University of Georgia School of Law

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University of Georgia School of Law
UGA Law Logo.png
Established 1859
School type Public
Dean Rebecca H. White
Location Athens, Georgia, USA
Enrollment 650 Avg.
Faculty 79
USNWR ranking 29[1]
Bar pass rate 94.5%[2]
ABA profile [3] _LawSchoolData/ABA5813.pdf UGA
The University of Georgia School of Law in 2010
Georgia Law Library

The University of Georgia School of Law (commonly referred to also as Georgia Law) is a graduate school of the University of Georgia. Founded in 1859 and located in Athens, Georgia, USA, about an hour way 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% of all American Bar Association approved law schools in the 2014 edition of U.S. News & World Report. Admissions is considered highly competitive.

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.[4] In addition to this placement, approximately 15% of 2005 Georgia Law graduates went on to judicial clerkships.[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. The median salary of 2008 graduates in private practice was $130,000, with a median starting salary of all graduates at $90,466.[5] Given the University of Georgia School of Law's low in-state tuition of $14,448, 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."[6]


The law school was created in December 1859 and was originally housed in the law offices of Lumpkin & Cobb, which was located on the corner of Prince Avenue and Pulaski Street. In 1861, the school closed due to the Civil War and was reopened in 1867. Two co-founders, Lumpkin and Cobb, died during this period. When the school reopened, it was located in the Ivy Building (in the south wing of what is now 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 multiuser Hatton Lovejoy Courtroom[7] Hirsch Hall was greatly expanded in 1967 with a large addition that provided an expanded 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 Woofruff Chair professor at Georgia who previously held the Bemis Chair at Harvard law), Georgia Law faculty offices, and offices for student publications, while a new Rusk International and Comparative law building was constructed next to the main library, named after Georgia Law professor and former U.S. Secretary of State and president of Columbia University, 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" covered with old growth trees and historic buildings, and within walking distance of downtown Athens and covered parking decks.


Admission to Georgia Law is highly competitive.[8] Entering students from the class of 2012 boasted a median LSAT and GPA of 164 [90th percentile] and 3.7, respectively.[9]

Applications to Georgia Law continue to increase each year. In 2009, applications were up 33% from the previous year, with 3,074 prospective students applying for admission.[9] Of those applicants, only 24.9% were granted admission.[10]


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. These journals have frequently been cited by federal and state courts, as well as textbooks and other law reviews.[11] Membership on the journals is limited to the 2L and 3L years.[11]

Advocacy and Negotiation Teams[edit]

Georgia Law has extensive opportunities to participate in experiential learning through advocacy teams. Advocacy programs include Moot Court and Mock Trial Programs. Advocacy 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.[12]

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.[13]

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.[14]

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.[15] In addition, up to a dozen outstanding students are selected for Georgia Law's Orr Inn of Court, an American Inn of Court which is an amalgam of judges, lawyers, and the Orr Inn's case, law professors and law students.[16]

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).[17]

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.[18]

Notable alumni[edit]

Graduates of the law school number more than 8,400 and include 11 governors, in excess of 35 U.S. and state senators and representatives and scores of federal and state judges, prominent attorneys and corporate leaders.[19] On two occasions, University of Georgia School of Law alumni have simultaneously headed all branches of state government: the last occasion was in 2002, when Roy Barnes was Governor, Norman S. Fletcher was Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia, Tom Murphy was Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives and Mark Taylor was President of the Georgia Senate.

Six Georgia Law graduates have served the U.S. Supreme Court as judicial clerks since 2003. Georgia Law ranks as third among public laws school for supplying clerks to the U.S. Supreme Court and 11th overall for the time period 2005-10.

Since 1851, 25 governors have been graduates of the University of Georgia. 18 UGA alumni are presidents or provosts of colleges and universities in the U.S. nine UGA graduates have received the Pulitzer Prize.[180] A few interesting alumni follow.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°56′42″N 83°22′26″W / 33.945°N 83.374°W / 33.945; -83.374