Externship Program

The Campbell Law Externship Program is a pair of academic courses that provides students with an educational experience in a real-world practice setting.  Students who enroll in an externship complete substantive legal work over the course of a semester under the supervision of a judge or practicing attorney.  In doing so, students are able to do the following:

  • Apply the theories they have learned in class and expand their legal knowledge in a substantive area of the law;
  • Develop practical lawyering skills, such as advocating, counseling, interviewing, investigating, researching and writing;
  • Deepen their understanding of what it truly means to be a member of the legal profession and explore their own professional identity; and
  • Forge meaningful and lasting professional connections.

In tandem with their legal work at a field placement, students complete a classroom component led by the Director of Externship, who serves as the professor and faculty supervisor for each extern.  The classroom component is designed to deepen the externship experience and consists of class sessions on issues related to professional development and the practice of law; goal setting; opportunities for self-assessment; and on-going faculty-guided reflection.

Program Overview – Students

More than half of our recent graduates completed one or more externships.

Students are eligible to participate in the Externship Program if they have successfully completed 27 academic credit hours (after the 1L-required curriculum) and are in good academic standing.

Prior to the semester in which they want to extern, students must receive and accept an offer from an eligible legal organization and have it approved by the Director. The following types of organizations are eligible:

  • Judicial chambers and offices (administrative, trial, and appellate)
  • Government entities (local, state, and federal)
  • Public interest and non-profit legal organizations
  • In-house counsel for corporations and institutions
  • Private law firms where the student’s work will be exclusively on pro bono matters

Please click here for a sample list of field placements where our students have externed in recent years.

Once an externship is approved by the Director, students must successfully complete (1) at least 120 hours of legal work at their field placement and (2) the academic portion of the course, including classes and assignments. Externship courses are graded descriptively and result in two academic credit hours.

Students can find more information on Program policies and requirements in the “Program Manual” located in the Career Services organization on Blackboard.

Program Overview – Field Placements and Supervisors

Per American Bar Association (ABA) Standards and our Program requirements, field placements must provide students with a substantial lawyering experience that is similar to the experience of a lawyer advising or representing a client or engaging in other lawyering tasks.  Students must also be provided with multiple opportunities for the performance of legal skills.  In other words, the work of an extern should be similar to that of an entry-level attorney or judicial law clerk.  Administrative work (e.g., data entry, scanning/copying, paperwork, notebook creation) must be kept to a minimum.

Students must also be supervised by a licensed attorney or judge, who are an integral part of the externship experience.  Supervisors are expected to meet regularly with the student, assist the student in reaching their goals by assigning relevant projects or identifying learning opportunities, provide frequent and substantive feedback on student work product and performance, include the student in organizational activities and functions, and remain in regular communication with the Director.  The Director supports supervisors by providing a supervisor manual containing best practices for supervision and other training materials, engaging in check-ins and/or site visits, and serving as a resource throughout the semester.

NOTE: Supervisors and field placements must comply with Campbell University’s non-discrimination policy.

If you are an organization that is interested in hosting Campbell Law students as a field placement, our Career Center is happy to facilitate the application process through Symplicity, our recruitment software:


Many of our field placement partners receive applications from and host our students throughout the year—fall, spring, and summer.  Partners who wish to do so many join our “recurring” list, where in our Career Center will automatically post applications each semester.  We are happy to accommodate custom timelines or requests.  Below are general posting parameters:

Externship Term

Class Levels

Earliest Posting Date

Latest Closing Date

Students available to start externship

Fall 2024

2L, 3L



First Day of Classes: 8/12/2024

Spring 2025

2L, 3L



First Day of Classes: 1/6/2024

Summer 2025

1L (rising 2L), 2L (rising 3L)



Typically after Graduation: 05/09/2024


Questions about externship postings? Contact the Career Center at lawcareercenter@campbell.edu or (919) 865-5898.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Students

Will the law school match me with an externship opportunity?

No, students are responsible for obtaining their own externship.  However, the Director and the Career Center support students in this process by posting externship applications on Symplicity, advertising opportunities in the Career Advisor newsletter, counseling students on strategies for obtaining an externship, and assisting with application materials and interview preparation.

When should I start looking for and applying to externships?

Generally, the semester before you wish to extern. Although opportunities may be secured earlier, field placements generally accept applications and make offers several months in advance of the start of a given semester.

Can I be paid for my externship?

Yes. Per ABA Standards, students may receive payment in the form of wages, a stipend, or a scholarship while simultaneously receiving academic credit.  Students at judicial placements who are offered external funding must abide by the rules of conduct and ethics set by the relevant court.  Students who will receive payment must disclose this on their Student Performance Commitment form.

How can I have my externship approved?

Externship opportunities secured through Symplicity or the Career Center are pre-approved.  A student who finds an “outside” opportunity or secures a legal internship and wishes to convert it to an externship must contact the Director, who will request that the student provide detailed information about the position, supervisor, and organization.  The Director will vet the potential field placement and make a final determination on approval.

My field placement wants me to obtain my Student Practice Certification (formerly known as the Third-Year Practice Rule) from the North Carolina State Bar.  What is that and how do I obtain it?

Some field placements request that students obtain their Student Practice Certification through the North Carolina State Bar.  This certification allows students to engage in the activities listed in Rule .0206 of the Governing Rules of the State Bar, including representing eligible clients before an administrative tribunal or court.  More information about the certification process, including the required forms and relevant rules, can be found here.

Can I enroll in two externships at the same time?

No, students may not extern at multiple field placements in a single semester.

How many externships can I complete while in law school?

You can enroll in two externships over the course of your legal education — Externship I (LAW-891) and Externship II (LAW-892) — for a total of 4 academic credit hours.

Can I complete Externship I and II at the same place?

No. You may not extern twice at the same field placement.  Exceptions will only be considered if you will be receiving a distinct and substantially different educational experience (e.g., in a different division of a large organization).  Repeat externships are at the discretion of the Director.

More Information

For any other questions about the Externship Program, please reach out to Nicholas Sanders, Director of Externships, at nsanders@campbell.edu.

Campbell University School of Law’s Externship Program is governed by ABA Standard 304: “Experiential Courses: Simulation Courses, Law Clinics, and Field Placements”