Law School Renovation Project

Consistently regarded as one of the nation’s top law schools, Georgia Law was founded in 1859 and has remained a source of pride for the citizens of Georgia. Providing an affordable and outstanding legal education has been our unwavering mission for more than 150 years.

In recognition of the law school’s role in providing leadership for the state of Georgia, the Southeastern region and beyond in the legal profession, the business sector as well as in government and public service, the law school has long enjoyed strong support from both the public and private sectors. As a result, the legacy of leadership that began here so many decades ago continues to flourish.

We believe now is the opportune time to build the future of Georgia Law. The school is embarking on a renovation and expansion plan that will improve upon the strong foundation that is already in place.

To fund this effort, Dean Rebecca Hanner White and the school’s faculty and staff are excited to announce the school’s Building the Future campaign. Through this project and with the help of our alumni and friends, we can ensure our continued progress. Located in the heart of the University of Georgia’s historic North Campus, the law school complex consists of the original footprint of the school’s home, Hirsch Hall, and a series of additions and renovations that have accommodated its growth over the years. Dedicated in 1932, Hirsch Hall was designed by the renowned Georgian architect Philip Schutze. In 1967, a major expansion added today’s stunning Alexander Campbell King Law Library and Carl E. Sanders Reading Room and created much needed classroom and office space. Additional growth in law school facilities occurred in 1981 and in 1996 with the addition of the J. Alton Hosch Annex and Dean Rusk Hall, respectively.

During 2009, the faculty and dean of the law school developed a strategic plan focusing on the next 10 years. A major element of this plan addressed one of the most pressing needs of the school – the overcrowding of Hirsch Hall’s limited public and office spaces. Student organization offices, student shared work spaces, and appropriate student, faculty and staff communal areas are also in short supply. When compared to peer and aspirational law schools, the amount of student and faculty space at Georgia Law is notably inadequate. These limitations are an impediment to the necessary growth of our faculty and to the services we provide to students.

The $6.5 million Building the Future campaign, which will be funded by both private investment and university matching dollars, will address these issues through renovations and expansion of our existing physical plant. The project will strengthen and enhance the school’s historic buildings and redefine our shared spaces – both interior and exterior – to provide a more productive learning and scholarly environment.



The architectural firm harris+smith SMITHGROUP was tapped to develop the plan for renovating and expanding student and public spaces at the School of Law. The resulting plan proposes a more unified, welcoming space in the law school’s entry ways, hallways and common areas; public spaces to facilitate more student and faculty interactions in informal settings; and dramatically
improved access to natural light throughout the complex. The plan embraces the Classic Modern aesthetic that can be found in the 1967 Hirsch Hall expansion.



A major component of the architectural plan involves enclosing the existing exterior passageway on the first floor, which will add square footage for community and student spaces, multipurpose rooms and administrative offices. In addition, the exterior stairs from the North Campus quad will be reduced in size to create more functional space. Overall interior views from the building will be opened up to the enclosed courtyard allowing natural light throughout the area, and the design calls for replacing the south façade facing the courtyard with glass. Lastly, grand stairs will further create a sense of connectivity between students and their surroundings.



    The second and third phases will consist of a facelift of the building’s public spaces, including a makeover of the Rotunda to better accentuate the original architectural elements of this historic entrance.

    The funding needed to bring this project to fruition is $4.6 million. The University already has pledged support of a match of up to $1.9 million. Provided that the law school secures sufficient private investment in a timely
    fashion, phase one of the renovations can begin as early as May 2011.

    As Georgia Law continues to build on its legacy of leadership by bringing together an inspiring faculty and a talented student body, the law school seeks your investment in our $6.5 million renovation campaign. With your participation, the next generation of leaders for our state, region and the nation will be educated in a more modern and dynamic complex designed to facilitate learning and the discovery of the law.



    We are excited to announce our new bird's-eye view of the renovation project.