Information for Students

Summer 2017 program dates: May 22-June 22, 2018

Student Application deadline: February 16, 2018

What is the Wake Forest Summer Externship (aka the “Carolina Externship”)?

The Wake Forest Summer Externship Program is available to rising 2Ls and rising 3Ls attending Wake Forest University School of Law.  The Externship is an opportunity for current law students to gain real-world experience in a “field” placement at a law office. The Externship consists of both practical and classroom components. The program has been designed with a high degree of flexibility to accommodate student interest and the availability of quality placements.

Placements include general counsel offices of publicly traded companies; private law firms; government counsel offices; public interest organizations; and other organizations whose needs match those of students in the program. Most of the placements are located in Charlotte, Raleigh, or the triad, but there are some in other parts of the state and country. The classroom component consists of a 2-hour mandatory seminar session each week of the program’s official dates, conducted online via WebEx.

How do the classes work? 

The Externship will require you to have access to the internet one night a week for 2 hours, usually Wednesdays from 6-8 pm.  You will sign on via WebEx and class will be held live. Classes review practical skills and offer an opportunity for meaningful reflection on your work.  They also feature guest speakers who speak on different aspects of practice. Classes are only offered during Summer Session I, so you must be able to participate in class at that time, regardless of whether your placement runs precisely within Summer Session I dates.  The class as a whole is four credit hours, pass/fail.

Can I get paid?

All of the positions are unpaid. Per WFU Law policy, students cannot receive both credit and payment for work.

Can I back out if I get a paid opportunity?

If you are accepted into the program you are obligated to accept an offer from a placement.

Does it cost anything to participate?

Yes.  You must pay summer tuition for the course, which is 4 credit hours. Financial aid is available, and questions concerning financial aid should be addressed to the tuition and financial aid office.

I already have a summer internship, and it’s unpaid.  I want to get course credit for it.  Can I get credit through the Carolina Externship?

Yes! We think it’s wonderful that you’ve taken the initiative to find your own placement.  You’ll need to supply a letter from your supervisor stating where you will be working and their understanding that you will be participating in the program. Please make sure to include the supervisor’s name, the organization’s name, and the supervisor’s email and phone. Please note that all supervisor must be attorneys.

How do I apply?

By FEBRUARY 14, 2017:

Step 1:  Complete the application, available online here, in as much detail as possible.  Please note: the ONLY person reading the form is the Externship Coordinator.  Please be completely honest about your goals (and your limitations) so that she can help you get the best possible experience this summer.

Step 2: Email your resume and cover letter explaining why you want to participate in the program AND how doing so will contribute to your post-graduate career goals to Prof. Elizabeth Goodwin,, with the subject line: Summer Externship- Your Last Name.

Step 3: You will be notified by email if you have been accepted into the program and how to proceed with the next steps in the process by February 20.  If you are accepted, you will have an opportunity to apply to and interview with up to 4 different organizations that you are interested in working with. If one of those organizations makes you an offer, you are obligated to accept it unless otherwise given permission not to do so by Prof. Goodwin.

Placements will be decided by Wake Forest Law faculty in conjunction with field supervisors by March 28, 2018.

Please note that host organizations will interview students prior to finalizing the summer placement. You should treat this like any other job interview and go prepared.

Students are responsible for their own housing during the Externship. For our Charlotte externs, UNCC offers short-term housing for students doing internships in Charlotte over the summer.  More information is available on their website.

Questions? Email Professor Elizabeth Goodwin at