Preparation for Professional Success
At Villanova Law, we believe that academics and professional development are intertwined and equally essential to the long-term success of our students. Today our curriculum infuses professional skills along with vital business principles and practical experience into each student’s rigorous legal training.
Our mandatory, credit-bearing Professional Development program is more than a “one-size-fits-all” checklist of interactions with the School’s Career Strategy team. One of the most robust of its kind among law schools, the program employs a personalized approach that encourages and engages students in active career exploration.
Through lectures, individual and small group meetings, self-directed assignments and Career Strategy events, Villanova Law students are introduced to such topics as project management, diversity, professional independence, workplace ethics and communication skills. Our team is there to guide you from job search to interview preparation and more.
“Our Professional Development (PD) program is structured to allow for individualization to each student’s interests,” remarked Jennifer Henfey, Executive Director of Career Strategy. “For example, if a student enters law school with an interest in health law, she can tailor her PD coursework to explore that field and to connect with practicing attorneys and mentors.”
Henfey continued, “We also encourage students to learn about a variety of practice areas and settings. The more they know about their options, the more informed decisions they can make about their careers at the start.”
The Professional Development Program in Action
Nkiruka Umegbolu ’20 views her relationship with The Office of Career Strategy as a partnership. Her advisers are dedicated to her career success and have shown her that sometimes career paths are fluid and non-linear. They encouraged her to explore as many practical learning experiences as possible during her time in law school, and she now believes that every work experience can contribute to both personal and professional growth.
Nkiruka Umegbolu '20
Undergrad: Villanova University, BA in English
Recent work: Summer Associate, Fox Rothschild LLC
“From the moment I walked into the Office of Career Strategy, my Career Adviser was interested in my professional development and overall growth as a student. They offered constructive feedback on my interview skills, guided me through the on-campus interview process, highlighted the importance of pursuing externships and provided me with information on networking events. We are committed to work together toward one goal: my continued success.”
During his three years at Villanova Law Christopher Rodrigues worked closely with the Office of Career Strategy to help him secure varied externship experiences. They pushed him to consider opportunities beyond the traditional private firms, engaging him in other facets of the profession and providing him with a diverse perspective.
Christopher Rodrigues '19
Undergrad: Lafayette College, BA in Government and Law
Current Work: Associate, Dechert LLP
"My Career Advisers oriented me to my future. My interactions with them were always candid, and they always listened to me, tailoring their answers and guidance to match my goals."
From her 1L through her 3L years, Kristen Taylor '18 actively engaged and received consistent guidance from the Office of Career Strategy. Her advisers helped her to hone her resume, conduct mock interviews and connected her with alumni in the field. Prior to her interview with the Department of Justice, Taylor received invaluable advice, which she put into practice to help her land her post-grad employment.
Kristen Taylor '18
Undergrad: Duquesne University, BA in Political Science
Current Work: Trial Attorney, Organized Crime and Gang Section of the Criminal Division, U.S. Department of Justice
"I could not have asked for a better support system. The Career Advisers gave me the tools I need to conduct myself in the workplace and guided my transformation from law student to legal professional."