Located in the heart of downtown Atlanta, Georgia State College of Law was founded on the idea that a legal education should be accessible and affordable. We offer part-time and full-time programs, numerous specialties, and an expansive experiential learning curriculum designed to prepare students for practice. Our renowned faculty prove that lawyers are problem solvers, tackling society’s most pertinent legal questions. They challenge our students to the same through their teaching and scholarship. We are proud of our strong sense of community. We commit to extending justice wherever we can.
of the class of 2019 have employment 10 months after graduation.
- Total applicants: 1,890
- Enrolled: 215
- Average age: 26
- Age range: 20-45
- Men: 43 percent
- Women: 57 percent
- Diversity enrollment: 38 percent
- Part-time students: 53
- Full-time students: 162
- Median LSAT: 158
- 25th and 75th Percentile LSAT: 156, 160
- Median UGPA: 3.52
- 25th and 75th Percentile UGPA: 3.28, 3.68
- 71 Undergraduate Institutions Represented
- 64 Undergraduate Majors Represented
- Four faculty members testified before the Supreme Court during the 2018-19 academic year
- One faculty member served as legal counsel on Stacey Abrams gubernatorial campaign
- Faculty members lead 18 nationally-recognized on-campus research centers and clinics so students can work with real clients.
- Student-faculty ratio: 6.2 to 1
- Full-time faculty members: 70
- Women: 50.36 percent
- Diversity: 17.99 percent
- Four Fulbright Scholars
- Each student is assigned a personal librarian upon acceptance
- Two story-library features a café, study rooms and terraces that overlook downtown Atlanta
- The Law Library houses a database of writing competitions where students can win money to fund their education.
- Dollars spent on Law Library materials: $1,060,449
- Seating capacity inside the library: 445
- Number of full-time equivalent professional librarians: 7.5
- Hours per week library is open: 103
The College of Law is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. The ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar may be contact at firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-988-6738. More contact information is available at americanbar.org.
Georgia State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools: Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC) to award baccalaureate, masters, specialist, and doctorate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Georgia State University.
Among the leading public law schools in the nation, Georgia State Law is in the heart of downtown Atlanta. Our vibrant location and state-of the-art facility allow us to attract a talented and diverse student body. We ensure access through a commitment to full- and part-time legal education.
Our world-class faculty engages with relevant legal and policy issues at every level of government. Our goal is to produce meaningful scholarship that improves our profession and society. We will expand our role as a national leader in student success by focusing on experiential education, professional development and global competency.
Georgia State Law leads public debate by bringing business leaders, students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the legal profession and policy-makers together to resolve disputes and find common ground.
The College of Law is committed to providing an excellent, affordable and distinctive legal education, to a diverse student body; to promoting legal scholarship and service that enrich the legal profession and the communities we serve; and to capitalize on the unique environment in which we are located.
- BE A PREEMINENT urban law school that is accessible to students from a wide variety of backgrounds.
- EMBRACE THE CHANGES taking place in legal education and the profession in a thoughtful and proactive way that is consistently mindful of our mission and commitment to our diverse student body.
- MAINTAIN A CURRICULUM that is student-centered, fuses theory and practice and richly prepares our graduates to be thoughtful, ethical and analytical problem-solvers capable of success in any environment.
- EMPLOY THE CONSIDERABLE TALENTS of our faculty to produce rigorous, innovative and meaningful scholarship that engages in and addresses key legal and policy issues facing our city, state, nation and world.
- PROVIDE LEADERSHIP to our community by creating an inviting environment where students, faculty, staff, alumni, members of the profession and the public can interact with, learn about and debate issues of critical importance.
- BUILD UPON OUR STRONG RELATIONSHIP with units throughout the university and collectively work to advance high-quality teaching, scholarship and community engagement.
The Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) survey was conducted by faculty in 2020 to improve the academic workplace. Georgia State is using the COACHE survey results to develop an action plan to improve faculty recruitment, retention and engagement – especially for underrepresented minority (URM) faculty. There is a university-level action plan and a specific College of Law plan as indicated below.
The faculty will engage in ongoing dialog to clarify the nature & scope of faculty governance at the College of Law
- Implementation Plan: Schedule series of facilitated discussions over the course of AY 21-22 to explore faculty concerns, map to existing policies and guidance, and identify ways toward greater understanding of faculty roles
- Timeline: 12-18 months
- Measurable Outcomes: At least 3 meetings for discussion held and issues/recommendations identified and presented to faculty as a whole
- University Plan Alignment: Shared Governance
The faculty will evaluate its by-laws and other policies and practices to foster greater inclusion of non-tenure track faculty
- Implementation Plan: Assign a committee to review the bylaws and other policies (e.g., promotion document) to identify ways to promote inclusion of non-tenure track faculty and make recommendations for amendments.
- Timeline: 12-18 months
- Measurable Outcomes: Amendments to bylaws and other relevant policies presented to faculty for a vote
- University Plan Alignment: Shared Governance
Outcome 1: Graduates will demonstrate knowledge and comprehension of substantive and procedural laws generally, including rules of procedure, common law, statutory law, administrative law, and constitutional law.
- Criterion 1: Identify, describe, and apply sources or relevant law to solve client problems and/or address policy issues.
- Criterion 2: Identify, describe, and apply appropriate procedural steps and factual development to solve client problems and/or address policy issues.
Outcome 2: Graduates will demonstrate effective legal analysis and reasoning skills to address client problems and/or policy issues and achieve client objectives.
- Criterion 1: Identify legal issues when presented with client problems and/or policy questions using applicable legal theory, rules, and facts.
- Criterion 2: Critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of arguments.
Outcome 3: Graduates will conduct legal research effectively and efficiently.
- Criterion 1: Find information through effective and efficient research strategies, including consideration of time and cost limitations.
- Criterion 2: Critically evaluate information and sources, including hierarchy and weight of authority.
- Criterion 3: Apply information effectively to a specific issue or need.
Outcome 4: Graduates will communicate effectively and professionally in a variety of settings.
- Criterion 1: Compose well-written documents and memorandum.
- Criterion 2: Adapt speaking and writing to audience and circumstance.
Outcome 5: Graduates will engage in active self-reflection and take ownership of their professional development.
- Criterion 1: Listen actively and respond appropriately during group and one-on-one exchanges.
- Criterion 2: Critically assess one’s own contributions and take responsibility for individual work product and group outcomes.
- Criterion 3: Manage projects by developing and implementing clear plans and efficient timelines.
Outcome 6: Graduates will demonstrate effective and professional engagement with clients, colleagues, opposing counsel, judges, and others.
- Criterion 1: Demonstrate respect for clients, colleagues, opposing counsel, judges and others. Criterion 2: Demonstrate the ability to work effectively as a member of a team.
Outcome 7: Graduates will demonstrate professionalism through conduct consistent with their ethical obligations and professional responsibilities.
- Criterion 1: Explain and apply the rules and standards of professional conduct.
- Criterion 2: Recognize the leadership role and responsibility that attorneys play in maintaining the rule of law and upholding justice
Outcome 8: Graduates will demonstrate awareness of their responsibility to promote access to justice and to provide pro-bono services.
- Criterion: Articulate the challenges inherent in securing affordable, quality legal representation in the United States.
As far back as the early 1970s, Georgia legislators and academic leaders debated the pros and cons, of a new law college. They recognized the need for a law school that embraced both traditional students and those who worked full-time.
The Georgia State University College of Law was sanctioned by the Board of Regents in 1981.
Founding Dean, Ben F. Johnson Jr.’s, steely determination propelled the college from the planning documents to the first floor of Georgia State’s Urban Life Building in fall 1982, and the doors opened at last.
The college enrolled 200 students in its inaugural year, taught by six professors. Most students were part-time, and many took classes at night because they had full-time jobs during the day. Some were older students for whom law was a second career. The college’s first seven students graduated in December 1984.
At the end of its first decade, full-time faculty had grown to 31. Nearly half were women. More than 120,000 volumes filled the Law Library. Applications for admission exceeded 2,200 for only 180 slots. Yet, the exploding popularity of the college did not alter its institutional DNA.
The challenge of being a young school only sharpened the College of Law’s teeth. It was the first Georgia law school to win the prestigious National Moot Court Competition. Students brought home the Wagner Cup twice in three years. Others took notice, too. The Georgia Civil Justice Foundation funded the school’s first endowed scholarship. Atlanta law firms teamed up to recruit top students through the Dean’s Scholars Program. Driven by the leadership of the college’s second dean, Marjorie Fine Knowles, the college received full accreditation from the American Bar Association in 1990.
The college was one of the first to offer a part-time law program to the citizens of Georgia. enabling a diverse group of students to matriculate and ultimately serve their communities. Although the College of Law has grown substantially in scope and reputation during the last few decades, this flexible, entrepreneurial and student-focused spirit resonates throughout our institution.
Our location in the capital city of Atlanta situates the College of Law at the center of robust legal, government and public interest integrated communities. Our students have unparalleled access to the courts, the legislature and government agencies. Nearby, they can also find an array of private business and service providers using the skills of legal professionals. We have earned a reputation of excellence within these communities by developing our students into well-rounded professionals with the skills and knowledge necessary to compete at the highest level in any work environment. We continue to invest in our students while offering affordable tuition. Our sense of community is a particular point of pride and a reflection of our strong commitment to broad access to legal education.
These Bylaws constitute the rules for the governance of the faculty of the College of Law of Georgia State University as provided in the Statutes of Georgia State University. These Bylaws of the faculty of the College of Law supplement and are subject to the Statutes of Georgia State University and the Bylaws and Policies of the Regents of the University System of Georgia. These Bylaws must be read in the light of these basic governing documents of the University. To avoid duplication, many provisions of the University Statutes applicable to the governance of the College have been omitted or incorporated only by reference.
ARTICLE I. MEMBERSHIP
The faculty of the College of Law shall consist of the Dean of the College, the Associate Deans, and all persons holding faculty rank. Adjunct members of the faculty, professors emeriti, visiting faculty and ex officio members may participate in faculty meetings and may vote subject to the conditions set forth in Article IV, Section 5 of these Bylaws. All voting members of the faculty must have been awarded the degree of Juris doctor or its equivalent. The President and the Provost and Vice- President for Academic Affairs of Georgia State University are ex-officio members of the faculty of the College of Law.
ARTICLE II. FUNCTIONS AND POWERS OF THE FACULTY
Section 1. The faculty shall exercise all legislative functions dealing with the general educational policy of the college; develop and approve all curricula; define requirements for the degree of Juris doctor consistent with the requirements of any governing accrediting institution; grant approval for all full-time faculty appointments before the Dean makes recommendations to the Board of Regents; initiate and adopt resolutions on matters relevant to the general welfare of the College; and define standards for the admission, retention, readmission, discipline, and graduation of students enrolled in the college.
Section 2. The faculty shall certify all candidates for degrees and diplomas prior to graduation. No degree or diploma shall be awarded in the name of the college, and no candidate shall be graduated without the prior approval and certification of the faculty.
Section 3. The standards, requirements, and procedures for reappointment, promotion and tenure of the faculty of the College are governed by the College’s Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Document.
ARTICLE III. ADMINISTRATION
Section 1. The powers and duties of administrative officers of colleges, schools, and institutes are defined in Article VIII of the Statutes of Georgia State University. These provisions are applicable to the College of Law.
Section 2. The Dean of the College of Law is the chief executive officer of the College. The Dean shall have all powers and responsibilities as set forth in Article VIII, Section 2 of the Statutes of Georgia State University for heads of freestanding academic units and powers and responsibilities set forth in Article XI, Section 3 of those statutes for department chairmen. The administrative organization of the Dean’s office is the responsibility of the Dean. The administrative organization may include associate and assistant deans appointed and evaluated annually by the Dean. These officers shall, in general, have such powers and responsibilities as may be delegated to them by the Dean. The Dean shall communicate annually to the faculty matters involving the administrative structure and duties of the principal administrators of the College.
Section 3. Three Members of the Advisory Committee and five members of the Faculty Appeals Committee shall be elected in accordance with Article V, Section 1 of these Bylaws. The Chair(s) of the Promotion and Tenure Committee and the members of the Post-Tenure Review Committee also shall be elected annually in accordance with the procedures set out in the College’s Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Document. The Dean shall appoint the chair and members of all other standing committees and may establish ad hoc committees as the Dean deems necessary.
ARTICLE IV. FACULTY MEETINGS
Section 1. The Dean shall preside over all meetings of the faculty in accordance with these Bylaws. In the Dean’s absence, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs shall preside over faculty meetings. In the absence of both the Dean and the Associate Dean, the Dean’s designee shall preside over faculty meetings.
Section 2. The faculty of the College of Law shall hold at least one regular meeting during each term of the academic year. The regular meeting dates for faculty meetings shall be determined by the Dean. Special meetings may be called by the Dean at the Dean’s discretion and initiative. The Dean shall inform the faculty of all regular and special meetings by written communication at least forty- eight (48) hours prior to the scheduled meeting.
Section 3. The order of business at all meetings, unless suspended in accordance with Section 7 below, shall be in accordance with the Dean’s agenda which shall be distributed by the Dean at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to the scheduled meeting.
Section 4. A quorum of the faculty is needed for any regular or special meeting at which matters for faculty action will be put to a vote. A quorum is defined as a majority of the voting members of the faculty who hold the rank of Clinician and Assistant Professor or higher.
Section 5. Non-Tenure Track Faculty
(a). Non-tenure track faculty who hold the rank of Lecturer, Academic Professional, Professor of Practice, or Librarian may attend general faculty meetings and may vote on policy issues. They may not vote on personnel matters or when the faculty meets as the Promotion and Tenure Committee except as provided in this section. Librarians, academic professionals, lecturers, and professors of practice may vote on recommendations related to the hiring and retention of the Dean.
(b). Senior Lecturers and Principal Senior Lecturers may vote when the faculty meets as the Promotion and Tenure Committee only if the issue under review relates to Lecturers of particular rank as outlined in the College of Law’s Lecturer and Academic Professional Promotion and Reappointment Document.
(c). Senior Academic Professionals may vote when the faculty meets as the Promotion and Tenure Committee only if the issue under review relates to Academic Professionals of a lower rank as outlined in the College of Law’s Lecturer and Academic Professional Promotion and Reappointment Document.
(d). Librarians may vote on personnel issues as outlined in the College of Law’s Promotion and Reappointment for Librarians Document.
(e). Non-tenure-track faculty who hold the rank of Clinical Faculty or a faculty appointment as the Director of the Law Library, and thus are on a 405c job security track akin to tenure, may attend all faculty meetings and vote on all issues raised at such meetings including recommendations related to the hiring of tenure track faculty and issues about the hiring and retention of the Dean. Such non-tenure-track faculty may attend and vote when the faculty meets as the Promotion and Tenure Committee only if the issue under review relates to Lecturers, Academic Professionals, Professors of Practice, or Clinical Faculty of particular rank as outlined in the College of Law’s Clinical Faculty Promotion and Reappointment Document.
Section 6. A favorable vote by a simple majority of the faculty present and voting shall constitute approval of a motion made at a faculty meeting. The faculty may, however, by the affirmative vote of a majority, determine that the favorable vote of a larger percentage will be required to pass a specified motion. Voting on matters of reappointment, promotion and tenure shall be governed by the Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Documents of the College of Law.
Section 7. The minutes of the faculty meetings shall be taken by a person designated by the Dean and shall be kept by the Dean. Copies of the minutes shall be submitted to the faculty at least twenty-four hours in advance of the next regular meeting.
Section 8. Requests for action by the faculty may be made by motion from the floor or through a proposal from the Dean, the faculty, or a standing or ad hoc committee. In the absence of specific rules adopted by the faculty, the proceedings of each meeting shall be conducted according to the rules set out in Robert’s Rules of Order.
ARTICLE V. COMMITTEES
Section 1. General Considerations.
The composition, chairs, and number of members of all committees whether standing or ad hoc shall be determined and appointed by the Dean at the beginning of each academic year except as noted herein. The Chair(s) of the Promotion and Tenure Committee, at least three (3) members of both the Dean’s Advisory Committee and the Post-Tenure Review Committee, and five (5) members of the Faculty Appeals Committee shall be elected by vote of the faculty. The faculty vote for these elected committee positions shall be held during April or May of the prior academic year. In appointing members of the Education Technology Committee, the Dean will assure that faculty’s technical expertise is represented on the Committee.
The standing committees of the College of Law shall be the Advisory Committee, Admissions Committee, Faculty Recruitment Committee, Curriculum Committee, Technology Committee, Student Affairs Committee, Promotion and Tenure Committee, Post-Tenure Review Committee, Faculty Honor Code Committee, Scholarships Committee, Academic Success Committee, Faculty Appeals Committee, LL.M. Committee, Assessment Committee and the Awards Committee.
Each committee shall meet at least once every term of the academic year, except for the Faculty Honor Code Committee, which shall meet when required under the terms of the College of Law’s Honor Code, and the Faculty Appeals Committee, which shall meet when required under the procedures specified in Article V, Section 2 of these Bylaws. A quorum of a committee shall consist of a majority of the voting members. All recommendations of a committee shall be made by a majority vote of the voting members in attendance. All faculty committees shall report to the faculty on their activities at least annually in writing including any action by the Dean affecting their subject matter.
Section 2. Standing Committees
A. Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee shall be responsible for responding to requests for advice from the Dean on various policy questions under consideration, including those concerning education and employment policies at the College. The committee also may initiate agenda items concerning such policy issues.
B. Admissions Committee. The Admissions Committee shall be responsible for recommending policies and making decisions concerning admissions, student transfers, and financial aid.
C. Faculty Recruitment Committee. The Faculty Recruitment Committee shall be responsible
for screening all tenure-track and clinical faculty applicants, arranging interviews, and making recommendations to the faculty for filling such faculty positions.
D. Curriculum Committee. The Curriculum Committee shall be responsible for reviewing the curriculum, and for making recommendations to the faculty on the approval of new traditional, online, and hybrid courses, and on designation of course credit.
E. Technology Committee: The Technology Committee will periodically assess technological advances in law teaching and in the legal profession, and will make recommendations regarding implementation of and instruction in such technologies for students, staff, and faculty.
F. Student Affairs Committee. The Student Affairs committee shall be responsible for making recommendations to the faculty regarding academic standards and standing, the holistic student experience, including academic advising, co-curricular, supporting student health and well-being, and professional development and opportunities. Members of the Committee shall be appointed by the Dean, and shall include at least one tenured and one non-tenured faculty member, in addition to a representative from the library. A representative of the Alumni/Development Office, as well as the Center for Professional Development shall serve as ex officio members.
G. Promotion and Tenure Committee. The responsibilities of the Promotion and Tenure Committee shall be governed by the College’s Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Document. The Promotion and Tenure Committee shall consist of all full-time faculty at or above the rank of assistant professor, subject to the additional restrictions on voting eligibility set forth at Section I, Section 3 of the Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Document.
H. Post-Tenure Review Committee: The Post-Tenure Review Committee shall be elected annually by the faculty. All members must be full Professors. The responsibilities of the Post-Tenure Review Committee shall be governed by the College’s Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Document and include reviewing faculty members every five years post-tenure to assess whether said faculty members have met the standards outlined in the College of Law Workload Policy for Tenured Faculty Members. The Committee shall submit a report the Dean for each faculty member undergoing post-tenure review.
I. Faculty Honor Code Committee. The responsibilities of the Faculty Honor Code Committee shall be governed by the College of Law’s Honor Code. This Code provides that the Faculty Honor Code Committee shall be responsible for determining all violations of the College’s Honor Code, except for cases specifically assigned to the student Honor Court. The Faculty Honor Code Committee shall consist of five members of the full-time faculty, who shall be appointed to serve three-year terms.
J. Scholarships Committee. Scholarships are awarded to ensure a highly qualified student body at the College of Law. The Scholarships Committee shall act as an advisory body to the Dean and the Director of Admissions with respect to potential recipients of student scholarships and decisions concerning the growth of the Scholarship Fund. The Committee shall help ensure that all scholarships are awarded in accordance with donor specifications and that information about scholarship opportunities is available to students. The Scholarships Committee shall consist of at least three members of the faculty, one of whom shall serve as chair. Ex officio members shall include the Associate Dean of Students, the Assistant Dean for Administration and Finance, and the Director of Admissions.
K. Academic Success Committee. The Academic Success Committee shall act as an advisory group for the Director of Academic Success, regarding the design and delivery of the Academic Success Program. The Academic Success Program consists of academic skills enrichment and bar preparation programs designed to guide and improve student academic performance for currently enrolled and recently graduated Juris Doctorate students. Members of the Committee shall be appointed by the Dean, chaired by the Director of Academic Success, and shall include faculty members, including representatives from the first-year doctrinal and Lawyering Foundations faculty. The Associate Dean of Academics, the Associate Dean of Students, and the
Director of Admissions shall serve as ex officio members.
L. Faculty Appeals Committee. The Faculty Appeals Committee shall consist of five members of the faculty who do not hold an administrative appointment and are elected each spring by the faculty for a two year period. The Faculty Appeals Committee shall provide an impartial hearing to any member of the faculty who lodges a complaint with the Dean on any matter concerning that faculty member’s employment relationship with the College of Law and the University other than matters involving removal of a faculty member for cause or nonrenewal of a faculty employment contract. When a faculty member has lodged a complaint with the Dean and is not satisfied with the decision thereon, such faculty member shall, on written request to the Faculty Appeals Committee, have the right to a fair and impartial hearing before the Committee. The conduct of the hearings shall be in accordance with Article XII, Section 25 of the Statutes of Georgia State University.
M. LL.M. Committee: The LL.M. Committee shall be responsible for recommending program changes, policy changes and other decisions regarding the LL.M. Program for Foreign-Trained Lawyers at the College of Law.
N. Assessment Committee: The Assessment Committee shall be responsible for assessing the institutional learning outcomes that identify the knowledge, skills and values that the faculty would like the College of Law’s graduates to possess when they leave law school and enter law practice. The committee is responsible for designing and implementing a mechanism of ongoing assessment and reporting to the faculty regarding the institutional learning outcomes that the faculty approved, recommending benchmarks for what constitutes acceptable student outcomes on these assessment measures, proposing to the faculty or other committees policy changes in order to remedy any outcome assessments that fall below these benchmarks, and recommending to the faculty changes to institutional learning outcomes as necessary. The committee will also draft reports on learning outcomes assessment related issues as required by the university and accrediting bodies
O. Awards Committee: The Awards Committee is responsible for soliciting and handling nominations for the Ben F. Johnson Public Service Award and other awards given by the College of Law and for making recommendations of the award recipients to the Dean.
Section 3. Student Participation on Faculty Committees
A. There will be non-voting student members on the following faculty committees: Curriculum and Student Affairs. The SBA President will appoint one student to serve on each of these committees pursuant to procedures developed by the SBA. These students will receive notice and agendas of committee meetings and there will be a presumption that students will participate fully in the deliberations of these committees. The chair of these committees, however, has the discretion to exclude the student members from committee meetings (or parts of committee meetings) should the chair feel that student involvements at such meetings would be inappropriate.
B. There will be student liaisons on the following faculty committees: Admissions, Recruitment, and Academic Success. The SBA President will appoint one student to serve as liaison on each of the committees pursuant to procedures developed by the SBA. These students will receive notice and agendas of committee meetings to the extent deemed appropriate by the committee chair. Students will attend meetings of these committees when the meetings are devoted to broad policy issues. When such meetings (or parts of meetings) deal with specific individuals or other issues the chair feels are inappropriate for student involvement, the liaisons will not be asked to participate.
ARTICLE VI. AMENDMENTS
These Bylaws of the College of Law may be amended at any meeting of the faculty by a two-thirds vote of the members present provide there is a quorum and that the proposed amendment has been presented to the faculty in writing at least seven (7) days in advance of the meeting at which it is to be voted upon. Any faculty member may submit a proposed amendment to the Bylaws.
ARTICLE VII. IMPLEMENTATION
The Policies of the Board of Regents and the University System of Georgia, the Statutes of Georgia State University, and the Bylaws of the University Senate prevail and take precedence over these Bylaws.
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