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Passion for Environmental Law Shapes National Policy

Jay Duffy ’10, Associate Attorney for the Clean Air Task Force, recently presented his first-ever oral argument before The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and won. Duffy represented environmental nonprofit clients in a case against the Affordable Clean Energy rule, an action put in place by the Trump Administration in 2019 to address carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants.

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Four Villanova Law Visiting Assistant Professors Secure Full-Time Tenure Track Law Professor Positions

Each year Villanova Law brings aspiring law teachers to campus through the ongoing Visiting Assistant Professor program, providing them guidance and mentorship as they prepare for careers in academia. Recently, four current and former Villanova Law Visiting Assistant Professors were offered and accepted fulltime tenure track law professor positions at prominent law schools around the country.

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Villanova Students Compete in Annual Tulane Professional Football Negotiation and International Baseball Arbitration Competitions

Two teams of Villanova Law students competed virtually in the Seventh Annual Tulane Professional Football Negotiation Competition on January 29-30. The team consisting of defending champions, Austin Meo ’22 and Ryan Murphy ’22, along with new teammate Emily Rollo ’23, finished in third place. Villanova Law is the only school to have made it to the playoff rounds in both the 2020 and 2021 competitions.

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Professor Teressa Ravenell Selected for American Constitution Society’s Big Ideas Publication for Biden Administration

Teressa Ravenell, Associate Dean for Faculty Research and Development and Professor of Law, was included in the American Constitution Society’s recent publication, What’s the Big Idea? Recommendations for Improving Law & Policy in the Next Administration and in the States. The publication, a collection of essays that cover a variety of today's biggest legal topics, was shared with the new Biden administration as well as state legislatures.

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Mastering Dual Disciplines

In today’s interconnected and interdependent world, legal professionals don’t work in silos, and Lawyers find themselves as members of multidisciplinary business teams. Villanova Law offers a dual degree JD/MBA program in collaboration with the Villanova School of Business to give lawyers both the legal and business expertise to represent, guide and lead their organizations to success.

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Dean Alexander’s Statement on Events at the U.S. Capitol

Following the events on January 6, 2021 at the U.S. Capitol, Dean Mark Alexander sent a message to current students, faculty and staff. Additionally, Dean Alexander made a joint statement with law school deans from around the country.

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Dean Willard O'Brien

Villanova Law Mourns the Loss of Former Dean J. Willard O’Brien

J. Willard O’Brien, former Dean of Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, passed away peacefully at his home in Wayne, Pennsylvania on Tuesday, December 22. He was 90 years old. O’Brien joined the Villanova Law faculty in 1965, and in 1972 he was unanimously chosen by faculty to succeed Villanova’s founding Dean, Harold Gill Reuschlein. Dean O’Brien held the position for 11 years.

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Courtroom-Ready Preparation

Successful trial attorneys must be highly skilled in the complex art of the trial, and they must also possess a complete understanding of the law. At Villanova Law, we prepare students to become courtroom-ready advocates through our extensive Trial Advocacy programming and activities.

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The McCullen Center for Law, Religion and Public Policy Hosts Inaugural Summer Fellowship Program 

This past summer, the Eleanor H. McCullen Center for Law, Religion and Public Policy held its inaugural Summer Fellowship Program. The McCullen Center offered six internship placements to students in the areas of constitutional law, the role of religion in civil society, and the promotion of human dignity and the common good. The program also offered 12 research assistantships to students who wished to conduct research projects under faculty supervision on issues related to the intersection of law, religion and public policy.


Where Law Meets Business

Villanova Law is continuously revolutionizing its curriculum by pushing the boundaries of traditional instruction and infusing business coursework into every student’s education. Guided by the Where Law Meets Business philosophy, our programming infuses vital business fundamentals, professional skills, ethical training and practical experience into our foundational legal education.


Judicial Externship Leads to Influential Long-Lasting Mentorship

Judicial externs gain a behind-the-scenes look at the judicial process and an insider’s view into a judge’s work process, deliberations, and ultimately, decision on cases. Paige Gross ’21 experienced this first-hand when she earned course credit and valuable insight during her judicial externship with The Honorable Mark A. Kearney ’84 CLAS, ’87 CWSL, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. 


Villanova University’s Charles Widger School of Law Receives $15 million gift from The John F. Scarpa Foundation to Launch New Phase of Entrepreneurship Initiatives and Scholarship 

Villanova University President, the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, announced a $15 million gift from the John F. Scarpa Foundation to further elevate the Charles Widger School of Law as a leader in entrepreneurship and law, in addition to strengthening entrepreneurial expertise, innovative thinking and collaboration across the University. In recognition of Scarpa’s lifetime giving of more than $20 million to Villanova, the Law School building will be named John F. Scarpa Hall.


Pivoting During a Pandemic to Find New Opportunities

This past year has been unconventional in many ways as law students navigate their education and professional opportunities during a global pandemic. John Reid ’22 experienced this first-hand when his original summer externship plans were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Tasha Stoltzfus Nankerville '22 & Annalise Hodges '22 Win 61st Annual Theodore L. Reimel Moot Court Competition

After weeks of preparation and preliminary trials, the final round of the 61st Annual Theodore L. Reimel ’24 CLAS Moot Court Competition concluded on Thursday, November 5, 2020. In the first virtual competition, Tasha Stoltzfus Nankerville '22 and Annalise Hodges '22, who argued on behalf of the respondents, were victorious.


Villanova University Announces Interdisciplinary Initiative on Poverty and Inequality

Villanova University has announced an interdisciplinary initiative aimed at examining the issues of poverty and inequality and their intersection. The initiative was spurred by a $1 million gift from Paul A. Tufano, Esq., ’83 VSB, ’86 CWSL and Christine Tufano ’84 CLAS, ’86 MA, for enhanced thought leadership and research across the University to address poverty and inequality.


Protecting Pennsylvanians Personal Information

In today’s data-driven world, there is an increasing need for people to safeguard their personal information. Villanova Law’s Farmworker Legal Aid Clinic (FLAC) has teamed up with the nonprofit coalition Driving PA Forward to educate Pennsylvania drivers on how their personal information is being shared by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDot) without their knowledge.

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Workplace Surveillance, At What Cost?

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic , millions of Americans shifted to remote work almost overnight, and stay-at-home-orders forced workers to turn their living rooms, bedrooms and basements into their workspaces. Faced with this new reality, the ensuing economic downturn and the pressure to continue to run teams efficiently, many employers turned to digital monitoring surveillance software to track their employees’ work productivity from home.

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Professor Brett Frischmann Receives National Science Foundation Grant for Governing Knowledge Commons Research Coordination Network

Brett Frischmann, the Charles Widger Endowed University Professor in Law, Business and Economics at Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, along with co-principal investigators (PIs) from University of Pittsburgh School of Law and New York University School of Law, have been awarded a three-year, $350,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop the Governing Knowledge Commons research coordination network (GKC RCN).  

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A Legal Career Hooked on Advocacy

For Kirstin Mohammed ’22, the most essential aspect of a legal career is advocacy. As a lawyer, she hopes to use her degree as a tool to empower others and to help disenfranchised communities who cannot advocate for themselves. This past summer, she had the opportunity to put her passion for advocacy into practice when worked as an intern at the Homeless Advocacy Project (HAP). 

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Advance Your Career with Villanova’s Graduate Tax Program

Villanova University’s Graduate Tax Program, conducted jointly with the Villanova School of Business, is designed to impart the core concepts of taxation through comprehensive course offerings, hands-on learning experiences and peer-to-peer networking opportunities for legal, accounting and business professionals. A unique learning experience pairs lawyers and accountants in integrated classes, which allows for interdisciplinary examination of tax principles and policies.

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Providing Frontline Legal Assistance to the Villanova Community

 With the global pandemic forcing remote work and markets adjusting to the ensuing economic disruption, many Villanova Law students faced uncertain externship prospects and job loss this past summer. To provide students with meaningful and marketable experience, Dean Alexander quickly pivoted law school resources to create the innovative COVID-19 Legal Research Project. 

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Looking at the Pandemic Through a Legal Lens

When the COVID-19 Pandemic hit the United States in February 2020, Villanova Law Professor Todd Aagaard had planned to teach a climate change course during the upcoming fall 2020 semester. As cases surged around the country, he pivoted his approach and decided instead to focus on creating a new course on the legal aspects of the evolving crisis.

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Welcome Class of 2023

The Class of 2023’s Villanova experience began on August 12, 2020, when the 178 incoming students were split into three sections to complete a socially-distanced orientation. In a welcome address from Mark C. Alexander, The Arthur J. Kania Dean, students were urged to be leaders in the change that society is undergoing.

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Professor Chaim Saiman Elected Member of the American Law Institute

Villanova Law Professor and Chair in Jewish Law, Chaim Saiman, an expert on Jewish law, insurance law and private law, has been nominated and elected as a new member of the American Law Institute (ALI), the leading independent organization in the United States that produces scholarly work to clarify, modernize and improve the law.

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A Full Circle Clinical Experience

From the moment Lauren Pugh ’20 stepped foot in Villanova Law as a prospective student, she knew she wanted to be a part of the Farmworker Legal Aid Clinic (FLAC). One of six in-house legal clinics at Villanova Law, students working in FLAC provide pro bono legal representation to farmworkers and their families.

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Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law Welcomes Four New Faculty Members

Mark C. Alexander, The Arthur J. Kania Dean of the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, has appointed four new faculty beginning in the 2020-21 academic year. Itay Ravid and Emily Stolzenberg will begin their tenures as Assistant Professors of Law during the fall 2020 semester. Stephanie Sena will join Villanova Law as an Anti-Poverty Fellow, and Gilat Bachar is a new Visiting Assistant Professor of Law.

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Personal Passion to Lifelong Vocation

Annie McDermott ’21 entered law school with an enthusiasm for special education and disability law for low income people. As one of nine children raised by a single mother, including a brother with autism, McDermott experienced firsthand the many struggles of navigating the education, healthcare and disability services systems.

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Professor Teressa Ravenell Shares Civil Rights Expertise In Response to Death of George Floyd

Teressa Ravenell, Associate Dean for Faculty Research and Development and Professor of Law, participated in A History of Violence: Institutional Racism in Our Criminal Legal System which was organized in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by the American Constitution Society, the National Bar Association and the Society of American Law Teachers.

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On the Path to Public Service

A passion for public service is what led Austin Skelton ’21 to pursue a law career. The community and values that sold him on Villanova Law are now guiding him on his path to public service.

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A Message to Students from Dean Mark Alexander

On June 5, 2020, Dean Mark Alexander held a virtual conversation with law students to discuss recent events surrounding the death of George Floyd, and action going forward. He followed with a message to students and the Villanova Law community.

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New Virtual Practice Ready Series Prepares Students for Legal Practice

Millions of people around the world have been impacted in various ways by COVID-19, including law students. Nationwide, law students are facing uncertain job prospects and job loss as markets adjust to the economic disruption from the pandemic. Despite the current world crisis, Villanova Law students and recent graduates are continuing to gain valuable knowledge and skills this summer with the new virtual Practice Ready Series.

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Phil Harrinarine

Opening Doors with a Dual Degree

Phillip Harrinarine ’17 JD/MPA, a native of Trinidad, began law school with a passion for immigration law, but soon found himself interested in pursuing other opportunities outside of the traditional law firm practice.  He enrolled in the enroll in the JD/Master of Public Administration to further explore his passions and pursue his strengths.

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Professor Leslie Book and Georgetown Law File Joint Lawsuit Claiming CARES Act Intentionally Discriminates Against Children

Leslie Book, Professor of Law, worked with Georgetown Law’s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection to jointly file a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland challenging the CARES Act's exclusion of U.S. citizen children from the benefits of emergency cash assistance in response to the coronavirus pandemic, based solely on the fact that one or both parents are undocumented immigrants.

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Ask the Grad: Class of 2020

The Villanova University Charles Widger School is pleased to celebrate the graduates of the Class of 2020. Before they leave us on May 15, we asked members of the Class of 2020 to share more about their Villanova Law experience.

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Katherine Prudente '20

Access to Justice Equals Access to World 

Katherine Prudente ’20 was drawn to Villanova Law for the unique opportunities provided by its six in-house law clinics. It was only after she arrived and began working on her own cases in the Interdisciplinary Mental and Physical Health Law Clinic that she realized exactly how invaluable these experiences would be.

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Shea Rhodes

Shea Rhodes Awarded U.S. Fulbright Scholar Program Award

Shea Rhodes ’97 CWSL, Director of the Institute to Address Commercial Sexual Exploitation (CSE Institute) at Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, was recently awarded a 2020-2021 U.S. Fulbright Scholar grant for the Fulbright-Schuman European Union Affairs Program by the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Beginning in fall 2020, Rhodes will conduct research in Austria and Sweden for six months.

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Lawyers as Leaders

Learning to Lead with Values

Lawyers by trade are leaders. They are at the center of important decision making and have the power to change the life of a person, or even impact the lives of millions of people with a single case. But being a lawyer who leads requires skills that go beyond a traditional legal education. Villanova Law is dedicated to identifying, fostering and developing critical leadership skills in students through coursework and initiatives like Lawyers as Leaders.

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Austin Meo ’22 & Ryan Murphy ’22

Villanova Students Win Sixth Annual Tulane Professional Football Negotiation Competition

For the third time in the past four years, Villanova Law students won the Annual Tulane Professional Football Negotiation Competition. First-year students Austin Meo ’22 and Ryan Murphy ’22 were victorious over 48 competing teams from 39 schools across the United States and Canada in the simulated contract negotiations, which used real-life scenarios and actual upcoming NFL free agents. 

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The Toothman Family

Improvise, Adapt and Overcome 

Second-year law student Misty Toothman always knew she wanted to go to law school, but she took a less traditional path to get here than other law students. For many years, Toothman Toothman was dedicated to supporting her husband’s military career and raising their three children. Following his medical retirement, Toothman quickly became his fulltime caregiver, helping him recover from his physical and emotional injuries from war, in addition to raising their children. 

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Advocating on the Long Road to Justice

Advocating on the Long Road to Justice

Alum Thomas Gallagher ’89, Partner and Chairman at Pepper Hamilton LLP, worked with the Pennsylvania Innocence Project to exonerate John Miller, who has spent more than 20 years in jail for a crime he did not commit. 

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David Pejovic '21

Externship Provides Experience in Emerging Law Domain

Villanova Law provided David Pejovic ’21 an opportunity to prepare for the future with his summer externship, which he spent with a Philadelphia-based firm that specializes in cryptocurrency and related securitized digital assets. During his externship, Pejovic received hands-on experience in one of the newest facets of the legal sphere: blockchain law. 

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Khalil Wilkes '19

Finding a New Passion: From Student-Athlete to Law School

For some law school students, becoming a lawyer is something they’ve wanted to do their whole life. But others come to law school after embarking on a different path. Khalil Wilkes ’19 played college football and had a brief career in the NFL before he wound up at Villanova Law, where he found a new passion.

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Tomika Patterson '03

Alum Seizes Opportunities from Villanova to Kenya

“I always stress to my students: if you have a passion for something, you need to go for it. Take advantage of every opportunity while you still have it.” These are words of advice from Tomika Stevens Patterson ’03, one Villanova Law alum who lives by her words and seizes every opportunity. Her career has taken her from associate at a large firm to adjunct professor at Villanova to Nairobi, Kenya, where she now serves as the Resident Legal Advisor at the U.S. Department of Justice in the Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance & Training.

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Students work with a practitioner during Business Modules

Business Modules: At the Intersection of Law and Business 

In addition to acquiring the knowledge necessary to become successful attorneys, students at Villanova Law also receive the critical business skills that are necessary to thrive in today’s intense and dynamic climate. The John F. Scarpa Center for Law and Entrepreneurship has developed two unique and innovative Business Modules, week-long one-credit courses required for all first and second-year students.

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Dean Alexander teaches Race and the Law

Society, Race and the Law's Impact

When social justice-minded students wanted to explore how laws impact marginalized groups when it comes to things like access to health care and voting, buying or renting a house, employment discrimination and many other societal issues, Villanova Law created a course to do just that.

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Alum Jesse Imbriano

Committed to a Cause

Hands-on experience is vital preparation for practice. While a student at Villanova Law, Jesse Imbriano ’12, had early field experience in an in-house clinic that proved key in helping him find his passion and jumpstart his career in immigration law.  

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