Possibly the single most significant event of 1981-82 occurred on August 19, 1981, when the University System Board of Regents approved the establishment of a second state-supported law school at Georgia State University. the vote was 10 for, 2 against and one abstention. Only Regents Sidney Smith of Atlanta and Julius Bishop of Athens voted against this action.
The question of establishing a second state-supported law school had been considered at various levels of government and higher education for some time. In 1972 the University of Georgia School of Law prepared substantial materials regarding this issue in response to a questionnaire from a Subcommittee of the House of Representatives Committee on the University System of Georgia. This material was updated on July 19, 1974, at the request of Regent James D. Maddox. A resolution of the University of Georgia's Board of Visitors expressing concern over the establishment of another state-supported law school also was sent to the Board of Regents. In 1974 the Board of Regents by a vote of 8 to 7 approved a Georgia State University law school; however, funding was not provided.
The issue arose again in December, 1980, when President Davison and Dean Beaird were advised by Chancellor Crawford that several individuals wished the Regents to consider the matter again. At the request of Chancellor Crawford a comprehensive report on this issue was submitted to the Regents by President Davison. A copy of this report is attached to the file copy of this annual report at appendix A. Subsequently, both President Davison and Dean Beaird appeared before a Regents' study committee to testify on this matter. As a result of this appearance a further report on legal education financing was submitted to the study committee. This report is attached to the file copy of this report at appendix B. The Report of the Regents' study committee recommending the opening of a Georgia State Law School is attached to the file copy of this report at appendix C.
According to media reports, the Georgia State College of Law plans to enroll an entering class of 150 in September, 1982, with 90 enrolled in the part-time evening program and 60 full-time day students. Provisional ABA accreditation will be sought, according to the Law Dean Ben Johnson, in the fall of 1983.
The full impact of the Regents' August 19, 1981, action on the operations of the University of Georgia School of Law cannot be adequately assessed at this time. Whatever the effect, however, the objective of this school will continue to be to provide the very best state-supported legal education available anywhere. This means continuing our efforts to shape the curriculum to meet the changing needs of the profession; assisting and supporting the faculty in their instruction, research and service activities; maintaining the current national standing of the state's law library of last resort; and supplementing the law school's budget through increased private giving.
Beaird, J. Ralph, "Dean's Report 1982" (1982). Other Law School Publications. 39.