Monday, August 19, 2002

WRITER: Heidi Murphy, 706/542-5172, hmurphy@uga.edu CONTACT: David Shipley, 706/542-7140, shipley@uga.edu Giles Kennedy, 706/542-7060, gkennedy@uga.edu


ATHENS, Ga. - On Wednesday, Aug. 21, students comprising the most academically superior class in the distinguished history of the University of Georgia School of Law will begin their three year pursuit of a Juris Doctor degree.

The class of 2005, consisting of 208 students, has a median grade point average of 3.65, a high established last year, and a median Law School Admissions Test score of 163 which tied a record at the law school. However, this is the first time both of these high marks were hit in the same year. In addition, the top quarter of the entering class scored a 164 or higher on the LSAT and the top quarter achieved a 3.81 undergraduate GPA or higher.

School of Law Dean David E. Shipley said the school is delighted with the caliber of this year's entering class. "This is the fourth straight year the credentials of our entering class have improved. Our admissions committee had a very tough job. Due to the downturn in the economy, we saw close to a 20 percent increase in applications. This required many more hours to review all applications and evaluate the candidates. They also worked closely with other faculty and our students, staff and alumni to recruit the very best students." Shipley said the school could have made the admissions team's job easier by accepting more students. "However, we want to keep our entering class size in the low 200s to ensure the quality of legal education we provide."

Women comprise 49 percent of the entering class. Nearly 19 percent are minorities with 23 of the 39 minority students being African American. The average age of the entering students is 24. In keeping with the law school's commitment to provide the finest legal education to state residents, 75 percent of the students are from Georgia.

The class of 2005 includes graduates from 80 institutions in 24 states. The schools supplying the largest number of students include the University of Georgia (70), Emory University (15), the Georgia Institute of Technology (7), the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (7) and Vanderbilt (5).

The UGA School of Law is currently ranked as one to the top three public law schools in the Southeast and one of the top 12 public law schools in the nation.