Elon expands experiential offerings with new clinic, and externship programs

Elon University School of Law has established a Small Business & Entrepreneurship Clinic, an In-House Counsel Externship Program and a Semester-in-Practice Externship Program.

The new clinic and externship programs expand on other practice-based learning opportunities. It already operates an Elder Law Clinic, a Humanitarian Immigration Law Clinic and a Wills Drafting Clinic as well as a general externship program. Elon also operates a preceptor program in which attorneys mentor law students beginning in the first-year of law school and a leadership program in which all second-year law students provide legal solutions for nonprofits in the central North Carolina region. 

“Currently, 94 percent of Elon Law students graduate with practical experience gained from clinics, externships, clerkships or internships,” said law school dean George R. Johnson, Jr. “The addition of two new externship programs and a new clinic advances our goal to ensure that all Elon Law students enrich their legal education through in-depth practice experiences.”

The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Clinic will begin operations in January 2014. It will provide business-related legal services to entrepreneurs and small business owners who would not otherwise be able to afford legal representation. The clinic will operate in space provided by the Nussbaum Center for Entrepreneurship, less than two miles from the law school in downtown Greensboro, North Carolina.

The In-House Counsel Externship will allow second- and third-year students to earn academic credit for work in the general counsel offices of for-profit organizations, beginning in the spring of 2014. As part of this externship, students may observe attorney meetings, strategy sessions, negotiations and client conferences, while participating in litigation strategy development, contract drafting, contract review and legal research, all under the supervision of in-house corporate counsel.

The Semester-in-Practice Externship is designed for third-year law students who wish to work full-time in a governmental, judicial or non-profit externship. Students enrolled in this competitive program will work 40 hours per week under the supervision of a lawyer and with the support of a faculty member who serves as teacher, coach and mentor. Students in the program will also participate in a concurrent academic component. The Semester-in-Practice Externship program will be offered beginning in the spring 2014 semester.

“Elon clinics and externships are key components of experiential legal education,” said Margaret Kantlehner, associate professor of law and director of externships, the Wills Drafting Clinic and the Elder Law Clinic. “Live client practice experience builds students’ legal skills, prepares them for early success in practice and expands students’ professional resources as they prepare to enter into practice.”