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Experiential Learning Information

Wake Forest School of Law is committed to helping you practice what you learn. Through several outstanding programs—some curricular, some extracurricular, and some co-curricular—students work, argue, research, write, and practice, often while helping citizens in need. Our approach tightly integrates study, practice, and experience, and it develops great lawyers.

Students who have completed at least three semesters of the requirements for a J.D. are eligible to enroll in a clinic and be certified to provide supervised representation to clients. For more information on the rules governing practical training for law students in North Carolina, see 27 N.C.A.C. Chapter 1C, Section .0200.

Enrollment and Policies

Students who have completed at least three semesters of law school are generally eligible to enroll in a clinic. Clinic Week will be held each semester, and students can learn more about all of the experiential learning opportunities available and the specific requirements for each program.

Experiential Learning and Practical Skills Requirements

The Practical Skills requirement remains in place for JD students who entered law school prior to the 2016-17 academic term. These students must satisfactorily complete one Practical Skills course. For JD students entering in the 2016–17 academic year and thereafter, the practical skills requirement adopted by the faculty on April 25, 2005, is repealed.

First year JD students entering in the 2016–17 academic year and thereafter must satisfactorily complete one or more experiential course(s) totaling at least six hours. An experiential course must be a simulation course, a law clinic, or a field placement. A list of experiential courses may be found on the law school courses website.

Instructor Approval Required

Approval by all instructors is required for a student to enroll in a single semester in more than one clinic, more than one practicum extension, more than one field placement, or two or more clinics, practicums, or field placements.

Limits on Hours Earned Through Field Placements, Other Study Outside the Classroom, and in Another Department, School, College, or University

Students may earn no more than 20 hours of credit for study outside the classroom, which includes field placements (such as externships, internships, or practicums), co-curricular activities (journals and moot court-related activities), and non-JD courses earned in other departments or schools at this university or another institution of higher learning.

Students who earn their JD degree through a joint or concurrent degree must earn at least 64 credit hours in courses that require attendance in regularly scheduled classroom sessions or direct faculty instruction, as defined in ABA Standard 311. This requirement will prevent joint degree students from enrolling in the full 20 hours of credits described in this policy.

Students may not enroll in field placements or clinics until the student has completed instruction equivalent to 28 credit hours toward the JD degree.