Formerly the Litigation Clinic, the Civil and Criminal Externship Clinic is a semester-long experience with a complementary classroom element. It features dual civil law and criminal law placements for each student.
On the civil side, students spend the full semester learning from supervising attorneys who work in many areas of private practice in firms that range from very small to very large; public interest settings such as Legal Aid, the VA, or the NLRB; corporate general counsel offices, etc. (Please see PLACEMENTS tab for more details.)
On the criminal side, students spend six weeks of the semester in relevant offices, such as the District Attorney’s Office, the Federal Public Defender’s Office, or a private practice. (Please see PLACEMENTS tab for more details.)
Two students per semester work in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of North Carolina, a placement that combines civil and criminal components. These students often have the thrill of arguing motions in federal district court, or see their legal research and writing bear fruit in an appeal to the Fourth Circuit.
These future-shaping experiences can be extraordinary. Students may ride a corporate jet with their civil law mentor one day, and visit a client on death row with their criminal law supervisor the next. Students hone their legal research and writing skills on behalf of real clients in both arenas. Students may appear on behalf of clients in benefits hearings, present arguments in the fast-paced district courts, and may even conduct a jury trial in superior court. All students experience both the thrill and the responsibility of representing real clients with real legal issues.