Government Practice

Lawyers in government practice help to write and enforce laws and regulations at the federal, state and local level. It is a diverse field that intersects with many other legal areas, including employment, environmental, energy, health care, intellectual property, tax, drugs and bioethics.

Those working in government practice are often employed by administrative agencies, such as the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They may engage in various legal work, including implementing statutory law or administrative regulations; litigating cases in court or before administrative law judges; lobbying on behalf of agencies or private clients; and counseling clients on their dealings with administrative agencies. Opportunities in government practice are concentrated in Washington, DC, and in the state capitals, though practitioners may work at the local level or in regional offices of federal and state agencies as well.

Villanova Law offers a number of courses related to government practice. Students interested in this area are encouraged to pursue an externship in the field. Our School’s location allows students to participate in placements in downtown Philadelphia (12 miles), Harrisburg (100 miles), or Washington, D.C. (135 miles). A hallmark of Villanova’s educational experience, our externship program offers placements in a variety of practice settings, including corporate, government, and nonprofit (see below for a list of recent placements). Externships are supervised by both an on-site field instructor and a full-time faculty member who works closely with each student to monitor progress and to ensure overall professional development.

The below list highlights Villanova Law courses that are fundamentally associated with this practice area.

Of the courses listed below, the foundational doctrinal courses—Civil Procedure, Contracts, Criminal Law, Property, Constitutional Law and Torts—and an upper level Legal Writing (Transactional or Litigation) are required. The remaining courses are helpful but not required for those interested in the field.

  • Administrative Law
  • Administrative Rulemaking: The Regulatory Process
  • Constitutional Law
  • Federal Courts/Federal Systems
  • Separation of Powers

The below list highlights Villanova Law courses that are related, but not necessarily essential to this practice area. Students interested in this field may consider enrolling in these courses to supplement their studies. 

  • Antitrust
  • Civil Rights Litigation: Enforcing the Constitution
  • Corporate and White Collar Crime
  • Education Law
  • Election Law
  • Health Care and the Law
  • Leader and Manager Skills
  • Privacy Law
  • Regulation of Financial Institutions
  • SEC Enforcement
  • Tax Policy
  • Civil Justice Clinic
  • Clinic for Asylum, Refugee and Emigrant Services (CARES)
  • Farmworker Legal Aid Clinic
  • Federal Tax Clinic
  • Education Law Center 
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 
  • Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
  • Internal Revenue Service
  • New Jersey Office of the Attorney General
  • Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office
  • Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
  • Pennsylvania Supreme Court—Office of Disciplinary Counsel 
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 
  • U.S. Department of Labor
  • U.S. Department of Justice
  • U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
  • U.S. Social Security Administration
Student Participating in Class