University of Georgia School of Law

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University of Georgia
School of Law
UGA Law Logo.png
Motto Justitia
Established 1859
School type Public
Dean Rebecca H. White
Location Athens, Georgia, USA
Enrollment 650 Avg.
Faculty 79
The University of Georgia School of Law in 2010
Georgia Law Library

The University of Georgia School of Law (also referred to as Georgia Law) is a graduate school of the University of Georgia. Founded in 1859 and located in Athens, Georgia, USA, about an hour away from the commercial and transportation hub that is Atlanta, Georgia, Georgia Law is the second oldest of the University's schools and colleges, second only to Franklin College.

The University of Georgia School of Law is ranked in the top 14% (#29) of the 204 American Bar Association approved private and public law schools in the 2014 edition of U.S. News & World Report although this ranking is not dispositive of the excellence of its students and faculty. The students at Georgia Law are talented and diverse; the 189 members of the class of 2015, for example, come from 27 different states and 80 different undergraduate colleges and universities, their median LSAT score is in the top tenth percentile, and their median GPA is 3.7. Georgia Law J.D. students' admissions credentials place them in the top 6% of all law students nationally.[1] Admissions is highly competitive.[2]

According to the National Law Journal, Georgia Law placed 18% of its 2005 graduating class in NLJ 250 firms and Georgia Law remains among the top law schools that NLJ 250 firms rely on the most to fill their first-year associate positions.[3] In addition to this placement, approximately 15% of 2005 Georgia Law graduates went on to judicial clerkships.[3] According to Georgia's official 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 67.9% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment within nine months after graduation.[4]

Georgia Law has placed six clerks for The U.S. Supreme Court in the last nine years. A Supreme Court clerkship is one of the most distinguished appointments a law school graduate can obtain.

Given the University of Georgia School of Law's low tuition, the New York Times recently completed a survey comparing starting salaries and degree costs of law schools and found "Georgia Law graduates earning some of the highest salaries in the country while their educational costs were reported among the very lowest, speaking to the quality of the education as well as the excellent return on investment provided at Georgia Law."[5]

History and Environment[edit]

The law school was created in December 1859 and was originally housed in the law offices of Lumpkin & Cobb, which were located on the corner of Prince Avenue and Pulaski Street in Athens. In 1861, the school closed due to the Civil War and was reopened in 1867. The two co-founders, Lumpkin and Cobb, died during this period. When the school reopened, it was located in the Ivy Building (now the south wing of the Holmes-Hunter Academic Building) on the University of Georgia campus.

After continuing to grow, the law school moved in 1919 into the former Athenaeum Club building on the northeast corner of Broad Street and Lumpkin Street. The school remained in this building until Harold Hirsch Hall was erected in 1932, providing additional class rooms, offices and the large Hatton Lovejoy Courtroom.[6]

Hirsch Hall was greatly expanded in 1967 with a large addition that provided an expansion for the law school's Alexander Campbell King Law Library and added several classrooms, common areas, offices and a multi-use auditorium.

Subsequently, a new annex building was added that providing even more library space (specially to house the extensive private library of Professor Louis B. Sohn, a Woodruff Chair professor at Georgia who previously held the Bemis Chair at Harvard Law School), Georgia Law faculty offices, and offices for student publications.

Next, the new Rusk International and Comparative Law building was constructed adjacent to the main library, named after Georgia Law professor, and former U.S. Secretary of State, Dean Rusk.

Thus far the last addition to the law school facilities include a multistory enclosed arboretum for relaxed gathering of students and faculty.

The law school complex is located on "Old Campus" that is a registered historic area, is covered with old growth trees and historic buildings, and is within walking distance of historic Victorian-era downtown Athens and covered parking decks. Located in northeast Georgia, Athens has grown alongside the University of Georgia and its students for the past two centuries. The Classic City, as it is known, mixes small-town charm and comfort with a progressive atmosphere and a rich art, culinary, music and intellectual culture. Athens has been named the "Best College Music Town in the Country" by Rolling Stone, was also ranked a "Top Arts Destination" by AmericanStyle, has recognized restaurants including a top ten restaurant in the South selected by Southern Living, was chosen as one of "America's Greenest Cities" by Popular Science, and voted the nation's "Second Best College Town" by Sports Illustrated. Nestled below the Blue Ridge Mountains, Athens is only about an hour's drive from the commercial, government, entertainment, and transportation hub that is Atlanta, which city's economy ranks 15th among world cities and sixth in the nation, and which contains the country's third largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies.


Admission to Georgia Law is highly competitive.[7] Although many factors are taken into account when making admissions decisions, entering students from the class of 2012 boasted a median LSAT and GPA of 164 [90th percentile/top 10%] and 3.7, respectively.[8] Georgia Law students' admissions credentials place them in the top 6% of all law students nationally.[1]

Applications to Georgia Law continue to increase each year. In 2009, applications for the Georgia Law Juris Doctor candidates were up 33% from the previous year, with 3,074 prospective students applying for admission, and continue to grow.[8] Of the qualified applicants, only 24.9% were granted admission.[9]

The law school is well represented by students from around the country and the world. For example, the 189 members of the class of 2015 enrolled to obtain the JD degree come from 27 different states and 80 different undergraduate colleges and universities.

Georgia Law has a limited enrollment of an average total of 650 students, with a student-faculty ratio of 11.5:1. Notwithstanding the limited student body, accepted students have an extensive range of educational resources and participation opportunities.


Tuition for a year at Georgia Law is $16,894 for Georgia residents and $34,564 for non-residents, although it is possible for non-residents to pay tuition at the resident rate after becoming Georgia residents and Georgia Law offers tuition reduction scholarships that allow non-residents to pay the resident tuition rate for one or two semesters of the first year of law school. The total cost of attendance (including the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) for the 2013-2014 academic year is estimated to be $35,140 for a Georgia resident and $52,810 for a non-resident.[10] The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance (including the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) for all three years of school is $140,594 for residents and $208,385 for non-residents.[11] Many non-residents become residents after enrollment, and School of Law Scholarships, including Tuition Equalization Scholarships and Tuition Reduction Scholarships for non-residents, are awarded by the School of Law each year to members of the entering class.[12] In addition to the School of Law Scholarships, External Scholarships from private and nonprofit organizations are available, as well as the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, and Stafford and Graduate Plus loans.[13][14] Given the University of Georgia School of Law's low tuition, the New York Times recently completed a survey comparing starting salaries and degree costs of law schools and found "Georgia Law graduates earning some of the highest salaries in the country while their educational costs were reported among the very lowest, speaking to the quality of the education as well as the excellent return on investment provided at Georgia Law."[5]

Law Review and Journals[edit]

Georgia Law students publish three highly regarded legal journals, including the Georgia Law Review, the Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law, and the Journal of Intellectual Property Law. In addition the students publish the Georgia Law Review Online that features short, op-ed length essays by practitioners, judges and professors focused primarily on timely legal issues in the U.S. These journals have frequently been cited by federal and state courts, as well as textbooks and other law reviews.[15] Membership on the journals is limited to the 2L and 3L years.[15]

Lectures and Colloquia[edit]

Georgia Law sponsors eminent guest scholars to teach courses and to speak to students each year. Lectures and courses include the Faculty Colloquium Series through which some of the nation's top legal academics present substantial works in progress, the John A. Sibley Lecture Series that honors the leadership and public spirit of the 1911 Georgia Law graduate by bringing eminent scholars and political leaders to its campus each year to promote the intellectual exchange of ideas, the Edith House Lecture Series that brings outstanding female legal scholars and practitioners to Athens, the International Law Colloquium Series that brings leading international law scholars to Athens to present substantial works in progress, the Carl E. Sanders Political Leadership Scholar/Lecturer appointments created so law students could learn from individuals who have distinguished themselves as leaders in politics or other forms of public service, Law Day Lectures that celebrate and honor our heritage of liberty under law and how the rule of law makes our republic possible, and multiple other lectures and mini-courses sponsored by various Georgia Law organizations. Recent lecturers and teachers include retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, William Eskridge, the John A. Garver Professor of Yale Law School, Ramin Jahanbegloo, Fellow at the Centre for Ethics at University of Trinity College concentrating on fostering constructive dialogue between divergent cultures, John C. Coffee Jr., the Adolf A. Berle Professor of Law of Columbia University Law School, Judge Joan E. Donoghue of the International Court of Justice, Teresa Wynn Roseborough, former Deputy U.S. Assistant Attorney General and current executive vice president and general counsel at The Home Depot, Robin West, the Frederick J. Haas Professor of Law and Philosophy and Associate Dean of Georgetown University Law Center, Dahlia Lithwick, the Jurisprudence Contributor of Slate magazine, former U.S. Ambassador and present Northwestern University School of Law professor David Scheffer, U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis, Bryan A. Stevenson, the Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative and professor at New York University School of Law, John C.P. Goldberg, Eli Goldston Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Tort Law, U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Beverly B. Martin, and former U.S. Solicitor General, Douglas B. Maggs Professor of Law at Duke University, and head of the Harvard Law School's Supreme Court and Appellate Litigation Clinic, Walter Dellinger.[16]

Advocacy and Negotiation Teams[edit]

Georgia Law has extensive opportunities to participate in experiential learning through advocacy and negotiation teams. Programs include Moot Court, Mock Trial, and Negotiation Programs. Advocacy and negotiation teams have won four national titles and 11 regional crowns in the past five years including recently winning the 64th Annual National Moot Court Competition, which competition included more than 190 teams from law schools across the nation and is the oldest and most prestigious moot court competition in the country,[17] winning the Kurth Moot Court National Championship, an invitation only tournament that invites only teams from the top 16 advocacy programs in the nation, winning the Dean Jerome Prince Memorial Evidence Competition, and winning the Mock Trial Challenge.[18]

Moot Court participants prepare appellate briefs and orally argue cases competing in nationally recognized programs such as the National Moot Court Tournament, Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, National First Amendment Moot Court Competition, Dean Jerome Prince Memorial Evidence Moot Court Competition, American Bar Association National Appellate Advocacy Regional Competition, Evan A. Evans National Constitutional Law Moot Court Competition, and the Hulsey/Gambrell Moot Court Competition. Opportunities are also offered through moot court exchanges with Gray's Inn of London, England, and King's Inn of Dublin, Ireland.[19]

Students may also compete in nationally recognized mock trials, trying civil and criminal mock cases, as well as participating in transactional and negotiation competitions. Participants compete in competitions including the American Association for Justice National Student Trial Advocacy Competition, William W. Daniel National Invitational Mock Trial Competition, National Criminal Justice Trial Advocacy Competition, ABA National Negotiation Competition, Robert R. Merhige, Jr. National Environmental Negotiation Competition, Transactional LawMeet, The Negotiation Challenge in Leipzig, Germany, and the Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competition.[20]

Each year, a dozen outstanding participants in the moot court and mock trial programs are selected for membership in the Joseph Henry Lumpkin American Inn of Court. This prime learning and networking opportunity is one of the most prestigious rewards offered by UGA's superb advocacy program. Participants interact with state supreme court justices, federal judges, and senior partners from some of the finest firms, as well as other distinguished members of the legal community. Bar leaders demonstrate trial techniques and engage in discussions about advocacy skills, professionalism, and ethics. The Lumpkin Inn of Court was the first inn in Georgia, is one of the earliest American inns of court, and is modeled after the famed English inns of court.[21] In addition, up to a dozen outstanding students are selected for Georgia Law's Orr Inn of Court, a member of the American Inns of Court which is an amalgam of judges, lawyers, and the Orr Inn's case, law professors and law students.[22]

Further, students may become members of The Order of Barristers, a national honor society that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated excellence in an advocacy program (moot court, mock trial or both). Schools having chapters in the Order include those nationally recognized for outstanding moot court programs and for successful participation in regional, national, and international interscholastic moot court competitions. These third-year students are selected each spring prior to their graduation.[23]

Clinical and Other Programs[edit]

Georgia Law also has extensive opportunities to participate in experiential learning through clinical and other programs. Clinical programs include the Appellate Litigation Clinic, Business Law Clinic, Civil Externships (students learn litigation or transactional law working with attorneys and judges), UGA Fanning Institute's Community Economic Development Clinic (allows students to represent a variety of organizations as they work to strengthen communities and provide economic opportunity for low-income citizens), Corporate Counsel Externship, Environmental Practicum, Washington D.C. Semester In Practice Program, Family Violence Clinic, Mediation Practicum, Medical-Legal Partnership Clinic (students partner with health care professionals to deal with a variety of legal needs that impact patients, including immigration, disability rights, benefits, and family law), Public Interest Practicum, Business Law and Ethics Program, Criminal Defense Clinic, Prosecutorial Clinic, Capital Assistance Project (students work at agencies defending individuals charged with or convicted of capital crimes), Georgia Law Summer Programs in Brussels, Geneva, and in China, Georgia Law at Oxford Program (study of international and comparative law at the University of Oxford in England), and the Global Internship Program (internships at 60 legal organizations in over 30 countries on 5 continents).[24]

Student Organizations[edit]

Georgia Law students may participate in a diverse group of student run organizations that are separate and independent of the law school. Each organization is responsible for, and manages, its own activities and affairs. These student organizations include the American Constitution Society, Asian Law Students Association, Business Law Society, Christian Legal Society, Davenport-Benham: Black Law Student Association, Dean's Ambassadors, Education Law Student Association, Environmental Law Association, Equal Justice Foundation Board, Federalist Society, Association of Law and Politics, Society for International & Comparative Law, Trial Lawyers Association Student Chapter, Health Law Society, Hispanic Law Students Association, Intellectual Property Law Society, Jewish Law Student Association, J. Reuben Clark Law Society, Labor & Employment Law Association, Land Use & Planning Organization, Law Democrats, Law Republicans, Law Students for Reproductive Justice, Older Wiser Law Students, OUTLaws, Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, Public Interest Law Council, Sports & Entertainment Law Society, Street Law, Student Animal Legal Defense Fund, Student Bar Association, Women Law Students Association, and the Working in the Public Interest organization.[25]

Besides student organizations, Georgia Law is a member of The Order of the Coif which is an honorary scholastic society of admitted law schools the purpose of which is to encourage excellence in legal education by fostering a spirit of careful study, recognizing those who as law students attained a high grade of scholarship, and honoring those who as lawyers, judges and teachers attained high distinction for their scholarly or professional accomplishments.

Dean Rusk Center for International Law and Policy[edit]

The Dean Rusk Center of Georgia Law was established in 1977 to expand the scope of research, teaching, and service in international law and policy in order to increase understanding of international issues, provide a sound basis for foreign policy decision-making, and contribute solutions to global problems. Today the Center serves as a nucleus for collaboration between University of Georgia School of Law faculty and students, the law school community, and diverse international partners on foreign and transnational legal and policy matters. In fulfillment of its mission to globalize legal education at the University of Georgia, the Center invites scholars from abroad to engage in collaborative research with faculty and to teach short courses that enhance the law school's educational offerings. Every spring Georgia Law's international faculty hosts a colloquium series on timely topics in the field of international law. Through its public service and outreach programs, the Rusk Center influences policy on a global scale.[26]

Career Development[edit]

Led by an attorney executive director, Georgia Law has many services and resources to help current students and alumni explore and discover their career options and goals, prepare for interviews and perfect resumes, and locate jobs openings and other opportunities. The Office of Career Services provides students with the tools, resources, and guidance necessary to enable them to secure fulfilling employment in line with their career goals, individual qualifications, and includes Career Counseling, On-Campus Interview, Employment Fair, Judicial Clerkship, and Employment Statistics programs. Student Professional Development (SPD) prepares students for the practicalities of the profession by hosting events throughout the academic year. SPD also helps to enhance student soft skills and core competencies while assisting them in their evaluations of the legal profession for their own career success. Events held by the SPD include Government and Public Interest, Private Law Firm Practice, Corporate Counsel, Alternative Uses of the Law Degree, Practice Specialties, Profiles in Practice, and forums and Information provided by the SPD include Business Etiquette, Bar Examinations, Networking, Mock Interviews, and others. Career Development Resources include Resume and Cover Letter Critique, Symplicity OneStop Job Postings and Document Library, Law Library Career Resources, Job Boards & Resources List, Career Development on LinkedIn and other resources.


According to Georgia's official 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 67.9% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment within nine months after graduation, which figure does not including graduates who began their own practice.[4] Georgia's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 17.1%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2013 that was pursuing an additional degree, unemployed, working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job within nine months after graduation.[27] Georgia Law has placed six clerks for The U.S. Supreme Court in the last nine years, ranking third among public law schools for supplying clerks to the U.S. Supreme Court, and 11th overall, for the time period 2005-14. Within nine months of graduation, the class of 2013 had only 19 graduates seeking employment, while Georgia Law placed 2 in graduate programs, 22 in federal clerkships, 11 in state clerkships, 69 in law firms of up to 50 attorneys, 27 in law firms of 51 to 501+ attorneys, 33 in business and industry, and 32 in government and public interest organizations.[28]

Alumni Information[edit]

  • Graduates of the law school number more than 9,700 and include scores of federal and state judges, prominent attorneys, corporate and academic leaders, governors, and include in excess of 35 U.S. and state senators and representatives. On two occasions, University of Georgia School of Law alumni have simultaneously headed all branches of state government. Since 1851 Georgia Law graduates have served 16 terms as governors. [29]
  • Six Georgia Law graduates have served the U.S. Supreme Court as judicial clerks since 2003. Georgia Law ranks as third among public law schools for supplying clerks to the U.S. Supreme Court and 11th overall for the time period 2005-14.
  • 18 Georgia Law alumni are presidents or provosts of colleges and universities in the United States.

A few examples of alumni that may be of interest follow.


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  2. ^ "Talented and Diverse Students". Ga. Law News. Univ. of Georgia. Retrieved 26 April 2014. 
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  17. ^ "Advocacy". Georgia Law. Univ. of Ga. Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  18. ^ Simmons, Kelly (March 2014). "Editor". The University of Georgia Magazine 93 (2): 6. 
  19. ^ "Moot Court". Georgia Law. Univ. of Ga. Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  20. ^ "Mock Trial". Georgia Law. Univ. of Ga. Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  21. ^ "Lumpkin Inn of Court". Georgia Law. Univ. of Ga. Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  22. ^ "American Inns of Court". Wikipedia. Wikipedia Foundation. Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  23. ^ "Student Briefs". Univ. of Georgia. Retrieved 8 May 2014. 
  24. ^ "Experiential Learning". Georgia Law. Univ. of Ga. Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  25. ^ "Student Organizations". Georgia Law. Univ. of Georgia. Retrieved 30 April 2014. 
  26. ^ "Dean Rusk Center". Georgia Law. Univ. of Georgia. Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  27. ^ "University of Georgia Profile". 
  29. ^ A Reputation for Excellence (accessed December 6, 2006)
  30. ^ "Glanville Bio". U.S. Army. Retrieved 5 September 2014. 
  31. ^