University of Georgia School of Law

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The University of Georgia School of Law (colloquially known as Georgia Law) is the graduate school of law of the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. Founded in 1859, it is the second-oldest school or college at the university, is among the oldest law schools in the United States, and is consistently regarded as one of the nation’s top law schools.

University of Georgia School of Law
UGA Law Logo.png
Established1859; 161 years ago (1859)
School typeLaw school
Parent endowment$1.274 billion (2018)[1]
DeanPeter B. Rutledge
LocationAthens, Georgia, U.S.
USNWR ranking27th (2020)[2]
Bar pass rate97.8%[3]


The law school was founded in 1859 by Joseph Henry Lumpkin, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia, and attorneys William Hope Hull and Thomas Cobb. Classes of the Lumpkin Law School, as it was originally designated, were held until 1873 at the law offices of Lumpkin and Cobb.[4] It was thereafter housed in various buildings until 1932 when the law school moved into the new Harold Hirsch Hall,[5] located on North Campus. North Campus is designated as a National Historic Landmark District and is within walking distance of downtown Athens.[6]

Expanded over the years by many thousands of square feet in 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.[7][8] A 2012 renovation created almost 4,000 square feet of additional space, including a cafe and enclosed three story courtyard.[8]

The law school's additional separate 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, 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.[9][10]


Admission to the University of Georgia School of Law is highly competitive. Students from the Class of 2021 had an acceptance rate of 26.8 percent, with a median LSAT and GPA of 165 and 3.83, respectively.[11][12] Georgia Law's selectivity rating is 95 out of a possible maximum of 99, Georgia Law enrolled students being in the top 5% of law school applicants.[13] Although grades, degrees earned, and standardized test scores are important, for each applicant the admissions committee primarily considers a mandatory personal admission essay, a mandatory resume detailing the applicant's education, employment, fellowships, skills, honors, awards, community involvement, volunteer work, and other accomplishments, as well as mandatory letters of recommendation.[14]

The 2019 first year students came from 25 states, 14 countries, and 97 undergraduate institutions. Nearly 70% of those students received merit based scholarships.[15]

There are only six students for each faculty member.[16][17]

Georgia Law's Mentorship Program is available to all students. The program matches every law student with a faculty member mentor, an upperclassman peer mentor, a Career Development Office counselor, and an alumnus professional mentor.[18]

Over 300 courses, clinics, and seminars are offered at Georgia Law including business-related law, property-related law, personal rights and public interest law, trial and appellate practice, and global practice preparation.[19] Degrees awarded include the Juris Doctor (J.D.), the Master of Laws (LL.M.) for foreign-trained lawyers,[20] 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.[21] Students also may choose to pursue interdisciplinary coursework in other University schools and colleges, or to earn one of many dual degrees including a J.D./M.B.A. or LL.M./M.B.A.[22][23]

The law school is accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA), 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.[24][25] It is an Academic Partner of the American Society of International Law.[26]

Alexander Campbell King Law LibraryEdit

Entrance to the Alexander Campbell King Law Library

The Alexander Campbell King Law Library, as the oldest and largest law library in the state, collects, provides access to, and preserves information at the regional, national, and international levels. It is a founding member of the Legal Information Preservation Alliance and the Law Library Microform Consortium, provides ubiquitous wireless access as well as task lighting and power outlets at virtually every seat, and 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.[27] 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.[28][29] The Sohn library is the extensive international law collection of Louis B. Sohn who was the Woodruff Chair professor at Georgia Law and previously the Bemis Professor of International Law at Harvard Law School.

Law review and journalsEdit

UGA 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 Posts, which features essays by students, practitioners, judges and professors focused primarily on timely legal issues in the U.S. Supreme Court and U.S. Courts of Appeals.[30] These journals have frequently been cited by federal and state courts, as well as textbooks and law reviews.[31] Membership on the journals is limited to students in their second and third years of law school.[31]

Clinics and related initiativesEdit

There are over 100 organizations, experiential learning and practical training offerings, and other additional education opportunities at Georgia Law.[32] Some of the offerings include, without limitation, the Business Law Clinic, Civil Law Practice Externships, the Corporate Counsel Externship, the Environmental Law Practicum, the Washington D.C. Semester in Practice, the Atlanta Semester in Practice,[33] Corsair Law Society (transactional and litigation in major financial markets),[34] the Family Justice Clinic, Labor & Employment Law Association, Public Interest Law Council, Real Estate & Other Property Organization,[35] the Mediation Clinic, the Community Health Law Partnership (HeLP) Clinic, Business Law Society, American Constitution Society,[35] the Public Interest Practicum and Fellowships, Health Law Society, Intellectual Property Law Society, International Law Society,[35] the Wilbanks Child Endangerment and Sexual Exploitation Clinic, Family Law Society, Association of Law and Politics,[35] the Criminal Defense Practicum, the Prosecutorial Justice Program, Environmental Law Association,[35] Veteran Legal Services Clinic, Trial Lawyers Association,[35] Practicum in Animal Welfare Skills, Entertainment & Sports Law Society, Federal Bar Association, Tax Law Society,[35] national award-winning moot court, mock trial and negotiation programs (for example, in last five years members have been awarded 12 national and six regional titles),[36][37] Georgia Law-Leuven Centre Global Governance Summer School in Belgium,[38] Georgia Law at the University of Oxford program, and the Capital Assistance Project.[16][17] Students in the Appellate Litigation Clinic have briefed and argued before the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fourth, Ninth, Eleventh, and D.C. Circuits.[39] The Global Externship initiative provides global practice preparation for many students each summer, for instance past practice preparation included, without limitation, placement with law firms like DLA Piper in Russia, GÖRG Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB in Germany, Priti Suri & Associates (PSA) in India, Siqueira Castro Advogados in Brazil, and King & Wood Mallesons in China.[40] To educate students in the benefits of public service and the functioning of the judiciary, up to 20 jurists, including U.S. Supreme Court justices, U.S. Court of Appeals judges, and trial judges, visit Georgia Law to teach classes.[41][42]


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.[43] Except for tuition, there is no discrimination regarding admission of applicants because of residency; however, non-residents are able to obtain residency the beginning of the second year of law school, and available are tuition reduction scholarships that allow non-residents to pay resident tuition for one or two semesters of the first year of Georgia Law.[44] Further, nearly 70% of the members of the Class of 2021 received merit based scholarships funded by donors.[45] 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.[46]


Living Georgia Law graduates work in all 50 states and more than 60 countries.[47] According to the School of Law's official 2019 ABA-required disclosures, not including those choosing to open their own practices, to pursue additional education, etc., within nine months 93.8% of the 2018 graduating class were hired to perform high-value jobs within nine months after graduation,[48] and 91.8% held full-time, long-term, JD-advantage positions at that point (Georgia Law being in the top 14 law schools for high-value jobs out of 203 ABA-approved schools).[49][50][51] Of 179 students who graduated in 2018 not including those choosing to open their own practices, those pursuing additional education, etc., 56 went to law firms of up to 50 attorneys, 36 to law firms having from 51 to over 500 attorneys, 15 to business and industry, 32 to government and public interest organizations (this number does not include judicial clerkships that 38 graduates obtained) and 1 to academia.[51]

Georgia Law has had six alumni serve as judicial clerks for Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court since 2005. Based on the 2005-2018 graduating classes, the School of Law was ranked 14th among all 203 ABA-approved law schools in the country for sending its graduates to clerk for the U.S. Supreme Court.[52] For the class of 2018, the School of Law placed 38 graduates in federal and state court clerkships (a top 13 placement rate of all ABA-approved law schools in the nation for federal court clerkships).[53] Serving as a judicial clerk is considered to be one of the most prestigious positions in legal circles, and tends to open up wide-ranging opportunities in law firm practice, influential government work, and academia.[54]


Although rankings have been subject to criticism, many times do not correlate with graduate future success, and should not be solely relied on,[55] the following information is supplied. Regarding “national” law schools that had ‘’quality employment prospects outside of their particular region,’’ for the 2019 Top 50 Law School Rankings, of the 203 ABA-approved law schools, Georgia Law was ranked number 19, an eight place improvement from the 2015 rankings;[56][57] however, according to the study by Law School Transparency, Georgia Law ranked in the top ten nationally for employment outcomes,[58] while The New York Times recognized Georgia law as being in the top five law schools offering the best salary-to-debt ratios in the nation.[59] Further, the law school has been ranked 13th of the top best law schools by the National Jurist,[60] and the U.S. News & World Report rank of 27 effectively places the School of Law in the top 12.9% of all ABA-approved law schools with the school additionally individually ranked in Trial Advocacy, International Law, Clinical Training, Dispute Resolution, Environmental Law, Legal Writing, Intellectual Property Law, Healthcare Law, and Tax Law.[61] Finally, based on outcome-driven factors such as average indebtedness, bar passage, and employment, Georgia Law has been ranked number one as the best value in legal education in the United States by the National Jurist.[62]

Notable alumniEdit

Georgia Law graduates work in all 50 states and more than 60 countries.[47] Among Georgia Law graduates are 11 governors, more than 110 state and federal legislators, approximately 70 federal appeals and district court judges, multiple state trial and appeals court judges, numerous state supreme court justices, government officials, ambassadors, law firm principals,[63] and other notable practitioners, leaders, authors, and academics, a few recent graduates being listed below.


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2018. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2017 to FY 2018" (PDF). National Association of College and University Business Officers and Commonfund Institute. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
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  5. ^ "History of the University of Georgia by Thomas Walter Reed; Chapter XIII Continued: The Administration of David C. Barrow". Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  6. ^ "UGA'S HISTORIC NORTH CAMPUS". Athens Convention & Visitors Bureau. Retrieved 24 December 2016.
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External linksEdit