Skip to main content

2024 Open Door Fellows

The NCBF Open Door Fellowship is a unique, competitive opportunity for first-year North Carolina law students. Open Door Fellows gain valuable, hands-on legal experience while widening their professional networks to “open doors” and prepare them for the next steps in their legal careers.

We seek applications from first-year law students who have demonstrated a commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion through their activities, background and life experiences, as well as first-year law students who are members of groups that have been historically underrepresented in the legal profession, including first-generation college students and those from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds. Applicants must be interested in practicing law in North Carolina, be enrolled full-time at an ABA-accredited North Carolina law school, and have a demonstrated commitment to the NCBF’s mission and values.

Congratulations to Darius Alexander and April Franklin, the 2024 NCBF Open Door Fellows!

Darius Alexander is a law student at UNC Chapel Hill. Prior to law school, he attended East Carolina University and majored in Political Science and Philosophy. Originally from Connecticut, Darius has called North Carolina home for almost a decade and seeks to build a career in the Triad. He is a first-generation college graduate who hopes to begin a mentorship program for those in his community after earning his law degree. Through the fellowship, he will spend his summer gaining experience at the law firm Craige Jenkins under the guidance of attorney Rebecca Smitherman.


April Franklin is a law student at Elon University. Prior to attending law school, she worked in the healthcare industry and received a dual Master’s degree in Gerontology and Business Administration from UNC Greensboro. April is passionate about advocating for senior adults and educating their caregivers, which motivated her to start a business called Fresh Wave Care LLC and write a book titled The Millennial’s Guide to Caregiving Brand. Through the fellowship, she will spend her summer gaining experience at The Fresh Market under the guidance of attorney Gerald Walden.