John Marshall Law School, Atlanta, Georgia

Dean Richardson R. Lynn describes John Marshall as a school which provides "a rigorous, high-quality program of legal education that produces competent and ethical lawyers who are dedicated to serving people, especially in underserved communities. We intentionally instill in our students a sense of obligation to the community and to the legal profession — an obligation to pursue justice, rather than mere personal gain, and to improve society, rather than to solely advance personal ambition."

The requirements for admission to John Marshall are the standard law school requirements, though the school does admit college seniors who will have received their undergraduate degrees by the time they matriculate into law school. Transfer, visiting, and international students are also invited to apply to John Marshall, though different rules govern the admission and enrollment process for each group.

Regular law students may enroll at either full- or part-time status, but the school only enrolls new students in the fall semester. Full-time status is conferred upon students who are able to attend classes during the day, while part-time applies to those who may attend either day or evening classes. The school permits full-time students to work while enrolled at full-time status; however, it does not recommend more than 15 hours of work per week and limits employment to a maximum of 20 hours per week.

A full 88 semester credit hours are required to graduate, and with the current rate of $930 per credit hour, law students can expect to pay a minimum of $81,840 for their legal education at John Marshall. This figure does not include additional living expenses, estimated at $17,930. Tuition for full-time students currently runs to $27,900 per academic year, which covers 30 credits. Part-time student tuition totals $22,320 for 24 credits.

The school does offer a wide variety of loans, grants, and scholarships to students who qualify, as well as an installment payment program for tuition and fees that allows students to make payments over the period of a semester. Students must apply to enroll in the program, which requires the submission of a $75 application fee.

John Marshall offers only one degree to aspiring law practitioners: the traditional J.D. degree. This may be achieved in three ways: over three years as a full-time student or over four years as a part-time day or evening student.

For the 2006-2007 academic year, John Marshall had a total of 477 enrolled students. A slight majority were female (240 to 237), with almost a full third of students being of minority backgrounds. The school had 25 full-time faculty members and 22 adjunct professors. Its student-full-time faculty ratio was 13.9:1.

For the 2006 entering class, 601 applicants were granted admission out of a total pool of 1,785. The entering class had 185 students, of whom 27.6% were deemed "minority." The median LSAT score for the class was 151, with 149 and 153 ranking as the 25th- and 75th-percentile scores, respectively. The average undergraduate GPA was 3.01, between 2.63 and 3.37, the 25th- and 75th-percentile GPAs. The median age of full-time students was 24, and the median age of part-time students was 31.

The school's bar passage rates vary significantly from semester to semester, with only 40% of first-time takers passing in the winter of 2006 but 75% passing in the summer of 2007. John Marshall has an average passage rate of 70.7% for first-time bar exam takers, compared to Georgia's 84.7% state passage rate for first-time takers.

The school boasts of an impressive 96% placement rate among graduates, the vast majority of whom elect to stay in Georgia. Almost half find gainful employment with Atlanta law firms, while the next-largest proportion take up government and non-legal business and industry positions. John Marshall intends to apply for full accreditation with the ABA as soon as possible.

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