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Community Discussions Address Current Social Issues

Law schools train students to “think like a lawyer”—that is, to think analytically and incisively about complex legal issues they will confront throughout their careers.  But a law school is also a community in which faculty, staff, and students can apply those same analytical skills to conversations about current events and social issues. At Villanova Law, we are always looking for opportunities to enrich and strengthen our community through pop-up discussions, guest speakers and extracurricular programming that tackle some of the big issues facing our society.

Members of the Villanova Law community gathered in October for a series of events exploring the recent “Take a Knee” movement in sports. In small group settings, faculty, staff and students came together for substantive and thought-provoking discussion. Thoughtful debate highlighted both differing perspectives and common ground shared among participants.

"At Villanova, we welcome all to share their ideas,” remarked Mark C. Alexander, Arthur J. Kania Dean. “We urge those who agree and those who disagree to speak up. We often experience the greatest growth by confronting and responding to the ideas which challenge us the most. While we don’t always agree, we are stronger because of these conversations.”

The “Take a Knee” series kicked off with an introductory session led by Andrew Brandt, Director of the Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law.

Students and faculty members led subsequent discussions on a range of topics, including:

Topic Conversation Hosts
Media Coverage of "Taking a Knee"
Ryan Raymond '19 and Professor Ellen Wertheimer
Politicization of "Taking a Knee"
Villanova Law Republicans, Democrats, Bipartisan Initiative and Professor Chaim Saiman
"I don't pay you to think": Athlete-Team Owner Relations and Power Dynamics
Samantha Fitzpatrick '19 and Professor Ann Juliano
Social Movements and the Law
Professor Caitlin Barry and Professor Melanie McMenamin
Athlete Activism   Alex Ott '18 and Professor Mitchell Nathanson
"Taking a Knee" and Honoring Our Troops
Colin Milon '18
Series Wrap-Up Dean Mark Alexander

Villanova Law continued its pop-up discussion series on Nov. 16 as Professor Ann Juliano led a discussion about legal issues related to issues of sexual harassment and assault.