ATLANTA—Georgia State University College of Law ranks as the 17th best law school in the country for black students, according to the Black Student’s Guide to Law Schools and Firms.
The College of Law is the only law school in Georgia listed in the top 25.
The guide is published by Lawyers of Color, a nonprofit organization that promotes diversity in the legal profession.
Lawyers of Color ranked the law schools using several criteria, including bar passage rates, black students earning juris doctor degrees, big law firm hires, federal clerkships, tuition and other information. The College of Law listed the second highest percentage of black J.D. graduates nationally, second only to Howard University School of Law.
Georgia State has received national recognition for closing the achievement gap for undergraduate students, and the College of Law is similarly focused on student success. Dean of students Alexis Martinez says the Georgia State Black Law Students Association (BLSA) plays a critical role in helping students succeed in the College of Law.
“These students do a phenomenal job helping and supporting their fellow law students from the minute they walk in the door,” says Martinez. “The Black Law Students Association supports students in connecting them with the legal community to find success after graduation.”
The BLSA hosts a variety of events. Last year the group held a mock bar exam and legislative breakfasts. They also hosted a Pipeline to Prosecution event to discuss how to advance black attorneys’ careers as prosecutors.
“Before my first day of classes, [BLSA] members reached out to me to let me know that I was becoming a part of an elite community of esteemed alumni, change agents and scholars within the law school,” says Eugene Butler (J.D. ’20), the BSLA president.
Butler earned his undergraduate degree from Georgia State and said he stayed for law school because the university prioritizes innovative teaching and diversity.
“The College of Law,” he says, “prepares us through instruction by the nation’s most prestigious faculty, and by offering new experiential courses and externships each semester.”
Racquel Vondell McGee, last year’s BLSA president (J.D.’19), says the College of Law deserves the high ranking and recognition for the sense of community extended to African-American students. She says an alumnus provided five boxes of bar prep material to disseminate to BLSA members and others who may need them.
“Our alumni continue to come back to the school to volunteer with community service efforts, speak to students or to even serve as faculty,” said McGee. “Their success and willingness to remain a part of the GSU Law community is what motivates me to also reach back once I graduate.”
Written by Ken Abramczyk