Georgia State University College of Law
P.O. Box 4049
Atlanta, GA 30302-4049
Academics & Programs: According to its students, Georgia State University’s College of Law offers “a topquality law school education without the aggressive environment.” Of particular note is the school’s “top-notch part-time program full of talented students.” “GSU COL offers an incredible value to students—strong academic reputation with a low cost of attendance,” says a 2L. “Tuition is unbelievable,” adds a 1L. “[With] only about $10,000 a year for a very strong education, you can graduate with minimal debt, enabling you to begin a law career of your choice.” The “amazing” professors are “diverse and open-minded.” “Impressively, professors believe in the program and voluntarily teach evening classes,” says a 2L. “I am challenged every day by brilliant professors who make me think in ways I never thought possible,” explains a 1L. Most students find that the administration is “very responsive” and committed to ensuring quality instruction and improving academic instruction.” Others students note, “They are always willing to go the extra mile and show concern for the success of their students.”
Students appreciate GSU COL’s “flexible class hours,” particularly those involved in the very popular part-time program. Some feel that, due to this program, there is “a weighting toward evening classes” and that those evening classes are “where the best adjuncts teach.” That said, others believe the “emphasis on the part-time program is a bit overstated.” “It’s available and great, but the full-time day classes are on par with any you will find,” says a 3L. Regardless of which program students partake in, the “effective” courses offered are roundly praised. “The health law program is dynamic and first-rate,” says a 2L. “Charity Scott is a legend in this city and any future health care attorney would be lucky to take a class with her.” “The school is not afraid to try new ideas,” adds another 2L. “I’ve taken ‘Law and the Internet,’ which is all about legal issues and the online community,” says one student, and another tells us, “I’m now in a new nontraditional class that combines Wills, Trusts, Estates, and Taxes, in which the students form their own law firms and actually prepare all of the documents as if in the real-world.”
By and large, students are very happy with their decision to attend GSU COL. However, when it comes to the school’s Career Services Office, opinions have some believing “they could do a better job.” Despite this, “the access to the Atlanta legal community” that GSU’s location offers goes a long way in making up for any career office shortcomings. “I have clerked for a year with a Superior Court judge, worked for a professor as a GRA, competed in a National Moot Court competition, become president of numerous societies, and have a job lined up after graduation,” says a 3L.
With a prime spot in downtown Atlanta, GSU’s location allows students to “walk to the 11th Circuit, Supreme Court, and Northern District of Georgia courthouses.” On campus, the law school’s buildings aren’t quite as appreciated as the university’s metropolitan location. “The technology available in the classrooms and libraries [is] high quality, but the classrooms themselves are not,” says a 1L. “The current law school is old, and was never meant to be used for anything aside from administrative purposes.” However, plans are in place for a new—and “much more aesthetically pleasing”— building. “We are all looking forward to breaking ground on the new law school in 2012, because a new building will give the professors and students more opportunities to show just how amazing the school really is!” says a 2L
Campus Life/Facilities: Thanks to GSU COL’s non-traditional student population, “The school [has] a more diverse student body than most other schools” since “the introduction of older students with more work experience adds a great deal to the classroom experience.” While “the part-time (evening) students work well together,” among full-time students, “the competition is still severe,” though it is “not as cutthroat as it is at other law schools.” Students attribute this “to the evening students being older, with full-time jobs.” “The younger students tend to be more social with one another,” explains a 2L. “The older students, who come from the working world, are almost entirely focused on school.”
A 3L gives a more specific breakdown: “First year is difficult and competitive. However, the second and third years are much more cooperative and fun. Students begin to help each other out in terms of outlines, readings, etc.” Regardless of whether students are part of the part-time or full-time programs, all agree that their “fellow classmates have been the best thing about law school—they’re a great bunch of people.”
On the social side, there is a substantial group of part-time students that get together monthly on an ad-hoc basis, purely for social time, usually with spouses or significant others,” says a 2L. “I was pleasantly surprised.” Others find that the urban campus has a negative effect on socializing. “So many people are spread out all over the city…that no one stays around to socialize after class” says a 1L. “If you just go to class and go home I think you will miss out on the social life,” says a 2L. “If you make an effort to meet people then it is easy to make friends.”
* The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University.