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Elizabeth Hodge

"My externship at the UNC GA Office of Legal Affairs has been especially beneficial to me because it complements much of my coursework from the past two years. I have been assigned really interesting projects relating to arbitration agreements, intellectual property, privacy, and, of course, contracts. These assignments have been concrete applications of what I learn in the classroom."

- Elizabeth Hodge, Class of 2013

Courtney Valentine

"Finally, I would like to say that it is so good of judges at the Court of Appeals and other courts to open their chambers to provide law students with the opportunity to participate in externship programs. Certainly, the judges receive extra help in their workload, and it takes some pressure off the clerks to have more people working on cases, but I would guess that the majority of the benefit really goes to the externs. It is such an amazing experience to still be a student but to be discussing and in some cases drafting, with guidance, legal decisions that are affecting real people in real situations. Although there are many classes in law school that I have genuinely enjoyed, my externship experience will be one of the most memorable in my law school career."

- Courtney Valentine, Class of 2013

"No law school experience has been more worthwhile to me than my externship at the Orange County District Attorney's Office. I had the opportunity to gain knowledge and understanding of criminal law, of how the court system operates and of how and where to find answers to legal questions. But more than that, I had the opportunity to discuss issues with an experienced attorney, who allowed me to witness and participate in the process, answered my many questions, and challenged me to think and to share my ideas. I was allowed a behind-the-scenes look at the process of preparing for trial, of wrestling with whether to offer a plea and, if so, of what to offer, and of how to balance and manage relationships with opposing counsel, judges, police and the public. My externship experience was a perfect bridge from law school to practicing. I was able to be a student and an attorney, to practice and to learn. My supervisor taught me legal lessons, but he has also taught me how to be a lawyer. It is a fine, but important distinction."

- Jen Drorbaugh

"I personally feel that the externship program was one of the most useful and relevant classes I took while in law school."

- Joshua J. Higgin
Office of Corporate Counsel
RTI International

Fall 2011 Washington DC 12 Credit Externs
with Professor Savasta-Kennedy

I would definitely recommend this program to other students. Not only is this externship program one in which you learn a substantial amount about lawyering, it is an excellent career move. As someone not interested in the typical large law firm route, I found the opportunity to work in federal government impossible to resist. In this economy, public interest employers of all types are looking for an honest demonstration that you are committed to their work. I hesitated to apply because I enjoy the extracurricular offerings at Carolina, but my advice to every student is do not hesitate. This is worth the trade-off.

My take away from this experience was a new appreciation for learning goals. I discussed them with my supervisor, and we made things happen. They inspired me to be more proactive about my externship experience.

-Amelia Thompson, DOJ EED, Fall 2011

UNC School of Law | Van Hecke-Wettach Hall | 160 Ridge Road, CB #3380 | Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380 | 919.962.5106

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