Student Practice Certification

What is the rule? 

Formerly known as the 3L Practice Rule, the Student Practice Certification Rule, governed by the NC State Bar, allows law students the opportunity to gain practical experience in the practice of law during law school. The student certification process is detailed in the Rules Governing the Practical Training of Law Students, 27 NC Admin. Code 1C, Sections .0200 through .0207.

The certification applies to law students in

1. law school clinics,
2. externships (academic credit received) or
3. internships (no academic credit received)

who are working either in a law firm, governmental entity, or organization and will:

  1. Provide legal advice or services in matters governed by North Carolina law to eligible persons, or
    1. Eligible persons are defined under the rule as persons who are unable financially to pay for legal advice or services as determined by a standard established by a judge of the General Court of Justice, a legal services organization, government entity, or a clinical legal education program. (Rule .0202(b))
  2. Provide legal advice or services to government agencies outside the organization, entity, agency, or law firm or,
  3. Appear before any North Carolina tribunal or agency on behalf of an eligible person or a government agency. (Rule .0208(a))

What is the student eligibility criteria? 

To qualify as a certified legal intern for both legal clinics and field placements in North Carolina, law students must have

1. completed three semesters of law school,
2. be in good academic standing, and
3. possess the requisite character, abilities, and training to practice law.
4. Students must also have a qualified supervising attorney who is a licensed and active member of the North Carolina State Bar.
5. Students must also certify they have read the Rules of Professional Conduct.

What is the NCCU Law process for student certification? 

Law student certification requires the following three forms: 

  1. Law School Certification (completed by law school administration) 
  2. Law Student Certification (completed by law student) 
  3. Supervising Attorney – Field Placement Certification (completed by supervising attorney) 

To streamline the process, forms #2 and #3 listed above must be completed and emailed directly to the NCCU School of Law Clinical Education Department Associate Dean, Nakia Davis at, not the State Bar (as indicated on the documents).

Pathways to Practice Certification Process

*Please note: If you are seeking certification through the Pathways to Practice I & II courses, these forms should be submitted through the Pathways to Practice Registration form.
Once all required documents are received, the Pathways to Practice Professor along with the Associate Dean of Clinical Education and Experiential Learning will complete the law school certification and submit your entire packet directly to the NC State Bar for final approval. If you have questions about the NCCU Law student certification process, please contact Director Lakethia Jefferies at


Out of State Student Certification

Each state bar sets rules to govern the process in certifying law students to gain practical experience in the practice of law. The rule provided above details the North Carolina State Bar process.
If you are seeking student practice certification in a state other than North Carolina, please visit their state bar website or contact the state bar directly to determine the process for certification. Please note, it is the responsibility of the law student and designated supervising attorney to ensure compliance with the state bar’s student practice certification rule(s).
When seeking law school approval for a state other than North Carolina, the law student will be asked to provide documentation of the state bar practice rule for that jurisdiction.

A state bar list along with website information has been provided for your convenience.  

Other Important Items 

  • While NCCU School of Law does not provide final approval of certification requests, the State Bar has asked us to assist in the process.
  • Both supervising attorneys and students are expected to have read the NC State Bar’s Rules Governing Practical Training of Law Students to ensure full compliance with the State Bar.
  • All certification forms are available for download at NC Bar Forms.
  • If you have questions about the NCCU Law student certification process, please contact Director Lakethia Jefferies at  
  • If you have questions about the rules or specifics about the certification process, please contact the North Carolina State Bar directly at (919) 828-4620 or