Civil Law Placement Descriptions
Clinic students work the entire semester in their civil law placements, averaging 8 hours per week for a minimum of 96 hours over the term. Please read the following descriptions of the general categories available.
Private Practice – General
This is the “purest” of clinic placements in the sense that a student will be exposed to many different areas of law in one semester. Most general practitioners are in small to mid-sized firms. You might meet with a domestic client one day and a personal injury client the next.
Private Practice – Specialized
In this era of specialization, we can often accommodate students’ requests for placement in a particular area of law, though there is no guarantee. Examples of past “specialty” placements include family law, insurance defense, estate planning, labor & employment.
Legal Aid of North Carolina
Students placed with LANC may work on cases involving housing issues, landlord/tenant disputes, employment law, federal benefits, consumer law, domestic violence, and other civil law matters. You may file and defend actions in small claims court and state district court; appear before the NC Employment Security Commission, etc. Since all clients are indigent and the cases are civil rather than criminal, you will have your own clients and may try your own cases under the N. C. Rules Governing Practical Training of Law Students.
National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)
This federal agency exists to enforce the National Labor Relations Act. Students are only placed at the NLRB if they have an interest in labor law (and ideally will have taken the course). The experience includes investigating claims, talking with parties (usually via phone), and recommending proper dispositions for claims. Some students have had the opportunity to see actual union elections. This placement requires a limited security clearance.
General Counsel Offices – Corporate & Public
General counsel offices manage litigation by giving cases to outside counsel to litigate. They do not try cases themselves. These are not typical litigation placements for that reason. The legal departments of Reynolds American, Inc., Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, the Veteran’s Administration Office of Regional Counsel, and Novant Health, Inc., all sponsor Clinic students. Students typically research a wide variety of topics and may attend internal meetings and phone conferences. They may also learn how to field questions from and give advice to non-lawyers in the various departments within the organizations.
General Counsel’s Office, Winston-Salem / Forsyth County Board of Education
This is a specialty placement in education law, but the area of practice is very broad. For instance, they may work on a pupil discipline issue, a teacher dismissal action, and a vendor contract in the same day. Clinic students working here have been placed right into the action.
Forsyth County Attorney’s Office – DSS
Students placed here work with Social Services attorneys in the areas of Child Support Enforcement or Child Protective Services. This placement yields a great deal of courtroom experience if the student’s schedule permits. Tuesdays & Wednesdays are the busiest child support court dates, with overflowing dockets that offer opportunities for student involvement.