E-Net News

Elon Law establishes business clinic and new externship programs

The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Clinic, In-House Counsel Externship Program and Semester-in-Practice Externship Program add to the law school's array of hands-on learning opportunities. 

In addition to the new clinic and externship programs, Elon Law operates an Elder Law Clinic, a Humanitarian Immigration Law Clinic and a Wills Drafting Clinic as well as a general externship program that provides students with learning experiences in dozens of executive, legislative and judicial branch government offices and nonprofit organizations.

“Currently, 94 percent of Elon Law students graduate with practical experience gained from clinics, externships, clerkships or internships,” said law school dean George R. Johnson, Jr. “The addition of two new externship programs and a new clinic advances our goal to ensure that all Elon Law students enrich their legal education through in-depth practice experiences.”

The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Clinic will begin operations in January 2014. It will provide business-related legal services to entrepreneurs and small business owners who would not otherwise be able to afford legal representation. The clinic will operate in space provided by the Nussbaum Center for Entrepreneurship, less than two miles from the law school in downtown Greensboro, North Carolina. John M. Flynn, distinguished practitioner in residence at Elon Law, will supervise students in the clinic.

“Students participating in the clinic will hone legal skills in areas including counseling, document drafting, regulatory compliance, human resources advising, and professional responsibility in a variety of areas of the law impacting small business,” Flynn said. “We look forward to helping students develop their legal skills and to supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem through a referral partnership with the Nussbaum Center and other referral sources.”

The In-House Counsel Externship will enable second- and third-year students to earn academic credit for work in the general counsel offices of for-profit organizations, beginning in the spring of 2014. As part of this externship experience, students may observe attorney meetings, strategy sessions, negotiations and client conferences, while participating in litigation strategy development, contract drafting, contract review and legal research, all under the supervision of in-house corporate counsel.

The Semester-in-Practice Externship is designed for third-year law students who wish to work full-time in a governmental, judicial or non-profit externship. Students enrolled in this competitive program will work 40 hours per week under the supervision of a lawyer and with the support of a faculty member who serves as teacher, coach and mentor. Students in the program will also participate in a concurrent academic component. The Semester-in-Practice Externship program will be offered beginning in the spring 2014 semester.

“Elon clinics and externships are key components of experiential legal education,” said Margaret Kantlehner, associate professor of law and director of externships, the Wills Drafting Clinic and the Elder Law Clinic. “Live client practice experience builds students’ legal skills, prepares them for early success in practice and expands students’ professional resources as they prepare to enter into practice.”

In addition to expanding hands-on learning opportunities for students, the new clinic and the In-House Counsel Externship Program broaden Elon’s business law and business skills development offerings. Other business-oriented programs at Elon Law include a JD/MBA program offered in partnership with the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business at Elon University, a Business Fellows program, a relationship with the North Carolina Business Court, a Business Law Speaker Series and a Leadership Program that was featured in a 2013 National Law Journal special report highlighting five law schools in the United States that are “getting serious about business skills.”

“We have created a wide range of academic and practical learning opportunities for students interested in business, corporate and commercial law careers,” said Andrew Haile, associate dean for academic affairs and associate professor at Elon Law. “Our program of legal education at Elon has always featured strengths in business law, criminal law, public interest law, and trial and appellate advocacy. We intend to continue enriching each of these areas with new programs and initiatives like those announced today.”

Learn more about Elon Law’s legal clinics at law.elon.edu/clinics.

Learn more about Elon Law’s externship programs at law.elon.edu/externships.

Philip Craft,
11/25/2013 8:00 AM