University of Georgia School of Law
|University of Georgia School of Law|
|Dean||Rebecca H. White|
|Location||Athens, Georgia, USA|
|Bar pass rate||94.5%|
The University of Georgia School of Law is a graduate school of the University of Georgia. Founded in 1859 and located in Athens, Georgia, USA, Georgia Law was formerly known as the Lumpkin School of Law. The Law School is the second oldest of the University's schools and colleges. The University of Georgia School of Law is ranked 28th in the 2011 edition of U.S. News & World Report.
According to the National Law Journal, Georgia Law placed 18% of its 2005 graduating class in NLJ 250 firms. In addition to this placement, approximately 15% of 2005 Georgia Law graduates went on to judicial clerkships. The median salary of 2008 graduates in private practice was $130,000, with a median starting salary of all graduates at $90,466. 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."
The law school was created in December 1859 and was originally housed in the law office of Lumpkin and 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. Hirsch Hall was greatly expanded in 1967 with a large addition that provided an expanded library and added several classrooms, common areas and offices.
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. Of those applicants, only 24.9% were granted admission.
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. Membership on the journals is limited to the 2L and 3L years.
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. 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.
Five 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.
- Eugene Talmadge, JD 1907 - elected Governor of Georgia four times. Staunch supporter of conservative principles and advocate of farmers.
- Herman E. Talmadge, JD 1936 - served as the 70th Governor of Georgia in 1947 and again from 1948 to 1955. Also, served as a U.S. Senator from 1956 until 1980.
- Roy Barnes, JD 1972 - served as the 80th Governor of the U.S. state of Georgia from January 1999 until January 2003.
- Rob Woodall, JD 1997 - is a republican in the U.S. Representative for Georgia's 7th congressional district.
- Robert Benham, JD 1970 - is the second African-American graduate of the University of Georgia School of Law and the first African-American to serve on the Supreme Court of Georgia.
- Norman S. Fletcher LL.M 1958 - served as a Justice and Chief Justice for the Supreme Court of Georgia.
- George Thornewell Smith JD 1948 - former lieutenant governor and justice of the Georgia Supreme Court
- Frank Hanna III, JD 1986 – entrepreneur and CEO of Hanna Capital, LLC.
- Frank W. "Sonny" Seiler, JD 1957 – prominent attorney in Savannah, Georgia and owner of Uga, a line of English bulldogs that represents the mascot at the University of Georgia since the 1950s.
- Phaedra Parks, JD 1998 - entertainment attorney and current cast member on the The Real Housewives of Atlanta.
- Robert Whitlow, JD 1979 - filmmaker and writer of multiple legal thrillers, including The List.
- History of the University of Georgia, Thomas Walter Reed, Imprint: Athens, Georgia : University of Georgia, ca. 1949, pp.216,829
- A Reputation for Excellence (accessed December 6, 2006)