Externship Profile: Blackbaud

Chandler Bowers’ externship this past summer at Blackbaud, a developer of software and services for nonprofits worldwide, helped him connect his legal education with the six years he spent in the software industry before attending the Charleston School of Law.

“Since I was 18, I wanted to go to law school and learn the legal side of business,” explained Bowers, who will graduate in December 2015. “My externship at Blackbaud helped me see the real world side of how an in-house legal department operates.”

At Blackbaud’s Daniel Island headquarters, Bowers worked with five in-house attorneys as well as support staff serving four distinct practice areas. These practice areas include commercial transactions, compliance issues ranging from human resources to privacy, corporate governance, and general in-house issues, such as working with outside counsel.

“We give our externs experience in each of the four pillars of our practice areas,” said Jon Olson, Blackbaud’s vice president and general counsel. “My philosophy is that anyone who goes through our program will have a significant leg up. Our externs have a huge advantage in looking for jobs.”

Olson is a generous mentor who has worked with more than 20 Charleston School of Law externs. Bowers feels fortunate to be part of this group. “My externship at Blackbaud has added an important component to my experience and will help me pursue a career in business law,” Bowers said.

Bowers is a native of Grayson, Ga. and graduated from Georgia College and State University before attending the Charleston School of Law.

The Charleston School of Law’s externship program allows students to gain practical work experience while earning course credit. Students complement their classroom studies by working under the direct supervision of members of the judiciary or attorneys in the public or nonprofit sectors. Since the fall of 2006, Charleston School of Law students have completed over 105,452 externship hours. For more information please contact Professor James Klein or Celeste Palmer-Reese.

Story and photo by:  Michelle Mensore Condon