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Wake Forest Law’s oldest clinic changes its name to Civil and Criminal Externship Clinic

Wake Forest Law’s Litigation Clinic is changing its name to the Civil and Criminal Externship Clinic.

“The law school’s oldest clinic is making the name change to better reflect what students experience when they take the clinic,”  says Professor Carol Anderson, who directs the clinic.

The Civil and Criminal Externship Clinic is a semester-long experience with a complementary classroom element.  It features dual civil law and criminal law placements for each student.

On the civil side, students spend the full semester learning from supervising attorneys who work in many areas of private practice in firms that include:

  • General Counsel, Winston-Salem / Forsyth County Board of Education
  • Veterans Affairs, Office of Regional Counsel
  • Legal Aid of North Carolina
  • The National Labor Relations Board, Region 11 Office
  • Forsyth County Attorney’s Office (Child Support Enforcement and Child Protective Service
  • Corporate General Counsel – includes Reynolds American, BB&T, Novant Health, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center & Krispy Kreme

On the criminal side, students spend six weeks of the semester in relevant offices, such as:

  • Federal Public Defender’s Office – Middle District of North Carolina (Winston-Salem and Greensboro offices)
  • District Attorney’s Office – Forsyth County
  • District Attorney’s Office – Guilford County
  • District Attorney’s Office – Rockingham County
  • Private Criminal Defense Firms
  • State Public Defender’s Office – Forsyth County
  • State Public Defender’s Office – Guilford County

Two students per semester work in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of North Carolina, the only placement that combines civil and criminal components.

“These students often have the thrill of arguing motions in federal district court, or see their legal research and writing bear fruit in an appeal to the Fourth Circuit,” Anderson explained, adding that clinic students do not take on clients of their own. Instead they work on cases as assigned by their supervising attorneys in their various placement settings.

“These future-shaping experiences can be extraordinary.  Students may ride a corporate jet with their civil law mentor one day, and visit a client on death row with their criminal law supervisor the next.  Students hone their legal research and writing skills on behalf of real clients in both arenas.  Students may appear on behalf of clients in benefits hearings, present arguments in the fast-paced district courts, and may even conduct a jury trial in superior court.   All students experience both the thrill and the responsibility of representing real clients with real legal issues.”