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Anonymous asked: Why choose UGA over Emory?

Student who choose Georgia Law (over any law school) frequently cite a few common reasons:

  • Cost: As a public university, tuition at Georgia Law is incredibly reasonable at $16,506 for an in-state student this academic year. And an out-of-state student may qualify for in-state tuition after her first year. 
  • Caliber: The 2013 incoming class had a median GPA of 3.69 and learn from a faculty that includes 5 former clerks to the U.S. Supreme Court and 2 Fulbright Scholars.  
  • Collegiality: Students at Georgia Law want to be here, and that desire is evident in the friendly and collaborative nature of each class.  Acquaintances made in 1L sections are frequently best friends at graduation.  

Georgia is fortunate to have a number of solid law school options, including Emory and Georgia.  More than a handful of students at both schools have certainly found themselves choosing between the two.  At the end of the day, an in-person visit is the best way to find out which school fits you best. 

Georgia Law offers two tours daily at 10:30AM and 3:30PM, and class visits are available through April 18th.  If you would like to register for a visit, call our Admissions Office at 706-542-7060.  We hope you’ll come to see us!

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Anonymous asked: As a student that isn't from the beautiful state Geogia ..what are the chances of being accepted to UGA law?

We have a substantial number of students every year that come from out of state. In the class of 2016, there were 23 states represented. 

If you have questions about your application in particular, feel free to contact Ramsey Bridges in the Office of Admissions at rhb@uga.edu or 706-542-9173

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Anonymous asked: Once my application is under review by the Admission Committee, how long until they issue a decision?

Applications and decisions are made on a rolling basis.  Depending on application volume and other factors, it can take anywhere from two weeks to two months for a decision to be finalized.  The Admissions Committee will continue making decisions from now through the early summer.

If you have questions about your application in particular, feel free to contact Ramsey Bridges in the Office of Admissions at rhb@uga.edu or 706-542-9173

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Advocacy Programs and 1L Year

By Jennifer Stakich 

As a rule, first year students at Georgia Law cannot get onto the moot court or mock trial teams. If you’re interested in Georgia’s advocacy programs, there are still a few ways to get some exposure as a 1L.

Your first opportunity is to volunteer as a Witness in the England Mock Trial competition for 2Ls and 3Ls during the fall semester. I participated as a Witness for a 2L team, and it was a great learning experience as well as a lot of fun. Basically I memorized a script of answers to my counsel’s questions, and we rotated between prosecution and defense each round, so I was essentially playing a few different characters throughout the competition. The challenging part is responding to the cross examination questions from the other team! The England competition comes pretty early during the fall semester, so it was a good way to meet some upperclassmen. My team was co-led by a teaching assistant for one of my classes, so I got an opportunity to spend time with him and get his advice outside of the classroom setting. As a Witness, you won’t  receive any feedback from the judges and are merely viewed as a volunteer, so no one except your team will offer you constructive criticism.

Second, the 1L closing argument competition kicks off at the beginning of spring semester. This competition is open to just 1Ls, and you receive a mock trial problem and must draft and present a closing argument, like you would give to an actual jury. Each competitor will complete two rounds, one for defense and one for prosecution, before any eliminations occur. After each round, the judges will give you feedback about what you can improve on and what you did well. At first, I was nervous to get critiqued by the upperclassmen judges, but they were really nice and understood that we were all nervous! One main reason I participated in closing arguments was to settle my nerves of public speaking for the one mandatory event of 1L year….

…the Russell moot court competition. Every 1L is required to participate in two rounds of the Russell competition as part of your Legal Research & Writing class. In late February, you will turn in your Appellate Brief for your writing class, and then you will orally argue that brief before a panel of judges. In the second round, you will argue the opposite side which you did not write about in your brief. The most intimidating part of the Russell competition is the fact that the judges will interrupt your argument to ask you questions! Even though they ask questions, the judges still understand that you are nervous and will help you stay on track if need be. I’ve completed one of the two mandatory rounds, and it was a lot of fun even though I wasn’t sure what the judges would ask me. One big criticism I received from my judges was that I didn’t smile enough during my argument, so I’m working on that for round two! In the preliminary rounds, the judges are members of the moot court team, so they all had to participate in the same process and understand what you’re going through.

Participating in all three events is a great way to get involved, settle your nerves, or give you a tiny taste of what the advocacy programs at Georgia Law do on a regular basis. If you are interested in advocacy, I really recommend that you participate in these opportunities. I’ve gotten great feedback so far and am excited to be more involved!

 

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Anonymous asked: Normally, how long is does it take to receive an admissions decision?

Decisions are made on a rolling basis as files become complete beginning in late fall and continuing through late spring.

If you have questions about you application in particular, feel free to contact Ramsey Bridges in the Office of Admissions at rhb@uga.edu or 706-542-9173

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Opportunities to talk with Georgia’s legal leaders, like Attorney General Sam Olens.

Opportunities to talk with Georgia’s legal leaders, like Attorney General Sam Olens.

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Anonymous asked: What are the best places to live in Athens for a law student?

We’ve got a new post up that should help answer that question. There are a lot of choices, so we’ve included some links that should help out. 

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Where to Live as a Law Student

By Emily Evans
Besides being one of the best college towns out there, Athens is a great place to be a law student. If you’re looking for housing, you’re in luck: Athens abounds with places to live, and there’s something for everyone, in a variety of price ranges. We’ll cover the most common options below, but know that there are lots of other options as well. And as always, feel free to reach out if you have specific questions!
Downtown: Being a short walk away from the 90+ bars, many excellent restaurants, and fun shops located downtown is a way of life many law students can’t resist (and, you’re a close walk from the law school’s beautiful home on historic north campus too!) The living downtown is mostly apartment-style, and can be a bit more expensive, especially if you want a single room. But the convenience and proximity to all Athens has to offer (especially to tailgates during football season) can be hard to beat! 
East Side: Athens’s East Side neighborhood is home to lots of large apartment complexes, many replete with pools, gyms, computer labs, and more. It’s near the beautiful trails of the Oconee River Greenway, as well as the university’s east campus (including the student gym, the Ramsey Student Center—membership is included in your law school tuition!) and is the place to be if you want a little more room to spread out. It’s also got great access to grocery stores, pharmacies, fast food and other convenience stores. 
West Side: The West Side is another great place for apartment-style living, and it’s only a short drive to downtown. It’s near several gyms and favorite restaurants, and is a great place to live if you want to be close to the action, but not right in it all the time. 
Normaltown: The Normaltown neighborhood is fun and funky, with a bit of a more low-key vibe. It’s known for its cool bars and restaurants (Ike & Jane’s doughnuts are definitely a must-try if you’re in the area!) The West Side has more houses that groups of students will generally share, though there are some smaller apartment complexes as well. it’s a great place to be if you’re looking for something a little removed from the hustle and bustle of downtown.
Five Points: The Five Points area (and the neighborhoods beyond it) is vibrant and fun. While it’s a short drive from downtown, it feels really separate and a bit more grown up. It’s got bars and lots of restaurants with outdoor seating, fun shops, and many of its own amenities, including grocery stores, coffee shops (you’ll always find law students studying at Two Story Coffee Shop) and even a gym and yoga studio. Some of the living in Five Points is in smaller groups of apartments; many students also choose to share houses in this area.
On Campus: Grad students are able to live on campus if they choose, generally in apartment-style dorms. It’s not an option many law students take, however. If on-campus living is something that appeals to you, visit http://housing.uga.edu/family-graduate for more information.
No matter what neighborhood you want to live in, here are some helpful websites to get you started on your housing search. Be sure to visit the accepted students page to meet other students searching for roommates, too!
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The Transition from Student-Athlete to Law Student

By Joseph Patrick Hackney

            I had the great fortune to compete for the University of Georgia as a cross country and track runner in all four of my undergraduate years. The sense of brotherhood, the moments of triumph, and the hours and miles of work were some of my greatest take-a-ways from that time. Competing as a Division I athlete was also afforded a lot of perks and great opportunities to travel, meet, and compete against people from all over the world. One of my greatest fears, though admittedly pretentious, in continuing my legal education at UGA was that I would lose all those things which had set me apart as an athlete on campus, and I would be just another number at a big school with no sense of community. I have learned that my concerns were totally unjustified.

            Many of the aspects of life I enjoyed as an athlete continue as I tend to my academic concerns. My section members are my team mates, each of us competing with one another for coveted grades, but in a friendly manner which is supportive and ultimately beneficial as we each help the other to improve. These class mates of mine, like my college team mates, come from diverse backgrounds and bring different abilities and skills to our work. We struggle together and form bonds of friendship which can only be made through mutual respect for hard work. We celebrate together- when the papers are written and the exams finished, we all share in our collective accomplishment. Our professors are demanding coaches. They understand our potential, and our struggles, and they work very hard to provide us with the tools to succeed. Our facilities are just as fantastic at the law school as they were for Division I student athlete. I once relished a locker room with flat screen T.V.s, a brand new track, and a separate academic center. I now have the daily pleasure of studying in a beautiful library, access to the latest legal databases, and a unique presence on an historic campus. In the same way I was prepared to be a great runner and student at the next level, I feel that Georgia Law is giving me the ability to take my lessons here and be competitive in my next arena. Though time does not permit me to run as many miles as I used to, a great deal of the comfort, care, and camaraderie I felt as a collegiate athlete hasn’t changed as I looked towards the completion of my first year of law school.     

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What big windows you have!  The better to see the snow with… #whyGeorgiaLaw

What big windows you have!  The better to see the snow with… #whyGeorgiaLaw

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1st Semester Reflections

By Elizabeth Barwick

As I write this, I am one week away from my first round of law school exams.  This semester has been a challenge like none I have experienced.  However, I am pleased to take the time now to reflect on why I chose Georgia Law.

Even in these, the most stressful of times for a first year law student, I can look back on this semester and be glad.  The most important thing I have learned from this semester is that 1L year does not have to be miserable.  You can like your professors.  Mine are truly impressive individuals but they are also kind and funny.  You can help out your classmates and they will return the favor.  My class is made up of brilliant people.  They certainly provide fierce competition but they never make me feel that way.  I have found faculty and classmates alike to be eager and willing to lend a hand both in academics and in life.

Every first year law student has heard horror stories about mean professors and overly competitive classmates but I can promise that you won’t find them at UGA.  There’s no need to go on and on about the quality of the education at Georgia Law.  That’s obvious and there are numbers that can tell you all about that.  The sense of community that I felt from my very first visit is why I chose Georgia Law and I can confidently say, even in the midst of exams, that I could not be happier that I did.

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D.C. Semester In Practice

By Sarah Hill

While there are many reasons to choose Georgia Law, I made the decision to go here (from out of state) because I want to practice in Washington, D.C. That may sound crazy, but so far, it’s working!

Georgia law grads are competitive in the D.C. job market – in fact, there is a large network of alumni already working there. It is not uncommon for UGA law students to have D.C. in mind – in fact, every year there is a presentation at the law school for those who are interested on ways to break into the D.C. Market. These make it possible for a UGA law grad to make it in D.C., but our Semester in Practice program actually gives us a great advantage. Instead of taking classes in Athens for a semester, students live in D.C., take two classes, and work for a nonprofit or government internship.

This way, students have a semester of work experience to enhance their resumes while earning credit from the law school. The fact that this placement is nearly full-time also means that students in these placements will get better assignments. By working every day instead of two days a week, interns build better relationships with the attorneys in their office and are able to learn much more from them. Additionally, full-time interns have a much faster turnaround on assignments, so they are likely to get assigned to more important work. For you, that means more impressive work product to talk about in interviews and use as writing samples!

Additionally, I did not realize before I started interviewing how frequently interviewers would ask whether I had a connection to the D.C. area. While I have always wanted to work in the District, I had no concrete way to demonstrate that without D.C. program. It was extremely important during interviews to have a good answer for this question.

The application process was simple. I spoke with our D.C. program coordinator about my career goals, and she helped me decide which placement would provide the best experience. She was able to tell me much more about each position than I would have been able to find on my own. I sent her application materials, and she forwarded them to the appropriate contacts. After a few weeks (of government shutdown), I interviewed with my placement over the phone.

Interestingly enough, I was interviewed by a UGA law alumna who was thrilled to bring a UGA student into the office – in fact, she said that she recused herself from the hiring decision because she was biased toward hiring UGA law students! I was offered a position with the Department of Justice, Civil Division for the semester. Because students can choose the semester in which to participate in the program, I was able to coordinate my semester in D.C. with my summer job, so I will move to D.C. in January and stay through the summer.

So if you want to work in D.C., think hard about Georgia Law. Our D.C. Semester in practice gives you work experience, work product, relationships with D.C. attorneys, and a way to demonstrate your commitment to the area. And you get all of this for the price of UGA law, which is far, far cheaper than going to a D.C. Law school. 

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Because friendly librarians help repair your expensive law books at the end of the semester. 

Because friendly librarians help repair your expensive law books at the end of the semester. 

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Turn in your 1L memo, get a donut!

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Answers to Commonly Asked Questions on Prospective Student Tours

By Nicola Rossi

 As a member of the Dean’s Ambassadors, I give tours to prospective students every Friday morning.  There are a lot of questions that come up on nearly every tour.  Here are answers to some common and some unique inquiries:

 1) How many students are in my classes 1L year?

The 1L class at UGA Law is divided into three sections—X, Y, and Z.  This year there are about sixty-five students in each section.

 2) What is the Socratic method and is it used at UGA Law?

The Socratic method is used in some form in most classes at UGA Law, especially first year.  When using the Socratic method the professor, instead of lecturing, calls on a student or multiple students to answer questions about the day’s reading.  The professor uses questions to help students think through and understand the reading.  Although it may seem intimidating at first, many law students eventually really like or at least see the value of the Socratic method.  The method forces students to keep up with material throughout semester because it requires in depth preparation for each class.  Although some “old fashioned” professors used to require students to stand while answering questions in class, all professors at UGA Law now allow students to sit.  (This helps if you are a little nervous!) 

3) What do students wear to class?

I included this question because some students are worried about the prospect of wearing a suit to class everyday.  That is not at all required.  People wear a wide variety of casual clothes to class.  One thing I wish I had done sooner, however, was purchase a suit to have on hand in case I needed one.  There are events in law school where you need a suit and they came up quicker than I expected.  Girls, I would recommend at least one pencil skirt suit and a comfortable pair of pumps.  I am a pants girl myself so this was not my first choice, but there are certain situations where a skirt is more appropriate.

4) Is law school hard, boring, or both?

Law school is not at all boring!  It is hard.  It requires a lot of work but its saving grace is that it is extremely interesting!  Although you are working hard, you will hopefully find you actually enjoy it most of the time.

5) Why did you choose UGA Law?

I chose UGA Law for a lot of reasons.  I am from Georgia and after doing my undergrad in New York City I wanted to return to Georgia for law school.  I knew many UGA Law alums and I regarded them as intelligent and kind attorneys.  They were people I wanted to be like when I graduated.  I also liked that the atmosphere at UGA Law, though competitive, is also supportive.  Professors and students are respectful, kind, professional, and usually friends with one another.