University of Georgia School of Law

225 Herty Drive, Athens, GA 30602 | Google Map

www.law.uga.edu

Founded 1859 | ABA Accredited 1930

Established in 1859, the University of Georgia School of Law offers a broad and challenging curriculum with nearly 170 courses. The law school is a public institution and approximately 80% of the student body is Georgia residents. Located on a 1289-acre campus in the small town of Athens, GA, the law school was recently ranked among the top 30 schools in the nation, according to U.S News & World Report.

Each fall, Georgia Law welcomes approximately 210 students. The majority of first year courses are taught in sections of approximately 70 students, with the exception of Legal Writing and Legal Research, which is taught in small sections of approximately 35 students. Upper-level classes vary in size. With respect to the school’s curriculum, “the first year of study at Georgia Law consists entirely of required courses: Civil Procedure I and II, Contracts and Sales I and II, Criminal Law, Legal Research I and II, Property I and II, and Torts I and II. After the first year, two required courses remain: Legal Profession class and the skills-based course. The rest of what you study in law school is your choice.” (Georgia Law Website)

The school offers clinics in the areas of criminal and juvenile law, indigent legal assistance, environmental and land use practice, agency and governmental representation, and private nonprofit service. In addition, there are a number of other interesting academic opportunities available, such as fellowships, study abroad programs and advocacy programs.

NOTABLE ALUMNI

Roy Barnes, Governor of Georgia Norman S. Fletcher, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia Tom Murphy, Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives Mark Taylor, President of the Georgia Senate Michael J. Sharp, Partner, WilmerHale

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Rankings

POLL OF POLLS#34

SELECTIVITY RANK#37

About Rankings Data

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Paul Rollins

BETTER KNOW A DEAN

"Although all applicants are technically 'different' the same way snowflakes are different, the majority do not submit a diversity statement..." - Paul Rollins Associate Dean for Student Affairs, UGA Law

January 23, 2011 \ This is the 18th interview in our 224 part series, Better Know A Dean. Today we had the pleasure of sitting down with Paul Rollins, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Director of Admissions at the University of Georgia School of Law. Dean Rollins earned his JD from Yale Law School and currently supervises all phases of the admissions process for the juris doctor program, including recruitment, application review, decision-making, notification and the awarding of academic scholarships. In addition, he oversees the school's Legal Career Services Office and its Student Affairs & Registrar Office.

Prior to joining Georgia Law, Rollins was the assistant dean for student services at the University of South Carolina School of Law, where he was responsible for admissions, career services and student affairs.

AD Dean Rollins, thanks for taking time out of your busy season to answer a few questions that might be on the minds of prospective applicants.
PR Not at all, it’s my pleasure to help out.
AD Georgia Law improved from #35 to #28 in the most recent USNEWS Rankings. In your opinion, what factors attributed to such a significant improvement?
PR It’s hard to say. To some extent the USNEWS rankings are a bit of a mystery to everybody, which is why I always encourage applicants and law schools to take them with a grain of salt. But, obviously for us, we’re happy with the magazine’s calculation. Clearly, it’s better to have a more favorable ranking.

I think that part of what has contributed to our score improvement with USNEWS is that we have hired some additional faculty; this improved our student-faculty ratio, which has caused a ripple effect of sorts. A better student-faculty ratio has been a huge draw for incoming students and, as a result, we continue to see an improvement in the quality of our student body. I also think we have been more successful in attracting the best students and keeping the best Georgians here in state, particularly as the economy has gotten tougher since our tuition is such a bargain when compared to a lot of our peer schools. Our annual tuition for in-state residents is about $15,000/year, which means that you can attend three years at Georgia Law as a Georgia resident for less than the price of one-year tuition at many other private law schools. Our tuition rates are a more compelling sell for us as people become more cost conscious but do not want to sacrifice a quality education.. In addition, it is possible for non-resident students to establish residency after the first year of law school and pay the in state tuition rate.
AD True. I imagine that these days a lot of the merit scholarships offered by law schools ranked in the T30 receive strong consideration by applicants who, just five years ago, might have only considered attending a school in the T14 even if it meant having to pay "sticker price." The current economy has really turned law school admissions on its ear now that students are so aware of how student loan debt can weigh them down long after graduation.
PR Absolutely. In fact, I'll take it one step further and say that even if you don't get a scholarship offer from a state school like Georgia, if you’re a Georgia resident there is a very compelling case to be made to accept a regular offer of admission from us. Our regular tuition for in-state students is roughly 1/3 the tuition of other private law schools. This means that an in-state student is getting what amounts to a 2/3 discount off what they would pay at many other law schools.

However, this math only makes sense if the applicant is not sacrificing quality to get the lower tuition price. By paying a lower tuition, students are not limiting their opportunities. Our students receive a top-notch education and our graduates have all the opportunities (if not more) than graduates of T14 schools.

For instance, in five of the last seven years we have placed a Georgia Law graduate as a clerk on the United States Supreme Court -- this puts us in some pretty rare company. A Supreme Court clerkship is perhaps the hardest and most prestigious job a law school graduate can get, and to have so many graduates from Georgia Law clerking on the Supreme Court is an amazing accomplishment.
AD Actually, according to my research, since 1984, eight Georgia Law grads have served as clerks in the United States Supreme Court and, you're right, that's quite an accomplishment for a school that is ranked outside the T14. You're saying that it should now be 9 Georgia Law grads?
PR Yes, the latest clerk was only announced yesterday so you probably wouldn’t have it found when researching for this interview. We're proud to say that nine of our graduates have (or will) serve as clerks on the country's highest court and five of those clerkships came in the last seven years.
 

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