The Campbell Law School Externship Program has had another successful year. Campbell Law students who participate receive academic credit after successfully completing at least 120 hours of legal work at a field placement site, in addition to the elective course taught by the Director of Externships. The American Bar Association (ABA) requires students to obtain at least six hours of experiential learning before graduation — externships are a part of that training. Students can complete an externship during the summer, spring and fall semesters. We value our primary stakeholders — law students and employer supervisors — and gear our work around ways to support the law school’s relationship with each group. As I complete my first year directing the program, I am thrilled to share program highlights from the 2020-2021 academic year with the Campbell Law community.
Law Student Engagement & Experience
Summer 2020 started off as a whirlwind. Nationwide, law students experienced rescission of internship (credit and non-credit) offers, many of which were intended to provide much needed financial support. To help fill that void, the Campbell Externship Program collaborated with the Office of the Dean to create the “Dean’s Dozen Summer Stipend,” a financial award for externship students. Because of the generosity of law school supporters, we expanded the summer externship program, and Dean J. Rich Leonard was able to award 26 summer stipends to participants.
While the pandemic altered the way some of our students participated in their experiences, it did not stop them from providing substantive services to legal entities throughout the country. They preserved despite the mental, physical, and emotional anguish caused by the pandemic and renewed racial tension. Notable achievements regarding our student work in the externship program and the course are as follows:
- 130 law students contributed more than 18,500 hours of legal services
- Externs served communities in Ohio, Connecticut, Texas, Virginia and North Carolina. Some engaged with clients abroad, namely throughout Europe and Asia.
- Externs placed at 96 different field sites including, Verizon, SAS Institute, Global Knowledge, Air Force JAG Corps, U.S. Marines JAG, Toshiba Global Commerce, U.S. Court of Appeals, N.C. Supreme Court, N.C. Court of Appeals, SBI, EEOC, N.C. DOJ, the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, several federal and state defender and prosecutor offices, local government attorney offices and various legal services and non-profit organizations such as JusticeMatters, Church World Services and Disability Rights N.C. Inc.
- The virtual space allowed us to invite guest speakers from New York, Miami and Charlotte to join our class sessions.
- For the first time, course objectives have been modified to include: “Recognize that the notions of diversity, equity, and inclusion are inextricably connected to one’s duty of professionalism and ability to effectively serve clients.” As such, the syllabus now includes a topic on equity and inclusion in the legal profession topic.
There is no program without our fabulous supervising attorneys. These lawyers were determined to work with our students, with many of them shifting to a hybrid or fully remote workplace. While navigating the pandemic themselves, supervisors worked hard to ensure that students continued to have meaningful externships — both in their work assignments and integration into the office. For this continuous dedication, we are grateful. Highlights concerning our employer-related outreach and achievements include:
- Hosted Campbell Law’s first supervising training CLE entitled, “Successfully Supervising Externs in a Pandemic” (serving approximately 20 legal professionals)
- Negotiated a record number of pro bono law firm placements (4): Smith Dominguez PLLC, Everett Gaskins Hancock LLP, Becker Law Offices PC and Pilkington Law PLLC. One hundred percent of student work in these offices were toward the firms’ pro bono clients!
- Welcomed 15 new partnerships (sites who wish to host externs for more than one semester annually)
My goal in leading the Campbell Law Externship Program is to prepare students to enter the legal profession as the best version of themselves — lawyers who have integrity, a good work ethic, are civil and take pride in producing quality work product. If you would like to partner with us as we continue this journey, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (919) 865-4697. With your support, we can ensure that Campbell Law Externships #leadwithpurpose.
ABOUT CAMPBELL LAW
Since its founding in 1976, Campbell Law has developed lawyers who possess moral conviction, social compassion, and professional competence, and who view the law as a calling to serve others. Among its accolades, the school has been recognized by the American Bar Association (ABA) as having the nation’s top Professionalism Program and by the American Academy of Trial Lawyers for having the nation’s best Trial Advocacy Program. Campbell Law boasts more than 4,300 alumni, who make their home in nearly all 50 states and beyond. In 2021, Campbell Law is celebrating 45 years of graduating legal leaders and 12 years of being located in a state-of-the-art facility in the heart of North Carolina’s Capital City.