University of Georgia School of Law

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University of Georgia School of Law
UGA Law Logo.png
Motto Justitia
Established 1859; 158 years ago (1859)
School type Law school
Dean Peter B. Rutledge
Location Athens, Georgia, U.S.
Enrollment 566
Faculty 79
USNWR ranking 30 (2017)[1]
Bar pass rate 90.94%[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 (also referred to as Georgia 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 nationally ranked as a first-tier law school.[3]

Admissions, curriculum and degrees[edit]

Admission to Georgia Law is highly competitive.[4] 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.[5][6]

Once enrolled, students benefit from an extensive curriculum in law and legal practice, encompassing business law, public interest law, and global practice preparation.[7] Degrees awarded include the Juris Doctor (J.D.), the Master of Laws (LL.M.) for foreign-trained lawyers,[8] and the Master in the Study of Law (M.S.L.) for students who wish to gain an understanding of legal principles in order to advance their careers in related professions.[9] Students also may choose to pursue some interdisciplinary coursework in other University departments, or to earn joint degrees, including a J.D./M.B.A. or LL.M./M.B.A. in partnership with the University's Terry College of Business.[10][11]

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.[12] It then was housed in various University of Georgia buildings, until 1932, when the law school moved into the new Harold Hirsch Hall,[13] located on North Campus, a National Historic Landmark District, within walking distance of downtown Athens.[14] Expanded over the years, Hirsch Hall remains the site of law school classrooms and offices, as well as the Alexander Campbell King Law Library and the elegant Hatton-Lovejoy Courtroom.[15][16] A 2012 renovation created almost 4,000 square feet of additional space, including a cafe and enclosed courtyard.[17]

The law school's second 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 Georgia Law Professor in the last decades of his life, this building became the new home of the Dean Rusk International Law Center, founded in 1977 as the international law and policy nucleus for education, scholarship, and other collaborations among faculty and students, the law school community, and diverse and local and global partners. Dean Rusk Hall also houses classrooms, faculty offices, and the James E. Butler Courtroom.[18][19]

Georgia Law students also take in part in Semesters in Practice in Atlanta and in Washington, D.C.

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 famed English inns of court.[20][21] It is an Academic Partner of the American Society of International Law.[22]

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, the library also 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.[23][24]

Law review and journals[edit]

Georgia 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.[25] Membership on the journals is limited to students in their second and third years of law school.[25]

Clinics and related initiatives[edit]

Georgia Law students have extensive opportunities to participate in experiential learning. Students in the Appellate Litigation Clinic have briefed and argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth, Eleventh, and D.C. Circuits. Other offerings include 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 Violence 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, and the Capital Assistance Project.[26][27] The Global Externship initiative provides global practice preparation for many students each summer.[28]


Tuition for one year at Georgia Law is $17,218 for Georgia residents and $35,266 for non-residents. The total cost of attendance (including the cost of tuition, fees and off-campus living expenses) for the 2015–2016 academic year is estimated to be $36,496 for Georgia residents and $55,240 for non-residents.[29] Non-residents are able to obtain residency after one year.


According to Georgia Law's official 2014 ABA-required disclosures, 87.4% of the 2015 graduating class was employed within nine months after graduation, and 72.0% held full-time, long-term, JD-required positions at that point. These percentages do not include graduates who chose to open their own practices, those choosing not to practice (using their degree in previous employment in business, hospital administration, etc. for example), or those using their degrees for other purposes. Of the 191 students who graduated in 2015, 54 went to law firms of up to 50 attorneys, 23 to law firms of 51 to 501+ attorneys, 15 to business and industry, 31 to government and public interest organizations (this number does not include federal or state/local judicial clerkships, which 23 graduates obtained), and 3 to academia.[30]

Georgia Law has had six alumni serve as judicial clerks at the U.S. Supreme Court since 2005. A Supreme Court clerkship is one of the most distinguished appointments a law school graduate can obtain. This record gives Georgia Law a ranking of third among public law schools, and 11th among all law schools nationwide (out of 204 ABA approved law schools), for supplying such law clerks for the period 2005–2014. Based on the 2012 graduating class, Georgia Law was ranked 10th among all law schools in the country for the total number of federal court clerks.[31] For the class of 2014, Georgia Law placed 26 graduates in federal and state court clerkships.[30]

Above The Law publishes the Above the Law Top 50 Law School Rankings that are the only rankings to incorporate the latest ABA employment data, and uses the following components of its rankings methodology: Employment score (30%), Quality jobs score (30%), Education cost (15%), and Active federal judges, U.S. Supreme Court clerks, ATL alumni rating, Debt per job, and Salary-to-job rating (5% each). Out of 204 ABA accredited law schools, Above The Law ranks the top 50 law schools based on its formula. For the 2016 Top 50 Law School Rankings, Georgia Law was ranked tied for number 23, up four places from the 2015 rankings.[32][33] However, the law school has been ranked 13th of the top 80 best law schools by The National Jurist,[34] and U.S. News & World Report effectively ranks Georgia law in the top 15% of all ABA approved law schools and is additionally individually ranked in Trial Advocacy & International Law.[35] While no rating system completely and accurately deals with all the factors to be taken into account in choosing a law school, or regarding graduate employment, the Above The Law Rankings, and the U.S. News & World Report and The National Jurist rankings, are indicative of the strength of Georgia Law's standing, as well as the efforts of its Career Development Office.

Notable alumni and alumnae of Georgia Law[edit]


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