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Villanova University (School of Law)

Founded in 1953 as part of Villanova University to offer law study to a broad spectrum of people, Villanova Law was the first church-related school in the country to be awarded a chapter of the Order of the Coif, the national honor society devoted to high legal standards of scholarship. Villanova University was founded more than 150 years ago by the Augustinians, a prominent Roman Catholic teaching order. The campus is located 15 miles west of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a major legal, corporate and banking center. Villanova University is on Philadelphia's suburban Main Line, named for the commuter train that runs into Center City, and is within 20 minutes of 15 other colleges and universities. The Villanova University School of Law offers the following degree programs: J.D., J.D./M.B.A. with Villanova University School of Business, J.D./Ph.D. in Law and Psychology, J.D./LL.M. in Taxation, and an LL.M. in Taxation. VLS is accredited by the American Bar Association. The Law School is also a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Villanova is rooted in the Catholic tradition that emphasizes the unique value of individual human lives and our endowment with free will. It inspires us to provide a professional education emphasizing honesty, integrity, and responsibility. This aspect of the tradition is embodied in St. Thomas More, whose figure graces the main entrance in Garey Hall, and whose principled resistance to corruption has been an exemplar of integrity for centuries. Respect for human dignity is also embodied in our commitment to service. Students are taught that pro bono legal service to the poor should be part of their careers, both as students and as lawyers. This aspect of our tradition is embodied in St. Ives, who taught that a lawyer's vocation must include a sense of responsibility for the poor. His figure stands next to that of St. Thomas More at our entrance. Villanova University School of Law is committed to the principles of academic freedom. It derives that commitment from the traditions of the order of St. Augustine, the founders of Villanova University, who drew on the thought of St. Augustine to emphasize the value of critical, searching inquiry and open debate. The Law School is thus a forum for principled engagement with ideas of all kinds in an atmosphere of civil expression and mutual respect. A relatively new law school, Villanova was conceived with the notion that it would be a first-rate institution. The Law School achieved full accreditation by the American Bar Association with extraordinary rapidity, and immediately attracted an outstanding faculty - a standard the faculty meets today. We have always been highly selective in our admissions policy and rigorous in our academic standards. The reality of excellence, furthermore, has created a reputation for excellence that benefits our students immensely when they enter the legal profession. Villanova University was founded in the western suburbs of Philadelphia in the 1840s after anti-Catholic and anti-Irish riots in Philadelphia forced the Augustinians to flee the city. Villanova University School of Law was founded in the 1950s as a co-educational institution at a time when women were not admitted to many law schools. Our historical experience, as well as our respect for human dignity underlies our commitment to a policy of inclusion for all our community. We earnestly welcome individuals of all perspectives and beliefs, and we regard a diverse community as a richer community. By attending Villanova Law, students become a part of a University community committed to providing a wide range of offerings to its students. Villanova’s many resources and facilities are available to all law students during their years of academic study at the University. The Law School provides more than 100 offerings, including clinical experiences, simulation courses, drafting courses and externships. Courses are designed to teach not only rules of law, but also how lawyers analyze, express themselves, perform many of their functions, and solve problems, as well as how legal institutions operate. The curriculum is broadly based and designed to respond to the rapidly changing needs of the modern law practice. Electives are continually added to address change, especially in the area of technology, finance, and international law. In addition to learning substantive law, the Villanova law student is guided by the faculty to develop critical analytical abilities and an understanding of professional ethics along with the fundamental skills of the practicing lawyer-including counseling, negotiation, advocacy, mediation, dispute resolution, conciliation, and mature judgment. The First-Year curriculum of required courses provides a thorough introduction to the basic common law subjects and to the essentials of practical skills, while examining the impact of law on social problems. Each first-year law student takes at least one substantive course in a small section, allowing closer student-faculty contact. An extensive legal research, writing, and advocacy program also provides personalized learning through small-group classes, moot-court exercises, and individual conferences with full-time legal writing instructors. In the second and third years students shape their own curriculum with the guidance of faculty advisers and substantive area course guides developed by the faculty. Students select from a primarily elective curriculum that offers grounding in foundation courses and a wide range of advanced and specialized courses to satisfy a variety of student interest. In addition to these more traditional courses, students may represent actual clients in a variety of clinical courses; receive training in practical lawyers' skills such as trial practice, appellate advocacy, drafting, alternative dispute resolution, interviewing, counseling, and negotiating; do research and writing, closely supervised by a faculty member, in seminars, directed research, and practical skills courses. Most of these courses are offered in small classes. In addition, J.D. students can enroll in certain courses in the Graduate Tax Program curriculum. To be eligible for the Juris Doctor degree, students must satisfactorily complete 87 credits (students entering in Fall 2004 and earlier) or 88 credits (students entering beginning fall 2005), the required curriculum and must complete six consecutive, full-time semesters in residence. Our Faculty's exceptional achievements and scholarship provide the foundation for the quality of the Villanova educational experience. Their dedication as teachers, as mentors, and as scholars creates a dynamic community of learning and legal scholarship. Villanova Law School offers a rich life outside the classroom. The Student Bar Association supports approximately 40 diverse and active student organizations which focus on specific legal subject areas, political activities, volunteer and pro bono opportunities, affinity networking, and athletic activities. Throughout the year, the various groups plan a wide range of activities ranging from scholarly discussions and lectures to brownbag luncheons and multicultural programs to social and recreational events for the VLS community.

School name:Villanova UniversitySchool of Law
Address:299 North Spring Mill Road
Zip & city:PA 19085-1597 Pennsylvania

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