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Regional, National and International Externships

Through Elon Law’s Residency-in-Practice Program, every Elon Law student spends one trimester working full-time for academic credit in a law-related field placement anywhere in the world. 

Students also have the option to complete one or more externships, either before or after their residency-in-practice. Like residents, externs engage in a substantial lawyering experience reasonably similar to the experience of a lawyer advising or representing a client or engaging in other lawyering tasks, under the supervision of an attorney or judge. However, externs do so part-time, either in the summer or during a non-residency trimester.

Students arrange their own externships, with support from faculty and administrators, giving them the ability to progressively build their lawyering skills, as well as their professional network, in an area of their choosing.

Externs benefit from having both a lawyer or judge “teacher-in-the-field” and a law professor, who together assist the student set learning goals, progress on those goals, and reflect on lessons learned. Over the course of the term, externs meet individually with their professor and with similarly situated externs, either in-person, by phone or online via WebEx. 

The General Externship Course is open to all students. Elon Law offers specialized externship courses for Leadership Fellows, Business Fellows, and Advocacy Fellows.   

PASSWORD PROTECTED: Instructions for current Elon Law students interested in pursuing an externship

Elon Law student Tom Prendergast“I learned a great deal about how law is actually practiced on a day-to-day basis. My externship experience expanded my horizons and helped to formulate my career goals.”

Tom Prendergast, Class of 2014, speaking about his externship in the Office of the Counsel for the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Washington, D.C.

Student & Alumni Reflections on the Value of Elon Law Externships

Externship places you outside of the classroom

“This position was a vital stepping-stone in elevating me into my current career. The experience enabled me to acquire skills necessary to be successful in healthcare and government regulation.”Phillip Clontz L’12, Risk Management and Compliance Officer at Pendleton Financial, Raleigh, N.C., regarding his externship with the U.S. Dept. of Veteran’s Affairs Office of Regional Counsel in Winston-Salem, N.C.

“Elon Law sharpened not only my academic and analytical skills, but my leadership skills as well. Learning through an institution that highlights and focuses on leadership prepares you for not only the academic aspects of an externship, but the office dynamics as well. I felt exceptionally prepared to converse with those in my office and to take leadership of my own learning experience to get the most out of every day in the office.”Katherine Koone L’14 Externship for the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)

“I expected my externship experience to be a great legal learning opportunity, and it was even better than that. I learned so many invaluable lessons about criminal law and procedure, evidence and the court system through a great amount of daily practical experience and through observation of district attorneys, defense attorneys, judges and clerks.”Hannah Davies L'14 Externship with the Burke County District Attorney’s Office

“The FINRA externship gave me an opportunity to work closely with enforcement attorneys on a variety of cases at many different stages, from researching facts relating to initial complaints all the way through to assisting counsel in depositions and hearings. I was able to see the whole process from the investigation to the decision to file a formal action, and what the enforcement division’s considerations are at each step of the way.”Katherine Lester L’15 Externship at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in Woodbridge, N.J.

“I had observed court before, but working with Judge Davis gave me insight into the legal process form a different vantage point.”Julie Dogan L'15 Externship with the the Honorable Lindsay R. Davis, Jr., Senior Resident Superior Court Judge.

“Working in the chambers of the Business Court provided me a great perspective on how the North Carolina legal system processes complex business matters. I learned the process by which a court makes decisions, which will help me in my future practice before a court.”Andrew Realon L’14 Externship for Judge James L. Gale, North Carolina Business Court

“The rigorous demand for in-depth legal analysis that is required at Elon Law helped significantly in addressing complex problems and coming up with creative solutions in my summer externship.”Chris Genheimer L’15 Externship with the Triad-area Inception Micro Angel Fund and the Small Business and Technology Development Center in Winston-Salem, N.C.

“Working on real life cases, even on the background work, is tremendously interesting and satisfying.”Murphy Townsend L'14 Externship with the Guilford County District Attorney’s Office in High Point, N.C.