North Carolina Central University School of Law was ranked fifth in the nation by National Jurist magazine for the high percentage of students who acquire hands-on legal experience before graduation.
The report, published in the winter 2014 edition of preLaw Journal, shows that 50.1 percent of NCCU’s 480 law students participated clinics in the 2013 academic year. NCCU was the only North Carolina school to rank in the top 20 for student exposure to clinical experience.
“Central has been ahead its time when it comes to giving students clinical experience,” said Pam Glean, assistant dean for Clinical and Professional Skills at NCCU. “Traditionally, many of our students have gone to work as solo practitioners rather than joining established law firms, so we have had a mission to produce practice-ready lawyers.”
NCCU operates 14 clinics in areas that include criminal, family, veterans, small business and tax law, providing a service to the community and offering students a chance to hone their skills under the supervision of law professors.
Edith Serrano, a third-year student in the School of Law, said working in the juvenile and family clinics has helped her become more solidly versed the type of law she will be practicing.
“There’s a lot to remember from law school, and putting it into practice really cements what is taught in the classroom,” Serrano said. “And we are helping people get the legal assistance they need.”
The American Bar Association Journal has previously ranked NCCU School of Law as providing one of the nation’s top educational values for students seeking a law degree.