Best Law Schools In Georgia: Georgia is known for more than just peaches, grits, and gracious southern hospitality. Several of the top legal schools in the nation are located in this state.
Georgia definitely isn’t the first state that comes to mind when people think of law schools. Our thoughts frequently turn to Ivies like Harvard and Yale. But, despite not being as well-known or highly ranked as, say, Stanford or Columbia, Georgia’s best law schools are nonetheless highly regarded locally and nationally and provide a top-notch legal education, particularly for prospective attorneys who want to practice in the Peach State.
In light of the fact that lawyers must pass a separate bar exam in the state (or states) in which they wish to practice, attending law school in Georgia offers numerous opportunities to not only get ready for the bar exam but also to network with local law firms and other businesses involved in the legal industry.
Best Law Schools In Georgia
What qualifies as a “good” law school? What criteria does a publication like US News and World Report use to rank law schools nationally?
ABA accreditation, the percentage of students who pass the bar on their first attempt, school resources, job placement performance, and the standard of student-faculty interactions are some of the major criteria to take into account when evaluating the strength of a law school. These are all factors in US News’ rating system.
The John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) in Atlanta is a for-profit law school that is conveniently situated on Peachtree Street in the city’s center. The American Bar Association (ABA) accredited the institution in 2005; it was founded in 1933.
With a median LSAT score of 150 and a median undergraduate GPA of 2.94, AJMLS admits about 35% of candidates. The first-time bar passage rate was 66% as of July 2019, which was lower than the average first-time bar passage rate among all Georgia ABA-accredited law schools of 84%.
The Experiential Learning Program, which offers for-credit externships at law firms and other field jobs, is one distinctive aspect of the AJMLS program. This guarantees that after completing the AJMLS program, students are not just taught how to memorize case briefs, but are also equipped to practice law in the actual world.
Some AJMLS graduates, including Jon G. Burns, Doug Collins, and Ronald Ramsey, Sr., have gone on to hold significant roles in politics. Neal Boortz, a former host of a conservative radio program, and even the Nigerian politician Femi Gbajabiamila are AJMLS alums. A recipient of the MacArthur “Genius” Award and criminal defense lawyer Jonathan Rapping are both academic members at the institution.
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One of the country’s oldest law schools, Mercer University School of Law was established in 1893. The law school, which has its headquarters in Macon, Georgia, is well-known for its main structure, a partly reproduction of Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Since 1923, Mercer has belonged to the Association of American Law Schools, and since 1925, it has held full ABA accreditation.
With an average GPA of 3.41 and a median LSAT score of 153, the Law School accepts about 43% of candidates. The school’s current first-time Georgia bar passage rate is 83.2%, which is in line with the state’s average for this category.
The Woodruff Curriculum at Mercer is renowned for having influenced curricula at law schools all around the nation. Small class sizes, practice-based learning opportunities, legal and professional ethics, legal writing, and professional responsibility are all stressed in the curriculum, which even won the ABA’s coveted Gambrell Professionalism Award. In addition, the School of Law is home to the National Criminal Defense College, the Legal Writing Program, the largest legal writing organization in the world, and the Mercer Center for Legal Ethics and Professionalism.
Mercer has a long list of notable graduates, including scores of legislators, judges, and prominent attorneys. Former Georgia governor Nathan Deal, former US attorney general G. Harrold Carswell, CNN political analyst Erick Erickson, political commentator and Headline News host Nancy Grace, and well-known celebrity lawyer L. Lin Wood are among these alumni.
The Georgia State University College of Law is situated in the middle of Atlanta’s business district. The law school, which was established in 1982, is accredited by the ABA and a part of the Association of American Law Schools. With its modest beginnings, the GSU College of Law has quickly expanded and is presently ranked #78 in the nation by US News and World Report. The law school is impressively ranked #1 in the US for Health Care Law and #17 for its Part-Time Law program.
Around 30% of candidates are accepted by the GSU College of Law, with a median LSAT score of 158 and an average GPA of 3.52. The first-time bar passage rate at the institution is around 85%, and in 2020, the ABA recognized GSU College of Law as the fifth-best law school in the US for bar exam overperformance. The National Jurist gave the GSU College of Law an A+ for its specialities in environmental law and health law.
One of the intriguing aspects of the GSU College of Law is its study abroad programs, which allow students to spend five weeks learning abroad in Linz, Austria for the Summer Academy in International Commercial Arbitration, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the Summer Legal and Policy Study, or Buenos Aires, Argentina for the Buenos Aires Summer Program, which is sponsored jointly with the Florida International University College of Law.
Alumni of the GSU College of Law have made significant contributions to society in the fields of government, business, and the media. Alumni of the school have gone on to become members of the Georgia House of Representatives, state judges, business executives, and news anchors, as well as justices of the Georgia Supreme Court.
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Emory University School of Law, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, is currently tied for #29 nationally in the US News and World Report rankings with Boston College, Brigham Young, University of Iowa, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and University of Wisconsin-Madison. Very highly recognized on a national level, Emory University is ranked #21 in the nation by US News.
A little over 30% of applicants are accepted into Emory’s law school, which has very tough admissions. Successful candidates have an average GPA of 3.80 and a median LSAT score of 158. The top jurisdictions where Emory graduates took the bar exam in 2019 were Georgia, New York, Florida, Texas, and California. Emory’s first-time bar passage rate is 82.8%.
Via a variety of specialty clinics, the school’s curriculum challenges students with a rigorous blend of theory and practice. Moreover, there is a summer exchange program for students in Budapest, Hungary. Externships, which connect students with opportunities in the public defense, government, nonprofit, or in-house counsel fields, to mention a few, are a crucial component of the program.
Alumni of the Emory University School of Law can be found in the highest echelons of business, politics, the judiciary, and a wide range of other professions. Many CEOs, US Congressmen, diplomats, judges, the daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and numerous business pioneers are among Emory Law’s prominent graduates. A number of well-known legal academics are also members of the faculty of the law school.
The University of Georgia School of Law, also referred to as Georgia Law, is the top-ranked law school in the whole state of Georgia. Georgia Law, one of the oldest law schools in continuous operation in the nation, is located north of Atlanta in Athens, Georgia, and is ranked #27 nationally by US News and World Report. Georgia Law has produced significant figures in practically every field since its creation in 1859, including around a dozen state governors, more than 100 members of state and federal legislatures, dozens of federal judges, and justices of state supreme courts.
Only about 19% of applicants are accepted by Georgia Law, which is very selective. Successful candidates have an average GPA of 3.78 and a median LSAT score of 165. The first-time bar passage rate at Georgia Law is an astounding 94%, and within 10 months of graduation, 93% of the class of 2019 graduates were working full-time, long-term positions that required passing the bar. With figures like these, it’s simple to see why Georgia Law has been named the #1 Best Value Law School in the nation by the National Jurist three years in a row (2020, 2019, 2018).
Georgia Law’s low student-to-faculty ratio of just 6:1 and its associated Mentorship Program, which pairs each incoming law student with a faculty mentor, upperclassman peer mentor, career development office counselor, and an alumnus professional mentor to support them during and after the program, are two factors in the success of the school.
Some of the most renowned and significant JDs in the nation and around the world are graduates of Georgia Law. Former acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates, former Senate President Pro Tempore Richard B. Russell Jr., and former Chief Judge and current Senior Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals Larry Edmondson are a few notable recent graduates.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does Georgian law school last?
With summer enrollment, a J.D. can be obtained in 4 years, though many students finish the program in 5. Both part-time and full-time J.D. students have access to all programs and materials, including the moot court, Law Review, and trial litigation programs.
How challenging is the Georgia bar examination?
How challenging is the Georgia bar exam? with total test taker pass percentages of 65% for July 2022 and 50% for February 2022, respectively. The GA Bar Test is difficult, and passing it necessitates thorough preparation.
Can a 3.0 GPA get admission to law school?
Every applicant for a legal degree must have a GPA of 3.0 or above (grade point average). While the second- and third-tier law schools in the United States require GPAs of 3.8 and 3.7, respectively, the top-ranked law schools in the country want a GPA median of 3.9 or above.
What salary is the bare minimum for a lawyer?
In the United States, a lawyer's lowest documented yearly pay is about $61,500. There aren't many positions in this field that pay so little, despite the fact that it's much less than the national average. In the meantime, some attorneys earn more than $200k annually. The average income for lawyers is $208,000.