Internships for academic credit or “externships” are available to students at North Carolina Central University (NCCU) School of Law through the Clinical Program’s General Externship Program. This program is designed primarily for students who are not otherwise enrolled in a structured clinical program offered at the law school due to extraordinary conflicts in their academic schedules. During the General Externship Program, students are provided with the opportunity to include practical, hands-on experience as part of their law school education by working under judges at federal and state levels and lawyers from government agencies, public interest groups, and corporate counsel offices, all of whom serve as mentors and onsite supervising attorneys for the students. The externships promote the students’ development of key lawyering skills such as legal analysis, research and writing, interviewing and counseling, negotiation, policymaking, and both informal and formal advocacy. Additionally, the General Externship Program’s offsite supervising attorneys guide and facilitate the students’ exploration of their general externship experience through classroom discussions and other assignments. Through their work with onsite and offsite supervising attorneys, students critically examine their learning strategies, their goals and progress, develop self-directed learning habits, and gain an understanding of professional responsibility through the discussion of ethical and moral issues arising in practice.
The American Bar Association (ABA) prohibits students from receiving compensation for work performed during the site placement except for reimbursement for reasonable out-of-pocket expenses related to the externship (i.e., parking fees for court observations). Under the NC State Bar Rules Governing the Practical Training of Law Students, students are limited to the representation of indigent clients and government agencies. They must also be supervised directly by a licensed attorney with at least five years of practical experience.
The offsite supervising attorney will evaluate the academic achievement of the students and, when appropriate, meet with onsite supervising attorneys to ensure the quality of the externship experience. Unless impractical, the offsite supervising attorney will also conduct an on-site visit to meet with the onsite supervising attorney and observe externship activities. Emphasis will be placed on visits to new externship placements.