Web and Email Policies

Web Policy

I. Website Uniformity Policy

Villanova Law School's website is an important communication medium and we encourage its use as a means of supporting and fulfilling the mission and official work of the law school. The website represents Villanova Law School to prospective students, alumni, the general public and the law school community. To that end its content and appearance should adhere to professional standards and present a unified message. All departments and organizations publishing information on the law school website are required to use the official website template for all pages within the site. The template identifies information published on the website as official, allows for more efficient updating, and ensures that users are able to navigate the entire website from every page within the site.

Staff and faculty personal web pages as discussed in section III are not required to use the official website template.

II. Web Server Access Policy

The Law School website is a critical source of information about our institution for those inside and outside of the Law School. It is thus of paramount importance for the law school to create and maintain a website that appropriately presents the law school to its Internet audience. The information contained and made available on the website must be timely, accurate, and informative and thus cannot be subject to unnecessary risk.

Direct write access to the web server increases many avoidable risks, such as the loss and corruption of information, interference with formatting, destruction of essential information, public disclosure of private information, proliferation of virus infections, intrusion upon security, and loss of availability of the site to users. It is vital, therefore, that write access to the web server be controlled in such manner as to guarantee the proper functioning of the site for the benefit of all.

Write access to the law school web server will be granted to an extent that ensures the fullest integrity of all information presented on the law school website, the maximum security of the web server, and the privacy of personal information. Directors (or their designee) with department or office web pages will be granted direct write access to specific files on the law school web server only when it is deemed critical to the functioning of the specific office and all other options have been considered. Directors should designate write access to the web server with the utmost prudence and consideration since such designee has the ability to directly create, modify or delete any files in which access is granted. Direct write access to the web server allows world-wide publication of information in real time and will be granted only to those who fully understand and appreciate the implications of such access.

Unless other arrangements have been made with the Webmaster, departments or offices with pages on the law school web site are expected to update their web pages "offline" and to email the modified web page to the Webmaster. The Webmaster will be responsible for placing the modified web page on the web server in a timely manner. The Webmaster may also create the ability for certain offices to update their website content via a database interface.

The phrase "write access to the law school web server" as used in this policy means the ability to create, delete, or modify law school web pages and web content that exists on the law school web server other than content of personal web pages.

III. Personal Web Page Policy

A.  Faculty and Staff Web Pages

Individual members of the law school faculty and staff are encouraged to use law school server space for the publication of pages with information pertinent to their role and responsibility at the law school, recognizing that the role and responsibility of a law school employee includes service to the legal profession. Personal web pages should not, however, be used for personal business, non-law school related professional activities (e.g., consulting services), or advertising.

Personal web pages or web pages expressing personal opinions are the sole responsibility of the author and must include the name and email address of the author and the following disclaimer: "The views and opinions expressed on this page are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Villanova Law School or Villanova University."

B.   Student Web Pages

Students are permitted to use the web server space made available by the applicable computing services departments of the University other than the Law School for personal web pages. Students are required to comply with University policies and any and all applicable law school policies.

IV. Website Content and Use Policy

The law school reserves the right to remove any web page, official or unofficial, if it interferes with the performance of a law school server or results in unacceptable cost or burden to law school resources. The law school reserves the right to effect such removal without prior notice, although notice will be provided in a timely manner after removal. The law school reserves the right to remove any page that violates federal, state, or local law, that violates this policy or any University policy, that contains inappropriate content, or that is a result of improper use.

It is deemed improper use to access or attempt to access information that belongs to another user or for which no authorization has been granted, to make or attempt to make unauthorized changes to information on the law school website, or to take any action intended to jeopardize or compromise any aspect of the law school website. The law school reserves the right to terminate web server access privileges and individual user accounts of those found engaged in improper use of law school resources.

V. Online Privacy Policy

Thank you for visiting the Villanova University School of Law website. Your privacy is very important to us. Simply stated, our policy is to collect no personal information about you when you visit our website unless you affirmatively choose to make such information available to us.

As with any website on the Internet, when you visit the law school website, our web server automatically logs standard access information about your Internet domain, the files you request on our server, and the Internet address of the website from which you came. This information does not result in the identification of your personal e-mail address or other personal information. Information from the server access logs is used only to maintain the security and performance of the law school's network and to help manage our website and improve service. Villanova University School of Law does not share web server access information with any other organization and does not use cookie technology or any other concealed data collection methods.

If you choose to share personal information with us - by sending us a message or filling out an electronic form with personal information - we will use the information only for the purposes you request or authorize. We will not disclose the information to government agencies or other third parties, unless required to do so by state or federal law.

Villanova Law School's website provides links to external sites and resources. We do not control these sites and resources, do not endorse them, and are not responsible for their availability, content, or delivery of services. In particular, external sites are not bound by the law school's online privacy policy; they may have their own policies or none at all.

If you have other questions about our privacy policies, or have ideas about improving our policies, please feel free to e-mail us at webmaster@law.villanova.edu or reach us by telephone at 610-519-7216.

Email Policy

Purpose of Policy

The purpose of this policy is to ensure the proper use of Villanova University School of Law's ("Law School") email system by its students, faculty, and staff. Electronic Mail is a tool provided by the Law School to complement traditional methods of communication and to improve education and administrative efficiency. Users have the responsibility to use this resource in an efficient, effective, ethical and lawful manner. A user manifests agreement to be bound by this policy by using the Law School email system. Violations of the policy may result in restriction of access to all Law School information technology resources, including the email system and may result in other appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal to the extent appropriate under other University and Law School policies.

Ownership of Email Data

The University, through the Law School, owns all email accounts and all data transmitted or stored using email capabilities.

Personal Use

While incidental personal use of email is acceptable, conducting business for profit using Law School resources is forbidden.


While the Law School attempts to keep email messages secure, privacy is not guaranteed and users should have no general expectation of privacy in email messages sent through the Law School system. Under certain circumstances, it may be necessary for the IT staff or other appropriate Law School and University officials to access email files to maintain the system, to investigate security or abuse incidents or violations of this or other Law School and University policies. Such access will be on an "as needed" basis and any email accessed will be disclosed only to those individuals with a need-to-know or as required by law.

Data Retention

Individuals are responsible for saving email messages as they deem appropriate. Messages are automatically purged from Trash folders after 14 days. Old email from the system may be purged; however, appropriate notice ordinarily will be given at such time.

Due to finite resources, the Law School has the right to restrict the amount of user space on the email server as necessary, to revise the above retention policies with appropriate approval and advance notice, and to purge and remove email accounts of students who are no longer enrolled.

Data Backup

The email system is backed up on a regular basis as a way of recovering from a system-wide loss impacting the entire email system. User files and folders are not backed up individually, and the IT staff cannot accommodate requests to restore these files or folders. Each email user is responsible for backing up individual messages and folders as appropriate.

Expiration of Accounts

Student accounts will remain in effect for as long as the student remains enrolled at the Law School. If the student leaves the Law School prior to graduation, the account will be deleted. Access to the Law School email accounts are extended for 2 years after graduation. After this period of time, the graduate will no longer have access to the email account. 


Appropriate Use

When using email as an official means of communication, students, faculty and staff should apply the same professionalism, discretion, and standards that they would use in written business communication. Furthermore, students, faculty and staff should not communicate anything via email that one would not be prepared to say publicly.

Sending mass emails to the entire student body by individual students is prohibited. However, Student Organizations and the Student Bar Association ("SBA") may send mass emails in accordance with the mass email policy on file with the Office of Student Affairs and also available through the SBA.

User Responsibility

Each student is assigned a Law School email account and is re q u i red to check this account daily. Faculty and the Administration use email to communicate with students and for official notices. Students are deemed to have knowledge of all communications from the Faculty and Administration which are sent to their Law School email address.

Sharing of passwords is strictly prohibited. Each individual is responsible for his/her account, including the safeguarding of access to the account. All email originating from an account is deemed to be authored by the account owner, and it is the responsibility of that owner to ensure compliance with these guidelines.

Supported Mail Clients

Currently, the officially supported methods for accessing email are Microsoft Outlook Client and Webmail. Use of an alternate method, such as the Outlook client, is not supported by the Law School. If a problem is encountered with the use of an alternate method, Computer Services personnel will work with the individual to access email via the supported methods and will verify functionality of the supported environment. Law School IT staff is continually evaluating tools and technologies and reserves the right to modify the list of supported clients with appropriate notification.

Examples of Inappropriate Use

Any inappropriate email, examples of which are described below and elsewhere in this policy, is prohibited. Users receiving such email should immediately contact the Law School Technical Staff or appropriate Law School Administrators.

  • The creation and exchange of messages that are harassing, obscene or threatening.
  • The unauthorized exchange of proprietary information or any other privileged, confidential sensitive information.
  • The creation and exchange of advertisements, solicitations, chain letters and other unofficial, unsolicited email.
  • The creation and exchange of information in violation of any laws, including copyright laws, or University policies.
  • The knowing transmission of a message containing a computer virus.
  • The misrepresentation of the identity of the sender of an email.
  • The use or attempt to use the accounts of others without their permission.

Spam and Viruses

Incoming email is scanned for viruses and for messages deemed to be 'SPAM', or unsolicited advertisements for products or services sent to a large distribution. Suspected messages are tagged "SPAM" or blocked from the user's inbox if the message is deemed a threat. Due to the complex nature of email, it is impossible to guarantee protection against all SPAM and virus infected messages. It is therefore incumbent on each individual to use proper care and consideration to prevent the spread of viruses. In many cases viruses appear to be sent from a friend or coworker, therefore attachments should only be opened when the user is sure of the nature of the message. If any doubt exists, the user should contact Computer Services.

Copyright Infringement

The copying, distribution or sharing of copyrighted works (including music, videos, and digital copies of textbook) without permission may be referred to as “copyright infringement”, “pirating” or, in the electronic context through peer-to-peer networks, “illegal file sharing”. Copyright infringement is the act of exercising, without permission or legal authority, one or more of the exclusive rights granted to the copyright owner under section 106 of the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United States Code). These rights include the right to reproduce or distribute a copyrighted work. In the file-sharing context, downloading or uploading substantial parts of a copyrighted work without the permission of the copyright holder constitutes infringement.

Penalties for Copyright Infringement

The unauthorized copying, sharing or distribution of copyrighted material is strictly prohibited. It is a violation of federal law, the Copyright Act, and of the Policies of the Law School and the University. Students who infringe a copyright may be subject to disciplinary action under the Code of Conduct, up to and including expulsion. Employees may be subject to disciplinary action ranging in severity from a warning up to and including termination of employment.

In addition, penalties for copyright infringement include civil and criminal penalties. In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or “statutory” damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. For “willful” infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. A court can, in its discretion, also assess costs and attorneys’ fees. For details, see Title 17, United States Code, Sections 504, 505.

Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense.

Villanova provides this information to all students in its annual HEA notice, as well as to all students and employees in its Annual Security and Fire Safety Report

Villanova’s Plan to Combat Copyright Infringement

Pursuant to certain amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA), Villanova University has adopted a plan to combat copyright infringement. This plan details the technology-based deterrent used by Villanova to reduce illegal file sharing, the mechanisms for informing the community about inappropriate use, the procedures for handling unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material and the procedures for periodically reviewing the plan’s effectiveness

As part of its efforts to combat illegal file sharing, Villanova endeavors to educate and inform its community about copyright infringement. To that end, users of the University network must agree to be bound by the University’s Acceptable Use Policy. The University also publishes the Student Handbook, which contains the University Copyright Policy and penalties for violations. The University Copyright Policy is also maintained on University Information Technologies’ website.  This policy also applies to Law School.
Resources and policies regarding copyright issues and legal and illegal examples of file sharing:

Legal Alternatives

As part of compliance with the HEA, Villanova endeavors to provide its community with information about numerous legal sources of music, videos, books and other copyrighted material.

For a comprehensive list of legal sources of music, videos, books and other copyrighted material, see the Educause website at www.educause.edu/legalcontent.

Additional legal downloading sources are:

Copyright Infringement Reporting

To report copyright infringements on Villanova University's Web site or the Law School Web site, please notify:

Stephen Fugale
Vice President and Chief Information Officer
Office for University Information Technologies
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085
Tel: 610-519-4400
Fax: 610-519-4435
e-mail address: support@villanova.edu

Stephen Fugale is the agent designated under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, P.L. 105-304, to respond to reports alleging copyright infringements on Web sites of Villanova University. For more information on the the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and Villanova University’s policy regarding response to DMCA notices, please click here.