An Extraordinary Investment

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Faculty members such as Lori Ringhand, associate dean for academic affairs and J. Alton Hosch Professor of Law, help make the UGA School of Law one of the nation’s best public law schools.

A new study has found that UGA’s School of Law—which is consistently regarded as one of America’s best public law schools—also offers students one of the nation’s best returns on investment.

Finance company SoFi analyzed income and debt data from more than 60,000 student loan refinance applications to rank schools based on their students’ average salary to student loan debt. Georgia Law ranked fifth in return on investment, just above Harvard, two spots ahead of Stanford and five spots ahead of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Georgia Law’s return on investment puts it in the company of America’s elite law schools, and the unrivaled learning opportunities it offers undoubtedly play a role in positioning its students for such a high level of success after graduation.

A mentoring program launched this fall matches each first-year student with a faculty member, a career development counselor, an upper-level law student and a law school graduate or legal professional. Collectively, these mentors offer students an instant network and source of guidance and support.

This year the School of Law also named the inaugural class of its Distinguished Law Fellows. These elite students receive a full tuition scholarship as well as a series of high-impact learning experiences that include domestic and international externships, guided research experiences and opportunities to meet some of the country’s top lawyers and jurists—including Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Distinguished Law Fellows program, which is modeled after the university's prestigious Foundation Fellows program for Honors students, is made possible by a $2 million gift from The John N. Goddard Foundation that was facilitated by UGA Foundation trustees Robert G. “Bob” Edge and John G. “Jimmy” Alston Sr.  Additional private support will help expand the program so that it can benefit even more students and the communities in which they will ultimately live and practice.

To give students experience in our state’s capital, Georgia Law recently launched its Atlanta Semester in Practice program. The program gives students the opportunity to gain experience through placements that include the Office of the Governor, the Office of the Attorney General, the Georgia Supreme Court and the House Democratic Caucus, as well as corporate and non-profit locations.

The Atlanta Semester in Practice is one of 15 clinical, externship and experiential learning offerings that give students invaluable networking and career development opportunities while also serving individuals, communities and the justice system. With programs such as these and instruction and mentorship from some of the nation’s top legal scholars, it’s no surprise that Georgia Law students thrive after graduation.