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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
By Jennifer R. Stakich
- Visit every school you think you want to attend. Visiting a school is the best way to get a feel for the campus and the community. It enables you to talk to current students about their experiences and get their insights on law school in general and also the application process for them. Try to sit in on a class if you can, too. A campus visit can also help you decide between two close contenders. When I visited Georgia, I was seriously debating between two schools. Because of my campus visit, I decided to go Georgia Law because I loved the facilities and the friendly atmosphere.
- Make sure you give the faculty writing your letters of recommendation plenty of time. I asked two of the professors I was closest to in undergrad to write my letters of rec. Even though I had excellent relationships with them, I still had to remind them to finish the letters and submit them on time. Always ask your recommenders well in advance of the date you want to apply! Also, check back in with them to see if they want any additional information while they are writing the letters, like your updated resume or personal statement.
- The personal statement is a personal reflection of you. When I was writing my personal statement, I read samples online from people who had accomplished incredible things, like starting their own company or volunteering in Africa with the Peace Corps. Those samples made me feel really discouraged because I hadn’t done anything like that! If you’re like me, it’s completely okay. The vast majority of people haven’t done anything like that, either. The most important thing is to write about yourself. Communicate something about you that you’re passionate about.
- Think about where you want to practice law. This can be broad. I knew, for instance, that I would prefer to practice in the South, so I tailored my law school search to schools in the general area and selected Georgia Law because of its impeccable reputation in the South.
- If you have questions, call. Wondering if you need to disclose a speeding ticket? Call the school and ask. It’s always better to double-check.
- Form your own opinions about a specific school. When I told people where I was applying to law school, suddenly everyone had an opinion about a particular school, even if they had never been to that law school! Do your own research and decide which school has the assets you’re looking for. Talk to current students at that school and even alumni to get some student perspective.
Welcome Georgia Law Admitted Students! Let us know if you have any questions by clicking “Ask A Law Student” above!
Why Georgia Law? Where are the best places to live? What is there to do in Athens? If you’ve got questions, we have answers! Just ask!