You will find a broad and challenging curriculum at Georgia Law - nearly 170 courses are offered, although not all of the listed courses are taught each year. First-year students are just as likely to encounter a tenured or chaired faculty member in the classroom as they are a junior professor. Distinguished visitors and adjuncts supplement the faculty and diversify the upper-level curriculum.
The law school prefers to keep classes small, enrolling approximately 210 students each fall. Most first-year classes average 70 students, although the Legal Writing and Legal Research class is conducted in six smaller sections of about 35 students, permitting greater individual attention. Second and third-year classes range in size from a seminar setting of 10 - 20 students to larger classes with 100 students.
The fall semester of the first year of study at Georgia Law consists entirely of required courses: Civil Procedure I, Contracts & Sales, Criminal Law, Legal Research & Writing, and Torts. First year students will receive a fall semester final grade in Civil Procedure I and Criminal Law. Contracts & Sales, Legal Research & Writing, and Torts are year-long in length and students will receive a final grade at the end of the spring semester. In the spring semester, each first year student will be able to select an elective. The elective courses will consist of first year students only. After the first year, only four required courses remain: Constitutional Law I & Property (if not completed as a first year elective), The Law & Ethics of Lawyering, and a skills-based course. Georgia Law students must earn a minimum of 88 semester credit hours to graduate and satisfy an advanced writing requirement.
The UGA law school faculty has designed a course cluster system to guide upper-level students toward a curriculum that may more effectively support their areas of special interest.
Students who excel in the School of Law's curriculum and graduate in the top 10 percent of their class are eligible for induction into the Order of the Coif, legal education's equivalent of Phi Beta Kappa. Coif membership signifies the highest academic achievement in the study of law.
The University of Georgia was granted institutional membership in 1977, after meeting stringent qualification criteria. Approximately 80 American law schools have a chapter at their institution.
Students at Georgia Law are governed by a standard of professional and personal conduct, the Honor Code. The code was unanimously adopted as an initial matter in 1930 by the student body and remains a central part of UGA's principled approach to legal education.
Students are an integral part of the administration of the Honor Code. Elected by their fellow classmates, Honor Court investigators and members participate in the determination of whether a violation has taken place and assessment of punishment.
Entering students take the Honor Code pledge during orientation and are bound by its provisions while enrolled at UGA.