Villanova is where lawyers lead.


And Villanova lawyers can be found everywhere. From international law firms to government agencies, from nonprofit organizations to major corporations, our graduates are not only practicing law, but leading. 

Whether acting as chief counsel, serving as executive director, or as an associate, law graduates are stepping up to the task by managing projects, leading teams and making strategic decisions.

These varied roles require skills that go beyond a traditional legal education. Employers increasingly seek lawyers who possess emotional intelligence, social awareness and cultural awareness—all characteristics needed to succeed in practice. While the common assumption had been that leaders are born, not made, current research shows that leadership competencies can be taught and learned through education, awareness and practice.

At Villanova Law, we are dedicated to identifying, fostering and developing these critical skills in our students through specific initiatives at the intersection of law and leadership.




  • Formative Assessment: Beginning at 1L Orientation students take a DISC Behavior Assessment and participate in a workshop. The Assessment increases students’ self-knowledge and facilitates better working relationships.
  • Ethical Leadership: All students learn to apply Dr. Mary Gentile’s Giving Voice to Values approach to resolving ethical dilemmas. This programming, which is integrated into the mandatory Professional Development coursework and other select classes, empowers our students with the skills to voice and act on their values, and to align their professional path with their principles.
  • Foundational Courses: The Law School developed a number of courses to give students the foundational knowledge and guidance to cultivate their leadership skills, including:
    • Leadership and Management Skills for Lawyers: A two-credit practical writing course that builds awareness and habits that prepare students to assume professional leadership roles. Through this course, students learn to identify and implement leadership traits, develop personal leadership philosophies and cultivate self-awareness and self-assessment skills.
    • Business Ethics: A three-credit course which raises the practical questions of ethics that confront business people and the attorneys who represent them. The course explores many of the foundational questions facing legal and business leaders, including ethical issues that are of particular importance in business, and the relationship of ethics to other business objectives.
    • Other courses include Law and Management, Corporate Governance and a number of courses taught within the Villanova University Master’s of Public Administration program.
  • Applying Leadership: The presidents of Villanova Law’s 30+ student organizations are invited to participate in a year-long Lawyers as Leaders program. Through strength and personality assessments, workshops and self-reflection opportunities, participating students identify and hone their individual leadership skills. Discussion topics include ethical responsibilities, leadership styles, conflict management, diversity, and communication strategies, among others.
  • The Charles Widger ’73 Leadership Scholarship is a full-year, full-tuition scholarship awarded each year to a select group of students who have demonstrated strong leadership potential. Additionally, recipients receive personal mentoring from Mr. Widger and access to leadership coaching and development coaching and training.
  • Public Interest Leadership Scholars are selected from a competitive applicant pool based on prior academic achievement, leadership, public interest and commitment to public service. Recipients receive mentoring and support, and access to leadership development coaching and training.


  • Harold Reuschlein Leadership Chair: The Chair recognizes faculty who lead within the Villanova Law and wider legal communities, serving as a leadership example to students.
  • Dean’s Distinguished Fellows: Villanova Law brings renowned scholars to campus in a range of areas of law, leadership and business. Among the leading academics and leaders in their respective fields, the invited Fellows teach select courses, lead seminars and give lectures.
  • Faculty and Staff Leadership Development Workshop


  • Villanova Law partners with Seattle University School of Law each year for the "Promoting Diversity in Law School Leadership Workshop." The workshop is offered to encourage and assist members of underrepresented groups to pursue deanships and other university and law school leadership positions. 





Since its founding in 1950, Villanova Law has produced leaders in law, in government, in business and in the community. We are the proud alma mater to numerous leaders, including a former U.S. Senator; a former Governor; a Congressman; countless CEOs, COOs and members of corporate counsel; judges at senior levels and notable community advocates.