Elon Law’s Flex program has gotten the go-ahead by the American Bar Association and The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to begin enrollment. The part-time law program is accepting applications and will welcome in their first cohort in the fall.
Dean of Elon Law Zak Kramer said that Elon Law had been thinking about branching out into Charlotte with a law program for a while, but it accelerated last year when they applied to the two law school accreditors over the summer.
“It is a flexible program for place-bound individuals in Charlotte,” Kramer said. “It is an opportunity for folks who could not come to Greensboro for law school to get their law degree in Charlotte.”
Kramer said that Elon Law’s Flex Program will allow their students to graduate in four years with their law degree rather than the typical two and a half year, full-time Elon Law program. Kramer said that classes would be held in the late evenings and even possibly weekends to accommodate for their students' schedules.
“We are in the dream-making business here,” Kramer said. “I think the important thing is not everybody, given their circumstance in life, has the opportunity to stop what they are doing and go to law school.”
Kramer said that they chose Charlotte because Elon Law already had such strong ties to the city. He said 10% of alumni are based there and a significant chunk of students are getting opportunities in Charlotte.
Kramer also said the purpose of opening up a program there was to continue to build their relationships and to create more opportunities for students.
“We are not going to Charlotte, we are already in Charlotte,” Kramer said. “This is about firming up the relationships.”
According to Kramer also, having the Elon Flex Program in Charlotte is important because North Carolina needs more lawyers to eliminate legal deserts. He said it is important to not only bring students from across the country to North Carolina but to keep them here.
“We want to make sure that we are supplying North Carolina with ethical and innovative lawyers,” Kramer said.
Kramer said that part of keeping future lawyers within the state is expanding Elon Law’s branches to more than just Greensboro. He said that they have a residency in practice program that they are planning to integrate into the Charlotte program where students have the opportunity to go out and work for attorneys while in school.
He said that they are already receiving wonderful feedback from employers in Charlotte and they are eager to work with Elon Law students.
“We think it is going to be a wonderful partnership between us and the legal community in Charlotte and the surrounding communities,” Kramer said.