the field. A hallmark of Villanova’s educational experience, our externship program offers placements in a variety of practice settings, including corporate, government, and nonprofit (see below for a list of recent placements). Externships are supervised by both an on-site field instructor and a full-time faculty member who works closely with each student to monitor progress and to ensure overall professional development.

 

Externships

  • Harvey, Ballard and Bernstein
  • Internal Revenue Service