Title says it all. Low cost of tuition for an in state student for a top 50 US News Report school is a great value.
Good international program for a law school in the south.Downers
Most professors and law school administrators tend to forget that students are there with the end goal of being a practicing attorney. Too much focus on legal academia and not enough on practical skills.
Legal career services is not very helpful.Comments
To land a big law job from this school, you will need to be in the top 15% of the class.Would You Recommend
The incoming class is divided into 3 smaller sections. Each section has the exact same schedule in the fall and spring. The first year experience at Georgia Law is unique. With the exception of Criminal Law (which ends in the fall semester), the 1L classes last the entire year. This system really allows the first year professors to get to know their students and the students within a section to get to know each other. No class size is larger than your small section and your legal research & writing class is the size of your section divided in half. Most 1L professors use the Socratic Method in the classroom but the last one who made you stand up when called on is now retired so incoming students will at least be able to answer from their seat!
Upper level class sizes range from 110 students (which would usually be a large core class such as Evidence, Constitutional Law, or Corporations) to 10 students (which would usually be smaller discussion based classes such as Approaches to Lawyering, English Legal History, or Law & Literature). The only required course beyond the first year is an ethics class so 2Ls and 3Ls have a lot of flexibility in their schedule. Many will take classes covered on the bar exam and some will focus in a particular subject area or follow a favorite professor. Still others are ready to get out of the classroom and gain some practical experience by participating in a clinic.
Over 20% of the 1L class last year participated in a study abroad program during the summer.Admissions
The Georgia Law application provides many opportunities to include unique information about yourself that can make your application stand out. In addition to the LSAT and GPA, the application requests information about previous work experience, extracurriculur activities, and honors. The admissions office told me not to feel limited by the space on the actual application and to attach a separate list or resume if needed. Only one personal statement is required but there are two optional essays. The first optional essay allows you to discuss what diverse perspective you could bring to the classroom and the second is basically a "tell us anything else you think we need to know" place on the application. The admissions office describes this essay as a good place on the application to address any areas on your application where you think an additional explanation may be needed - for example, the reasons behind a bad semester in school or the amount of time and commitment required for a leadership role.
A separate application is not necessary to be considered for merit scholarship awards. Once you have applied and been admitted, you are automatically considered. The admissions process is rolling and scholarship awards can follow within a few weeks. Students who apply early (before the holiday break) are likely to hear back sooner with admissions decisions and scholarship awards.Graduation Year
My teachers push me every day, They expect students to be prepared for class, and ready to discuss anything. The first week it was a bit nerve racking, but now i feel I have learned more this semester before starting to study for exams that I might would have were our teachers easier on us.
Socratic method is definitely used, and I actually enjoy it. It gives you a chance to see how well you retain this information you read each day, and helps set bench marks for yourself.
The 1L advocacy programs are great! not many 1L's get a chance to do a moot court argument, or to partcipate in mock trial closing arguments. But at UGA these give students who have an interest in litigating cases and being in the court room a chance to see what they can do.Admissions
I think UGA was fairly typical in what they needed from our applications. LSAT, GPA, etc. The personal statement was not a question specific to UGA, and they require two letters of reccomendation.
I know they looked at my letters of reccomendation, my personal statement and my activities from my undergraduate days, because an admissions representative made reference to some things in there when discussing my attendence at UGA with me. It feels great to know the process was not strictly a numners game, and that UGA genuinely cares about all that other information, such as awards and involvement. I know other schools did not look at this, and I think UGA examining my entire application assisted in my getting a scholarship.Level
Highly intensive Socratic Method your 1L year. Class sizes are good -- more specialized classes have smaller numbers. UGA Law has incredible clinical programs, including prosecutorial clinic, family violence clinic, civil externship clinics (opportunities in Athens, Atlanta and surrounding areas). UGA Law is one of the few law schools that offers a semester long study abroad program in Oxford. Our faculty not only are the best in their respective fields, but they truly care about teaching. They stay after class to ensure students with additional questions get answers, and always make themselves available for office hours.Quality of Life
Athens is the perfect college town. The weather is mild, the campus is beautifully landscaped (and the Law School is located in the historical North Campus, adjacent to the downtown area), and the nightlife is always lively. From local concert venues to relaxed, cozy coffee shops, Athens offers students an array of venues to enjoy themselves away from the classroom.Admissions
Standard application process -- LSAT, Resume - highlighting undergraduate rank/GPA and extracurriculars in addition to work and/or internship experience, letters of recommendationLevel
The classes at UGA Law are demanding- professors expect students to be well-prepared for each class meeting. The Socratic Method is utilized by the faculty in both first year and upper level courses.Level
Classes are excellent. Most first-year courses rely heavily on the Socratic method, while upper-level courses, especially smaller ones, tend to use it less. Formal and informal academic advising is readily available. Professors are often top scholars in their field yet are always available to meet with students and discuss anything, whether it be classroom-related or not. All course over around 20 people are graded on a curve. Workload is heavy first year (17 credits first semester) but is manageable. A unique feature is that except for Criminal Law, you will not receive any final letter grades until the end of both semesters of 1L year. This gives students a chance to get more acclimated to law school and taking law-school exams, as 2nd semester exams are usually worth more than the 1st semester exams.Quality of Life
Quality of life is EXCELLENT! Students are happy, like each other, and are friendly and laid-back. Athens is a fantastic "college town" with plenty of restaurants, nightlife, and of course tons of athletic events including an exciting SEC football program.Admissions
Standard process; nothing unusual about application. One scholarship many people don't know about is the availability of certain number of in-state tuition scholarships per year (called "Tuition Equalization Scholarship") for out-of-state students.Level
We have both practical skills and theory classes. The Socratic method is very heavily leaned on our first year in law school. After that, the Socratic method is somewhat more lax. Sometimes, class selection is a bit on the low side. However, we have great study abroad opportunities, including the Global Internship program. Additionally, the civil clinics are great.Quality of Life
Quality of life is great at our school. The building is a bit old but otherwise we have good facilities.Admissions
The admissions process at Georgia Law is somewhat unique in that the application fee is not very expensive, and the tuition is competitive. Therefore, it attracts a good variety of applicants. Financial aid and scholarship help to make this an even more cost-effective program, while still going to a good university in this region of the country.Level
Several essays that are basically ways to make yourself stand out. However, the bottom line is that if you don't have a good LSAT and GPA you don't have a chance. Lots of people can get tuition equalization (in-state tuition) if they're out of state and know how to negotiate.Level
UGA places a lot of weight on academics and prides itself on having an outstanding faculty. The Socratic method is employed in all 1L classes and in many 2L and 3L classes. Every student receives an academic advisors and most professors make themselves available to assist students outside of class. A typical 1L class has 70 students in it and many upper division core classes are around that size also. However smaller classes are available as well with more like 30 students in each class. UGA is home to many notable professors including five former United States Supreme Court Clerks. Further UGA has many abroad opportunities with summer programs in both Brussels and China and a Spring Semester at Oxford University, where I am currently studying.Quality of Life
Cost of living is not expensive. I live in a spacious townhouse in a quiet neighborhood of graduate students and young professionals. I frequently run in the neighborhood and have never had any safety issues. The Athens Community really rallies around UGA. The UGA Law school is located on North Campus - which is stunning. The library is connected to the main building and is a great place to study in between classes and has wonderful resources and friendly staff. The library also has computers and printers and copiers for student use. Our nationally ranked moot court and mock trial teams have 2 court rooms at their disposal. Those court rooms are also used for actual trials as well as for alumni to practice in.Admissions
The LSAT and GPA components are very important, but that does not mean the personal statements and resume are overlooked. I think that UGA tries very hard to have a well rounded law school student body. There are many scholarships available, including in-state tuition equalization.Level
I have been very impressed with the quality of the classes- both with the quality of students as well as the quality of the faculty. During the first year, students are divided into three sections: each of about 80 people and all students take traditional law school courses: property, contracts, torts, civil procedure, criminal law and legal research and writing. The teaching style first year is mostly socratic method although some professors are more rigorous about it than others.
Second year and beyond, the classes vary in size from very small seminars of 10-20 students to large lecture classes to 80+ students. Teachings styles vary greatly during the upper years depending on the type of course. For some of the smaller classes- particularly seminars and clinics, the classes are far more discussion based. For the larger classes, the socratic method is mostly used but not quite as rigorous as the first year. Very few professors do straight lectures.
For classes greater than 18-20 students, all grades are on a (B) curve (below that number- the Professor can choose whether or not to curve). Students are competative but I would describe it as healthy competition, not in any way cutthroat. Even though we are all graded on a curve, students sill study together all the time, share notes, talk about legal issues and cases and really work together to prepare.
There are ample research opportunities to work with Professors although I personally have not done that. Our faculty is very accomplished and very pedigreed and yet also very accessible and truly student oriented, which is nice.Quality of Life
Cost of living in Athens is very reasonable, especially if you're coming from a big city as I was. I live off campus in a nice little neighborhood and pay less than $400/month. Most everyone I know lives off campuse for law school. I know there is some on-campus housing, but I think it is pretty limited.
The Law school sits on the old, main campus. The law school itself is not a particularly beautiful building, but the overall main part of campus is beautiful, especially in the spring. The law school is a very well equipped building. THere is WIFI everywhere, the library is very good (i believe it's ranked 8th or 9th best in the country), has lots of public computers, etc.
THe law school is located very close to downtown Athens- which is really nice. THere are lots of local restaurants, coffee shops, retail shops, bars, etc.- which make for nice little study breaks. Community relations seem to be pretty good. The town thrives off of the university and the law school in many ways interacts with the community- i.e. through our clinical programs that work with indigent area residents to address pressing legal issues.
There is some crime here as in any college town, but nothing really severe. I don't really know any student who has personally been the victim of crime while here.
Overall, I'd say Athens is a wonderful place to be in school. There are enough distractions to take a break when you need to, but not too many distractions (as in a big city) to not be able to focus on school work. I will also add that the football culture is very important here and Saturdays (game day) in Athens are a lot of fun.Admissions
I believed the school utilized the LSAC uploading procedure. Of course LSAT and college GPA are very important to the process. There were also various essay questions. Like most law schools, there was a fairly generic personal statement, but there also were other shorter essay questions on things like- describe how you are diverse.
There are a fair amount of scholarship opportunities at UGA, especially for a public school. I specifically applied for and received the James E. Butler, Jr. scholarship for public service and academics. This scholarship, like a few others at UGA, requires a separate application. But there are also a lot of scholarships that all applicants are considered for.Level