Today’s highly competitive job market demands lawyers who possess both legal and business skills. In response to the interdisciplinary nature of today’s legal practice, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law introduced mandatory learning modules that integrate critical business skills into the core curriculum. Under the umbrella of the John F. Scarpa Center for Law and Entrepreneurship, these week-long modules on business-related issues are held each January before the start of the spring semester.
Villanova Law partnered with industry experts and leading law firms to design these innovative courses that directly align with the demands of professional practice. Students learn a more sophisticated, hands-on approach to the legal industry and to the business practices of their clients. By directly addressing this core competency, Villanova Law graduates are better prepared for a business-centric legal practice.
Joseph Del Raso Business and Financial Literacy for Lawyers introduces first-year students to critical business and finance concepts, such as financial statements and valuation principles. It challenges them to exercise creative problem solving, strategic thinking and professional judgment, and to learn to work effectively with colleagues and senior attorneys. Participating students put these new concepts into practice as they work through real-life legal scenarios—such as the purchase of income-producing real estate and the sale and purchase of a business—to identify and better understand the business and financial issues faced by practicing lawyers.
The Business Aspects of Law course provides second-year students a “window in” to the nuts and bolts of the legal profession—including structure, personnel and economics of a law firm. Designed in consultation with legal management leaders with coursework tailored to what graduates need to know, this course offers real-world lessons in the business of practicing law.
In Practical Aspects of IP Licensing—a new optional course launching in 2016—third-year students learn the ABCs of intellectual property (IP) licensing. Though there has been extensive growth in this field over the past two decades, there are still very few textbooks on how to license IP in the real world. This knowledge is often held by a small segment of professionals—including licensing executives, CxOs and select IP and corporate transactional attorneys—who negotiate deals in conference rooms around the world. This module provides students a behind-the-scenes introduction to this exclusive practice area and equips students with the skills and savvy to join its ranks.
Click here to learn more about the John F. Scarpa Center for Law and Entrepreneurship.