Students on an externship, posing for a picture.

Learn Practical Lawyering Skills While Serving the Underserved

Through the Charlotte School of Law's Externship Program, students are afforded the opportunity to learn practical lawyering skills under the supervision of a licensed attorney or judge, while also learning academic credit.

The Externship program enhances traditional classroom instruction by engaging students with organizations: government agencies as well as private firms that accept either indigent clients or court assignments. Judicial clerkships often include judges of the NC Superior Court, the Federal District Court and the North Carolina Court of Appeals. Working with a judge is an exciting and valuable experience as well as an important resume building opportunity.

During the summer months, students are encouraged to travel outside of the Charlotte area and seek placements anywhere in the United States and abroad. Once a student finds a placement, they bring it back to the Director of Externships for vetting and approval. Summer externs have enjoyed placements as far away as Alaska, Hawaii, Lithuania and Switzerland.

By all measures, the Charlotte School of Law Externship Program has had great success"? high student achievement, high attorney satisfaction with the students and their work, and positive community feedback. A number of CSL students have found permanent employment with their externship organizations and can be found at both the Mecklenburg District Attorney and Public Defender offices, Legal Services of Southern Piedmont, Legal Aid of North Carolina, Council for Children's Rights, Charlotte Mecklenburg School District, the Sixth Circuit Public Defender in South Carolina and with a number of courts both locally and in other states. This is a direct result of the outstanding work they performed and the impression they made while externing for those agencies.

Externships support each of Charlotte Law's three mission pillars: 1) to provide a student-centered education, 2) that produces practice-ready lawyers and 3) that serves underserved communities. Practice-ready means we graduate students who can thrive in a professional setting as a result of a comprehensive focus on analytical legal reasoning, skills development, and professional and ethical considerations across the curriculum. An externship touches upon all of these areas of learning and, in fact, enhances all student learning by providing them the opportunity to apply their learning "in role."

If you have questions, contact Professor Lois Grossman, Director of the Externship Program at

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