Elon Law ranked #7 in nation for practical training

preLaw Magazine's 2020 guide to “Best Schools for Practical Training” listed Elon Law as a top law school for "giving students real-world experience before they step into the real world."

One of the nation’s most widely read publications covering legal education named Elon University School of Law among the best American law schools for practical training in its 2020 guide to programs that emphasize hands-on learning.

Elon Law ranked #7 in preLaw Magazine’s latest “Best Schools for Practical Training” feature with a grade of A+, in part because, as the magazine notes, every Elon Law student must complete a full-time residency-in-practice with a law firm, judge, government organization, nonprofit or clinic as part of their studies.

preLaw uses information collected by the American Bar Association to formulate its annual rankings: ratio of clinic seats to student body, number of clinics, externship ratios, simulation ratios, moot court ratios and consideration of pro bono requirements.

Elon Law offers students a broad array of opportunities to hone practical training skills throughout their 2.5 years of study. Those include:

  • Full-time residencies-in-practice
  • Team-based legal projects for nonprofits
  • Lab courses
  • Five clinics (immigration, small business and entrepreneurship, wills drafting, guardian ad litem appellate advocacy, and constitutional law appellate advocacy)
  • Moot court and mock trial teams
  • Internships, externships, and judicial clerkships
  • Bridge-to-practice courses
  • Attorney shadowing
  • Involvement with the Pro Bono Board

“At a time of challenge and angst about our local community and nation’s current and future circumstances due to COVID-19, we know from our experience that smart assessment, creative planning and effective implementation will provide opportunity for forward progress,” said Elon Law Dean Luke Bierman. “While there remain obstacles and challenges as we continue to adapt to our current health emergency while looking ahead, recognition like that provided by preLaw offers solace with encouragement that by working together we can accomplish our mission to prepare lawyer leaders for service to the legal profession and their communities.”

The ranking from preLaw Magazine comes at the same time that Elon Law prepares to report a 90 percent employment rate for its Class of December 2018 with significant improvements to its bar passage success previously shared with the American Bar Association. In the same issue of preLaw that ranks Elon Law’s practical training emphasis, the magazine also included Elon Law on its list of “Schools with the Biggest Improvement” on the bar exam.

And since adopting its new curriculum, which addresses what Bierman has called the “dirty little secrets” of law school being too long, too expensive, and too disconnected from the profession, Elon Law has reduced by nearly 33% the average debt students report at graduation.

At the same time, Elon Law has strengthened its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Nearly a third of all graduates in recent years have been self-identified students of color, with Elon Law investing time and resources to assist first-generation law school students and mid-career students with families.

“During applicant interviews and other conversations, prospective students share that they are drawn to Elon Law because they learn best when they ‘learn by doing,’ which is the hallmark of our academic program,” said Alan Woodlief, senior associate dean for admissions. “They are excited that their two-and-a-half years here will be packed with opportunities to gain real-world experience that prepares them to hit the ground running when they graduate and makes them attractive to prospective employers.”

For more information on Elon Law and the application process, visit the law school’s admissions page. Elon Law continues to actively admit the Elon Law Class of 2022, a class of 150 talented and diverse students scheduled to enroll in August 2020.