A Tradition of Respect for Human Dignity

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. 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.

A Tradition of Academic Freedom

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 Tradition of Academic Excellence

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.

A Tradition of Inclusion

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.


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