- Law School Profile
Emory University School of Law
by Marty Schultz-Akerson
Established in 1916, Emory Law School aims to imbue the academic experience with certain qualities, including: commitment to humane teaching and mentorship and collegial interaction among faculty, students, and staff.
An Emory legal education is about more than practice; it is about taking the skills gained in the classroom and putting them into practice through activities outside the classroom. Students learn “black letter law,” the language of the legal world. Through innovative programs such as field placements, the Kessler-Eidson Program for Trial Techniques, the TI:GER Program in cooperation with Georgia Institute of Technology, and many others, students gain practical legal experience by working with real lawyers in the real world.
The MacMillan law library holds over 400,000 volumes. It also holds primary and secondary resources in United States and British law as well as international law. Its archives room houses law school archives and notable collections of papers and other materials. In addition, the library provides access to many electronic resources, including Lexis-Nexis, Westlaw, and a variety of other specialized legal databases.
The above LSAT and GPA data pertain to the fall 2011 entering class.
*Medians have been calculated by averaging the 25th- and 75th-percentile values released by the law schools and have been rounded up to the nearest whole number for LSAT scores and to the nearest one-hundredth for GPAs.
The above admission details are based on fall 2011 data.
Class Ranking and Grades
Emory Law’s policy is to rank only the top 1/3 of each class. Individual class ranks are given to the top 10% of the class.
Emory Law School uses a letter grading system with grades ranging from A+ to F. A cumulative average of 2.25 is required for good standing and for graduation. In the JD program, a student must earn a grade of at least D- to receive credit for a course. F is a failing grade.
Grades awarded by the law school and their corresponding grade point values are:
Required coursework or deferred examination must be completed by the close of the term in which the course is next offered, or the grade of I (Incomplete) will automatically be converted to a final grade of F.
A student may elect to take a total of six credit hours pass-fail. These credits may either be graduate level course work from other Emory University schools/colleges or Law School courses, or any combination thereof, up to six hours.
The option to take a course pass-fail applies only to elective, upper-level courses and not to seminar classes and is available only to students taking a full load of the law school courses.
Grade normalization (Curve)
To be in good academic standing, a student in the JD program must, based on all coursework completed at the conclusion of the second term (the term in which the student completes at least 25 semester hours), have a cumulative average of at least 2.25. Any student not in good standing is automatically ineligible to continue in the JD program. No student who has a cumulative average less than 2.25 shall be granted a JD degree.
The Emory Law Journal, which began in 1952 as the Journal of Public Law, is published bimonthly and edited entirely by students. It serves as a forum for legal activism by demonstrating where the law should be. The journal’s members and candidates carry sole responsibility for the editorial content and the substantive and technical accuracy of each article published. The journal’s goals, among others, include fostering excellence among students in legal research, writing, analysis, and editing as well as providing the legal community with reliable and thoughtful commentary on new developments and trends in the law.
The Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal is an entirely student-run journal that explores the principles, policies, and practice of bankruptcy law. It publishes two volumes per year and hosts a symposium in the spring. This widely-read journal provides a forum for research, debate, and information for practitioners, scholars, and the public.
The Emory International Law Review is published semiannually. EILR publishes articles and essays submitted by professionals and students from around the world on a vast array of topics ranging from human rights to international intellectual property issues. It is entirely edited by students and is known for excellence in scholarship, legal research, analysis, and professionalism.
Moot court membership is open to all full-time JD students with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.35. The Emory Moot Court Society has 60 members. Students compete for places on an inter-mural team, which is selected based on brief writing and oral advocacy scores in an intra-school competition. This special team competes in various inter-school competitions around the country. Emory’s special teams have had a long tradition of excellence in appellate advocacy, winning many moot court competitions nationwide.
Emory Law has so far successfully competed in the Saul Lefkowitz Intellectual Property Moot Court Competition in Washington, DC; the Irving R. Kaufman Securities Law Moot Court Competition in New York City; the Jerome Prince Evidence Moot Court Competition in New York City; the Vanderbilt First Amendment Moot Court Competition; the Georgia Intrastate Moot Court Competition; and the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. In addition, the Emory Moot Court Society sends a team to compete in the National Moot Court Competition.
Emory Law offers experiential learning opportunities that give students real-world experience through its centers and clinics.
The Barton Child Law and Policy Center offers Barton Public Policy Clinic, Barton Legislative Clinic, Barton Juvenile Defender Clinic, and the Appeal for Youth Clinic.
The Barton Child Law and Policy Clinic offers students practical experiences in child advocacy work. The clinic was established to provide research-based information, training, and policy analysis to practitioners and policy-makers charged with protecting Georgia’s children.
The Barton Legislative Clinic gives the practical knowledge in the real world process of taking a reform from the proposal stage to actual enactment.
The Barton Juvenile Defender Clinic gives law students the opportunity to represent clients in delinquency and status offense proceedings in Georgia’s juvenile courts. Pursuant to Georgia’s third-year practice rule, under the supervision of the clinic’s managing attorney, students are responsible for handling all aspects of client representation. Students may also participate in policy work related to juvenile justice issues.
Students in the Appeal for Youth Clinic provide holistic appellate representation of youthful offenders in the juvenile and criminal justice systems. Students also engage in research and participate in the development of public policy related to juvenile justice issues.
The Turner environmental Law Clinic provides free legal assistance to individuals, community groups, and nonprofit environmental organizations seeking to protect and restore the natural environment for the benefit of the public. The clinic trains law students to be effective environmental attorneys with high ethical standards and sensitivity to the natural environment.
The International Humanitarian Law Clinic pairs students with organizations, law firms, tribunals, and other groups that prosecute war criminals, protect humanitarian relief efforts entering conflict zones, represent detainees at Guantanamo Bay, monitor conduct during hostilities, gather information about abuses committed in conflict areas and similar issues.
Starting Salaries (2010 Graduates employed Full-Time)
Areas of Legal Practice
The Field Placement Program provides a legal externship program that places up to 150 students with approximately 70 government agencies, public interest organizations, judges, and corporations in the Atlanta metropolitan area. Students receive 3 credit hours for externing under the supervision of practicing attorneys, in offices that are pre-approved by the law school. All second- and third-year JD students are eligible to apply.
The Field Placement Program provides second- and third-year law students the opportunity to serve internships with public service organizations, corporations, public defenders, and government agencies
Alternative Dispute Resolution Society
American Constitution Society
Asian American Law Students Association
Black Law Students Association
Christian Legal Society
Democratic Law and Policy Research Group
Emory Advocacy Society
The Emory Immigration Law Society
Emory Federalist Society
Emory Food Club
Emory Mock Trial Society
Emory Moot Court Society
Emory Public Interest Committee
Emory Student Lawyers Guild
Environmental Law and Conservation Society
Health Law Society
Homeless Advocacy Program
Intellectual Property Society
International Law Society
Jewish Law Students Association
Latin American Law Students Association
Lamar Inn of Court
Legal Association for Women Students
National Security & Law Society
Real Estate Society
South Asian Law Students Association
Sports and Entertainment Law Society
Student Bar Association
Student Legal Services