Law, Religion & Philosophy

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.

The below list highlights Villanova Law courses that are fundamentally associated with this practice area.

Of the courses listed below, the foundational doctrinal courses—Civil Procedure, Contracts, Criminal Law, Property, Constitutional Law and Torts—and an upper level Legal Writing (Transactional or Litigation) are required. The remaining courses are helpful but not required for those interested in the field.

  • Being Human in the 21st Century
  • Bioethics and the Law
  • Canon Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • Jewish Law
  • Justice and Rights
  • Law and Religion

The below list highlights Villanova Law courses that are related, but not necessarily essential to this practice area. Students interested in this field may consider enrolling in these courses to supplement their studies.  

  • Death Penalty: Theory and Practice
  • Sexuality and the Law
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