The Campbell University Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law (Campbell Law) started in 1976 and was originally located near the main campus in the small town of Buies Creek, North Carolina. Campbell soon developed a stellar reputation for educating lawyers in North Carolina and for a stretch of 26 years had the highest bar passage rate of any law school in the state–outpacing the law schools at Duke, UNC, and Wake Forest. In 2009, the law school relocated to the Raleigh, the state capital, and one of the largest cities in the county without a law school of its own. The law school’s new home sits a short distance from the state legislative office and the judicial offices. The law school has produced two justices who served North Carolina Court of Appeals.
Campbell Law offers both a traditional three year Juris Doctor program as well as an innovative “flex” program that allows students to complete their degree according to their own timeline. Both programs require 90 hours of coursework. In the traditional program, students learn from a mixture of traditional academic courses as well as cutting-edge skill-based programs. The first-year requires 30 hours of instructions focused on building a foundation in the core academic courses of the American legal system: civil procedure, constitutional law, contracts, criminal law, property, and torts. Students also take a two-semester course covering the fundamental skills of legal research and writing.
Students who opt for the flex program must complete the 30 hours of the first-year curriculum in their first two years of study. Flex students attend the same classes as full-time students but only complete five to nine hours a semester depending on their career or life demands. Students have as many as 14 semesters to complete the Juris Doctor program. After completing the first-year program, flex students may also shift to a full-time program at any time.
All students must complete a broad array of additional courses that core courses such as evidence, secured transaction, and wills and trusts as well as additional skill-based courses in legal writing including the completion of an advanced writing project. Campbell Law requires all students to take at least one class in jurisprudence–a more philosophical look on the theories that underpin the legal system. On the practical side, all students must take a planning course which provides hands-on training in a variety of practice areas such estate planning or trial planning.
Campbell Law provides students with nine practice areas that contain coursework for students interested in pursuing a career in these fields. Students choose their own electives but by following a grouping, they further ensure they are ready to meet the challenges of their professional careers.
Campbell Law offers its Juris Doctor candidates one of the most unique dual degree programs in the country. In total, the law school offers nine different programs where law students work concurrently on another professional degree program. Five of these programs are in conjunction with Campbell University’s other graduate programs on their main campus in Buies Creek. The other four are in conjunction with a unique partnership with NC State University–a major public research institution also located in Raleigh, NC. In conjunction with Campbell University, students have the option of pairing their J.D. with a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree, an M.B.A from Campbell’s business school, a Master of Divinity degree, a Master of Science in Public Health, or a Master of Wealth Management. At NC State, J.D. students have the option of working concurrently on a Master of Social Work, a Master of Accounting, a Master of Public Administration, or an M.B.A. from NC State’s Poole College of Management.
Completing a joint degree program allows students to share credits between both programs which reduces the total time and cost to complete both programs. Additionally, students distinguish themselves through an interdisciplinary approach to their legal practices.
Career and Career Services
Within 10 months of graduation, an average of 93% of all Campbell Law graduates are employed in long-term, full-time employment. The substantial majority of employed graduates (almost 95%) find careers that requires a law license or prefer a Juris Doctor degree. Campbell Law graduates overwhelmingly opt for work in small law firms of 1 to 10 attorneys (over a third of all employed graduates). All law firm work accounts for over 60% of graduates’ first career choice. Smaller percentages of students opt for careers in the business sector (11%), government or public interest offices (12.5%), or judicial clerkships (7%). Campbell has long built a reputation for educating lawyers to practice in North Carolina. This reputation is reflected in graduates career choices as 88% of graduates remain in North Carolina to begin their professional careers.
The Campbell Law Career Center strives to help students marry their academic knowledge with their practical skills in order to empower them to fulfill their professional goals. The Career Center offers three major services: education, coaching and development, and connections. Through career education, law students learn the skill of developing their professional profiles. Students learn to interview, prepare resumes, expand their scope of legal employment, and master business etiquette. The Career Center presents programs throughout the year to help students learn how to take control of their professional profiles. In individual and group sessions, the Career Center staff coaches students through self-assessment and skill development. As students progress through their academic careers, the Career Center administers their first on-campus interviews with summer and full-time employers as well as provides networking opportunities with the larger legal community. The law school’s location in the heart of North Carolina’s legal community offers students endless opportunities to develop professional connections.
Experiential Learning/Distance Education
Campbell Law has long been a pioneer of educating practice-ready attorneys. The academic requirements ground students in the practical skills necessary to pass the bar exam and be ready to practice law on the first day on the job. The cornerstone of Campbell Law’s experiential education program is their legal clinics. Campbell Law offers students five practice areas including their critical community law clinic that provides vital representation to Raleigh’s indigent residents. Students also work in the fields of restorative justice, senior law, capital business, and bankruptcy. Students work in the clinics under the supervision of faculty experts who guide students and offer critical feedback as they learn the skills necessary to succeed in their professional careers.
Located in the heart of North Carolina’s legal community, Campbell Law’s externship program allows students to earn two credit hours for each 120 hours of legal work performed in an external field placement. The externship program exposes students to a myriad of administrative and substantive legal tasks that are necessary for any lawyer to master.
Students also learn practical skills through Campbell Law’s award winning competitive trial teams. The school’s trial advocacy and moot court programs are nationally competitive and have garnered the school a national ranking for its advocacy program.
Although Campbell Law requires residential coursework, their flex program allows students to complete their law degree in as many as seven years in as few as five hours per semester. This affords many students the opportunity to manage other demands while completing their law degree.
Campbell Law prides itself on being a community beyond the classroom. The law school has a rich tradition of community service. The school’s student organization program offers students over 20 clubs and groups that share their passions through programs and volunteerism. Campbell Law is a leader in student publications and innovation, publishing two journals and hosting a podcast that reports on legal developments. Since 2013, the law school has leveraged its substantial alumni network in a unique mentorship program that pairs students with a mentor from the local bar association.
Campbell Law’s Raleigh campus was built in 2009 and is a state-of-the-art facility located just minutes from the legal epicenter of the state. The campus contains a law library as well as a mock courtroom. In walking distance of campus are downtown Raleigh’s many restaurants, parks, breweries, and museums. Law students find affordable housing throughout the greater downtown area and can use the city’s free downtown bus loop for commuting to campus. Raleigh is one of the country’s fastest-growing cities and is consistently cited as having some of the highest standards of living for anywhere in the country. Campbell Law students enjoy a great education in the heart of one of America’s great cities.