The Leadership Program

The Second-Year Experience

In Public Law & Leadership, a second-year course, Elon Law students learn to work together in teams to tackle legal problems for nonprofit organizations and government agencies. The course gives students an opportunity to exercise leadership in the public arena by creating legal proposals for nonprofit and government entities. The course is explored in-depth through the video segment and additional content below.

Request for Legal Project Proposals from Non-Profit and Government Entities

Non-profit organizations and government entities are invited to submit project proposals for the 2014-2015 academic year Public Law & Leadership course. Click here to download the application and a complete description of the criteria for selection.

Under the supervision of law professors and attorney coaches, students work in small groups, employing client interviewing techniques, legal research methods, and written and oral communication skills to develop memoranda and presentations for their clients.

In-class discussions explore team dynamics and the attributes of effective team leadership. Executive coaches assist students in assessing their individual leadership styles and establishing goals for interpersonal development in the team context.

Plenary sessions with lawyers from diverse practices expose students to the practical challenges and benefits of leadership in the law and community. 

Students emerge from the class with a view of the leadership and practical skills expected of lawyers in the profession and in public service roles.

Recent Organizations Served through the Public Law & Leadership Course:

Action Greensboro • Alliance of Disability Advocates • Center for Youth, Family, and Community Partnerships • City of Greensboro, University Roundtable • East Market Street Development Corporation • Greensboro Housing Coalition • Housing Greensboro, Inc. • National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth • Piedmont Conservation Council, Inc. • Self Help Corporation • Triad Local First • Volunteer Center of Greensboro

News about Public Law & Leadership

Class of 2013 law students advise nonprofits as clients

Piedmont Conservation Council, Greensboro Housing Coalition, North Carolina Business Court and Glenwood Family Ministries engaged second-year Elon Law students for analysis of legal questions and concerns as part of the 2012 Public Law & Leadership course. A report on the course is available here.

Members of the Class of 2012 describe the value of the second year leadership course at Elon Law

Whitney Butcher, Allison Lukanitch, and Simon O'Brien, all members of the Class of 2012 at Elon Law, provided commentary in essays and video interviews about their experiences working directly with clients and serving nonprofit organizations through the Public Law & Leadership courses. Watch the videos and read their essays here.

Elon Law students advance nonprofit initiatives through Public Law & Leadership

In January 2010, members of the Class of 2011 worked with three nonprofit organizations and a government agency on a range of legal issues facing their organizations, from farmland preservation to juvenile substance abuse prevention. Click here for a full report.

Law students assist local nonprofits through Public Law & Leadership - 2009

With nearly 100 second-year students taking part, multiplied by the number of hours each person spent researching legal opinions and federal and state laws, the professor leading the course estimated that Elon Law students contributed nearly a half million dollars in services to four nonprofit organizations in Greensboro. Click here for details.

Elon Law students advise on housing policy at regional summit

On February 26, 2009 Elon Law students presented research on affordable housing strategies before a broad range of government officials and non-profit professionals at a regional housing summit. “Their work is a great example of what we are seeking to achieve through the Public Law & Leadership and through the law school’s broader mission to create lawyers who also have the capacity to be effective leaders in their communities,” said Elon Law professor Thomas Noble. Click here for details.

Law School kicks off Public Law & Leadership course

The course gives second-year law students the chance to learn about leadership theory and apply it through work on real issues with real community partners, such as Legal Aid of North Carolina and Action Greensboro. Click here for the report announcing the course in January 2008.