Lupe Howell ’21 named outstanding clinical externship student

Photo of Lupe Howell '21

RALEIGH — Lupe Howell ’21 has been named Campbell Law’s 2020-2021 Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA) Outstanding Externship Student, announced Director of Externships Niya Fonville.

“Our students worked tirelessly to meet the demands of supervisors, clients and the class component this past year,” Fonville explained. “In acknowledgement of the valuable work externships provide, CLEA, the leading national group of experiential learning professionals, launched the CLEA Outstanding Externship Student Award this year.”

Each law school was permitted to nominate a 3L student. Recipients must have demonstrated excellence in both the field work and seminar components of the course, as evidenced by 1) the quality of representing clients or engaging in advocacy or policy reform and 2) the level of thoughtfulness and self-reflection in exploring issues raised in their placement (i.e. legal, ethical, strategic, etc.). 

 An excerpt from Fonville’s nomination of Howell follows: 

 “Placed in the Wake County District Attorney’s office, her supervisor states it best: ‘[Lupe] learned to quickly assess cases, facts, and statutes, while still making time to address the individual stakeholders of each case and make them feel valued. Lupe was an excellent team member and was always willing to jump in and help wherever help was needed.’ In class, Lupe’s reflective papers were thoughtful and intentional. I witnessed the evolution of her professional identity. As the immigrant of a country where trust in the government and law enforcement is lacking, her experience with the DA resulted in a shift in her perspective of responsibility and privilege of prosecutors. She also saw ways that she could serve historically under-supported citizens and still carry out her job as an ADA. Finally, she found ways to use opportunities to engage her family (including her small children) in optional assignments of attending programming and events…aimed at enhancing students’ understanding of the legal process and history of the legal system. Lupe herself sums up her experience best by stating: ‘This semester has been so full of personal growth that I don’t recognize myself anymore. I feel competent and confident in my ability to stand before a judge and argue my position without hesitation. If my 18-year-old self were to see me in a courtroom, I would not recognize myself. Confidence, poise, and articulation. All things I dreamed I would one day have, somehow came from one internship position…”


 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.