Atlanta's John Marshall Law School

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Atlanta's John Marshall Law School
John Marshall logo.png
School typePrivate, For-Profit[1]
DeanJace C. Gatewood[2]
LocationAtlanta, Georgia, U.S.
USNWR rankingNot Ranked
Bar pass rate21.9% (Feb. 2020) [3]

Atlanta's John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) is a private for-profit law school in Atlanta, Georgia. It was founded in 1933 and named for John Marshall, the fourth chief justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

AJMLS is accredited by the American Bar Association. AJMLS offers five J.D. programs: full-time day, part-time day, part-time evening, accelerated/spring start,[4] and a Criminal Justice Certificate Program (led by MacArthur Genius Fellow, Jonathan Rapping).[5] The Certificate Program had previously been offered as the Criminal Justice Honors Program from 2011–2018.[6] AJMLS students may apply to co-enroll in the Certificate Program after successful completion of their first year curriculum.


AJMLS was founded in 1933 in Atlanta. It did not receive American Bar Association (ABA) approval until 2005.[7] In October 2017, the ABA concluded that the Law School is not in compliance with ABA Standards 301(a), 309(b), and 501(a)/501(b), and in December 2018, the ABA placed the school on probation for "substantial" and "persistent" non-compliance with those standards.[8] At its November 2019 meeting, the Council removed the Law School from probation and Atlanta's John Marshall Law School remains an approved law school.[9] On May 15, 2020, the ABA again found the Law School to be significantly out of compliance with Standard 316, relating to bar passage. [10]

In late 2011, AJMLS opened a branch campus in Savannah, Georgia, named Savannah Law School.[11] In March 2018, the Law School announced its branch campus in Savannah was no longer accepting applications for 2018 and offered its current students options to continue their legal education in Savannah, initiate an intra-campus transfer to the main campus in Atlanta, or seek to transfer or visit at a different institution.[12] A class action suit on behalf of Savannah Law School students claims that the Savannah school is being closed to benefit the parent school in Atlanta.[13]

In 2017, AJMLS received attention when an alleged student was said to be a white nationalist organizer who sent a lynching threat to a Black activist in Atlanta.[14][15]

On May 15, 2020, the council of the American Bar Association’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar met remotely and determined this school and nine others had significant noncompliance with Standard 316.[16] This Standard was revised in 2019 to provide that at least 75% of an accredited law school’s graduates who took a bar exam must pass one within two years of graduation.[16] The school has been asked to submit a report by Feb. 1, 2021; and, if the council does not find the report demonstrates compliance, the school will be asked to appear before the council at its May, 2021 meeting.[16]

Experiential Learning[edit]

The Experiential Learning program at AJMLS combines classroom theory with direct experience by offering students firsthand exposure to the practice of law. The for-credit program consists of legal clinics, intensive externships and other approved field placements.

Some placements involve criminal prosecution litigation and eligible students may apply for a Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council Third Year Practice Certificate under Georgia's Third-Year Practice Act.[17]

Approved field placements fall under several categories including Bankruptcy Law, Business Law, Civil Rights Law, Court Administration, Criminal Law Honors, Environmental Law, Family Law, Federal Agencies, Health Law, Immigration Law, Judicial Clerkships, Juvenile Law, Labor Law, Mediation Law, Municipal Agencies, Out-of-State Placements, Pro Bono Organizations, Prosecutors, Public Defenders, Real Estate Law, Sports Law, State Agencies and Tax Law.[18] In AJMLS Fulton County Family Law Externship Clinic,[19] participants assist litigants at the Fulton County Superior Court with matters relating to family law. In the AJMLS Immigration Law Clinic (AILC),[20] students provide assistance to immigration clients at the Catholic Charities of Atlanta Immigration Law Clinic. The Experiential Tax Law Externship[21] gives practical tax law experience in a small firm setting.

Student organizations[edit]

Students attending AJMLS may take part in many independent student organizations. These groups cover such interests as cultural diversity, academics, recreation, and professional and networking opportunities.

Student Organizations for the 2018-2019 Academic Year: Black Law Students Association (BLSA), Christian Legal Society, Corporate and Business Law Society, Criminal Law Society, Family Law Society, Georgia Association of Women Lawyers (GAWL), Health Law Society, Law Journal, National Lawyers Guild, Phi Alpha Delta, Sports and Entertainment Law Society, SOLO Practitioners' Law Society, Student Bar Association.[22]

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable faculty[edit]


As of April 11, 2018, the ABA Employment Statistics total employment rate for 2017 graduates is 71.11% with 43.7% obtaining employment where bar passage is required. According to the report, 15 graduates are listed as employment status unknown, 96 are known to be employed in some capacity (combined attorney and non-attorney employment, with 54 employed full-time where bar passage is required), two are pursuing a graduate degree full-time, one is listed as unemployed with their start date deferred, 20 are unemployed and seeking employment, and one who is unemployed and not seeking employment.[23]

ABA Employment Summary for 2017 Graduates[24]
Employment Status Percentage
Total Employed
Employed - Bar Passage Required
Employed - J.D. Advantage
Employed - Professional Position
Employed - Non-Professional Position
Employed - Undeterminable
Pursuing Graduate Degree Full Time
Unemployed - Start Date Deferred
Unemployed - Not Seeking
Unemployed - Seeking
Employment Status Unknown
Total of 135 Graduates


The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at John Marshall for the 2017–2018 academic year is $70,304.[25] The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $256,530.[26]


  1. ^ "College Navigator". U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  2. ^ "John Marshall Names Jace Gatewood as Interim Dean".
  3. ^
  4. ^ Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School Announces Spring Admission to Begin January 2014
  5. ^ "AJMLS Launches New Co-Enrollment Option for Students". Atlanta's John Marshall Law School.
  6. ^ "Criminal Justice Certificate Program". Atlanta's John Marshall Law School.
  7. ^ "By Year Approved". Retrieved 2018-10-30.
  8. ^ "American Bar Association" (PDF).
  9. ^ "NOTICE OF REMOVAL OF PROBATION" (PDF). American Bar Association.
  10. ^ "American Bar Association Notice of Finding of Significant Noncompliance" (PDF).
  11. ^ Hansen, Mark. "Atlanta's John Marshall Law School to Launch Savannah Branch". Retrieved 2015-06-26.
  12. ^ "Savannah Law School".
  13. ^ "Class action claims closing of Savannah Law School is intended to benefit parent school's finances". ABA Journal. Debra Cassens Weiss. Retrieved 2018-10-30.CS1 maint: others (link)
  14. ^ Tatum, Gloria (September 24, 2017). "Alt-Right in Atlanta, Hidden in Plain Sight | Atlanta Progressive News". Retrieved 2018-04-03.
  15. ^ Chidi, George (July 27, 2017). "Antica Posta And The Alt-Right Renaissance". GeorgiaPol. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
  16. ^ a b c "10 law schools are out of compliance with bar passage standard, ABA legal ed section says". Stephanie Francis Ward, ABA Journal, May 28, 2020. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  17. ^ Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia, "Third Year Practice Act" Archived 2015-03-27 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ "Approved Placements - Atlanta's John Marshall Law School".
  19. ^ Superior Court of Fulton County, "Free Family Law Clinic Launches in Fulton County"
  20. ^ Catholic Charities Atlanta, "Catholic Charities Atlanta Receives Fred Gray Social Justice Award" Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ "Clinical Studies & Intensive Externships - Atlanta's John Marshall Law School".
  22. ^ "Student Organizations". Atlanta's John Marshall Law School.
  23. ^ "ABA Employment Summary for 2017 Graduates" (PDF). Atlanta's John Marshall Law School.
  24. ^ "Employment Summary for 2017 Graduates" (PDF).
  25. ^ "Tuition & Fees".
  26. ^ "John Marshall Law School - Atlanta, Finances".

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°47′36.35″N 84°23′16.93″W / 33.7934306°N 84.3880361°W / 33.7934306; -84.3880361