University of Georgia School of Law

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University of Georgia School of Law
UGA Law Logo.png
Established1859; 159 years ago (1859)
School typeLaw school
DeanPeter B. Rutledge
LocationAthens, Georgia, U.S.
USNWR ranking30 (2017)[1]
Bar pass rate88.1%[2]
The University of Georgia School of Law in 2010
Entrance to the Alexander Campbell King Law Library, University of Georgia School of Law

The University of Georgia School of Law is a professional graduate school and the second-oldest school or college at the University of Georgia, located in Athens, Georgia. Founded in 1859, it is among the oldest law schools in the United States and is a nationally ranked top-tier law school (First Tier) [3]

Admissions, curriculum and degrees[edit]

Students from the Class of 2019 had an acceptance rate of 29.5 percent, with a median LSAT and GPA of 162 and 3.73, respectively.[4][5]

Nearly 170 courses are offered, including business-related law, property-related law, personal rights and public interest law, trial and appellate practice, and global practice preparation.[6] Degrees awarded include the Juris Doctor (J.D.), the Master of Laws (LL.M.) for foreign-trained lawyers,[7] and the Master in the Study of Law (M.S.L.) for those who wish to gain an understanding of legal principles and perspectives in order to advance their careers.[8] Students also may choose to pursue interdisciplinary coursework in other University schools and colleges, or to earn one of nine dual degrees including a J.D./M.B.A. or LL.M./M.B.A. in partnership with the University's Terry College of Business.[9][10]

History and facilities[edit]

The law school was founded in 1859 by Joseph Henry Lumpkin, William Hope Hull, and Thomas R.R. Cobb. Classes of the Lumpkin Law School, as it was originally designated, were held until 1873 at the law offices of Lumpkin and Cobb.[11] It was housed in various buildings until 1932 when the law school moved into the new Harold Hirsch Hall,[12] located on North Campus. North Campus is designated as a National Historic Landmark District and is within walking distance of downtown Athens.[13]

Expanded over the years with connected buildings and upgrades, the Hirsch Hall complex remains the site of law school classrooms and offices, as well as the Alexander Campbell King Law Library and the elegant Hatton Lovejoy Courtroom.[14][15] A 2012 renovation created almost 4,000 square feet of additional space, including a cafe and enclosed two story courtyard.[16]

The law school's additional building, Dean Rusk Hall, opened in 1996 adjacent to Hirsch Hall and the main University of Georgia Library. Named for Dean Rusk, the former U.S. Secretary of State who was a UGA School of Law professor, this building became the new home of the Dean Rusk International Law Center. This was founded in 1977 as the international law and policy nucleus for education, scholarship, and other collaborations among faculty, students and diverse local and global partners. Dean Rusk Hall also houses classrooms, faculty offices, additional library space, and a second law school courtroom, the James E. Butler Courtroom.[17][18]

The law school is a member of the Association of American Law Schools, has a chapter of the Order of the Coif, and is host to two advocacy inns: the Lumpkin Inn of Court, one of the earliest American inns of court, and E. Wycliffe Orr Sr. American Inn of Court, both modeled after the English inns of court.[19][20] It is an Academic Partner of the American Society of International Law.[21]

Alexander Campbell King Law Library[edit]

The Alexander Campbell King Law Library has been designated a Federal Depository Library, whose primary purpose is to support the U.S. government legal information needs of the faculty and students. The library is also one of the United States' Specialized European Documentation Centres, houses the Faculty Writings Collection, the Phillips Nuremberg Trials Collection, the Rare Book Collection, and the J. Alton Hosch Collection, which includes the extensive personal library of Dean Hosch, a member of the law school faculty from 1935 to 1964. Also featured is the Louis B. Sohn Library on International Relations, located in the Dean Rusk International Law Center in the law school's Dean Rusk Hall.[22][23]

Law review and journals[edit]

UGA School of Law students publish three legal journals: Georgia Law Review, the Journal of Intellectual Property Law, and the Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law. In addition to the Georgia Law Review, the students publish the online component, the Georgia Law Review Online, which features essays by practitioners, judges and professors focused primarily on timely legal issues in the U.S. Courts of Appeals. These journals have frequently been cited by federal and state courts, as well as textbooks and law reviews.[24] Membership on the journals is limited to students in their second and third years of law school.[24]

Clinics and related initiatives[edit]

Students in the Appellate Litigation Clinic have briefed and argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth, Ninth, Eleventh, and D.C. Circuits. Other offerings include the Veteran Legal Services Clinic, the Practicum in Animal Welfare Skills, the Business Law Clinic, Civil Externships, the Corporate Counsel Externship, the Environmental Practicum, the Washington D.C. Semester in Practice, the Atlanta Semester in Practice, the Family Justice Clinic, the Mediation Clinic, the Community Health Law Partnership (HeLP) Clinic, the Public Interest Practicum and Fellowships, the Wilbanks Child Endangerment and Sexual Exploitation Clinic, the Criminal Defense Practicum, the Prosecutorial Justice Program, moot court, mock trial and negotiation programs, and the Capital Assistance Project.[25][26][27][28] The Global Externship initiative provides global practice preparation for many students each summer.[29]


Tuition for one year at Georgia Law is $17,430 for Georgia residents and $35,868 for non-residents. The total cost of attendance (including the cost of tuition, fees and off-campus living expenses) for the 2018-19 academic year is estimated to be $37,558 for Georgia residents and $56,496 for non-residents.[30] Non-residents are able to obtain residency after one year. U.S. News & World Report ranked the School of Law as a top ten law school in having the 4th best salary to debt ratio.[31]


According to the School of Law's official 2017 ABA-required disclosures, 91.1% of the 2017 graduating class was employed within 10 months after graduation, and 90.0% held full-time, long-term, JD-advantage positions at that point. Of the 181 students who graduated in 2017, 54 went to law firms of up to 50 attorneys, 40 to law firms of 51 to 501+ attorneys, 16 to business and industry, 21 to government and public interest organizations (this number does not include federal or state/local judicial clerkships, which 31 graduates obtained), and 3 to academia.[32]

The UGA School of Law has had six alumni serve as judicial clerks at the U.S. Supreme Court since 2005. Based on the 2005-2017 graduating classes, the School of Law was ranked 14th among all law schools in the country for sending its graduates to clerk for the U.S. Supreme Court.[33] For the class of 2017, the School of Law placed 31 graduates in federal and state court clerkships.[32]

For the 2016 Top 50 Law School Rankings, the UGA School of Law was ranked tied for number 23, up four places from the 2015 rankings.[34][35] However, the law school has been ranked 13th of the top 80 best law schools by The National Jurist,[36] and U.S. News & World Report effectively ranks the School of Law in the top 15% of all ABA approved law schools and is additionally individually ranked in Trial Advocacy & International Law.[37]

Some notable alumni and alumnae of the UGA School of Law[edit]


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  41. ^ New Georgia Encyclopedia,
  42. ^ Federal Judicial Center,