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Mercer University School of Law

The information on this page was provided by the law school.

Official Guide to ABA-Approved JD Programs


As you think about what kind of law school is the best fit for you, consider that Mercer Law School has been graduating practice-ready lawyers who uphold the highest ideals of the legal profession since 1873. We were also the first ABA-accredited law school in Georgia.

We take more interest in you, so you can immerse yourself in the fields and issues that most interest you.

What distinguishes us from other law schools? 

Collaborative Community

When it comes to law school, bigger isn’t better; smaller is. At Mercer Law  School, we intentionally keep enrollment small – less than 400 total students – to provide direct access to everything we offer: progressive curriculum, professors, alumni connections, leadership roles, student organizations, personalized career guidance and more. This direct access fosters a thoughtful, driven community where you can cultivate your unique purpose.

Approachable Faculty

Mercer Law School faculty are some of the brightest legal scholars who specialize in a variety of fields from administrative law to zoning law ­– and everything in between.

Our faculty are approachable, supportive, and will challenge you to succeed. Whether you have a question after class, need a reference, or want to talk about careers, our professors are here to support you.

About Macon

Located in the heart of central Georgia, Mercer Law’s hometown of Macon is a flourishing Southern metropolis with a soul unmatched by any other. With proximity to the bright lights of Atlanta and the beaches of the Georgia and Florida coasts, Macon boasts regal historical landmarks, a trendy arts and culture scene, lively local hangouts, and a little something for everyone.

Macon is the seat of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia and the home of a thriving and active legal community, including the main office of the United States Attorney and the office of the federal defender of the district. This environment provides Mercer Law students a full range of opportunities needed to prepare for a career in any field of law, anywhere in the world. The vast professional opportunities in Atlanta—one of the nation’s most exciting metropolitan cities and the legal epicenter of the Southeast—offer Mercer Law students and graduates many externships and employment options.

Learn more about Mercer University School of Law

The JD Program

Mercer Law School graduates students who are prepared for practice. Our curriculum offers students the opportunity to develop advocacy, counseling, drafting, negotiation, and mediation skills that will be invaluable throughout their career and to build an ethical foundation for the practice of law. Students develop those skills, among other ways, through first year and advanced courses in legal ethics, more research and writing courses than at many other law schools, required courses in client counseling, dispute resolution and other practical skills, and a curriculum that offers many opportunities to work in law offices and judges’ chambers through clinical courses and externships.

Our rigorous and innovative curriculum is anchored by nationally recognized programs in legal writing, ethics and professionalism, public service, and oral advocacy. 

Learn more about the JD program at Mercer University School of Law

Legal Writing Program

Mercer Law’s nationally-recognized Legal Writing Program prepares students with the essential legal research and writing skills they need to be prepared to practice right after graduation.

We offer more courses in the essential skills of legal research and writing than most law schools and the nation’s first – and still one of the only such certificates in the country – certificate in advanced legal writing, research, and drafting. Employers recognize that when they hire a Mercer Law graduate, they are hiring a lawyer who is highly trained in these skills.

Writing matters at Mercer because the University continues its commitment to prepare students for the practice of law, which now more than ever, requires superb writing skills. We offer not only a variety of writing instruction, but also other opportunities for our students to write more than typical law students. Students write more than memos and briefs. They write complaints, emails, interrogatories, letters, contracts, and PowerPoint presentations. Externships, experiential courses, and upper-level writing courses promote development of advanced writing skills. Members of Mercer Law Review and moot court teams write complex documents.

Ethics and Professionalism

Mercer is one of only two law schools in the country to have twice won the prestigious American Bar Association Gambrell Professionalism Award for excellence and innovation in ethics and professionalism throughout the curriculum. Mercer is also the first law school in the nation to require a first-year course in legal ethics that forms a foundation for ethical reflection throughout your legal education.

Experiential Education

Mercer Law’s commitment to practical training, along with our small size and personal approach, has produced a uniquely intensive and broad-based program of experiential education.  All faculty members who teach in the experiential education program are members of the full-time tenured faculty—indicating the importance we place on these courses.  And our small size allows us to make the experiential education program available to all students while providing an atmosphere that fosters genuine, meaningful relationships between faculty and students.



Experiential learning at Mercer Law is comprehensive, providing both practical experience and specialized course work to complement hands-on learning.  



Highlights of experiential education include: 

  • All Mercer Law students take required courses in skills such as interviewing and counseling, negotiation, mediation, and trial advocacy; 
  • Second and third-year students take advantage of our extensive externship program, working with a wide range of lawyers and judges, including criminal prosecutors, public defenders, civil legal services, military lawyers, and government agencies;
  • Third-year students can take one of our clinical courses, in which they are certified to appear in court under the supervision of a practicing lawyer;
  • Students in all three years participate in mock trial, moot court, and other lawyering competitions sponsored by the Mercer Advocacy Council;
  • Stipend and fellowship programs support public service internships during the summer; 
  • Mercer Law students devote hundreds of pro bono hours each year to legal services organizations such as the Georgia Legal Services Program and Crisis Line and Safe House.

As a result of these experiences and educational opportunities, Mercer Law graduates are ready to take on a wide range of responsibilities from the beginning of their practice.

Externships

Mercer Law School offers a robust externship program, allowing you to explore different career opportunities while earning course credit. Tailored to your individual interests and career goals, students are placed in judicial clerk-ships, corporate in-house counsel, non-profits, law firms, and government agencies for their externships.

These opportunities provide students practical work experience while also providing faculty supervision and guided reflection by including an educational component involving discussions, readings, and weekly reflective journals to help students learn from their fieldwork. 

Some of the opportunities include:

  • Externship I – offered during the Fall or Spring Semesters
  • Externship II – offered to students who who have taken Externship I
  • Judicial Field Placement
  • Legislative Field Placement
  • Corporate Counsel/In-House Externship Program
  • Consumer Bankruptcy Externship Program
  • Summer Externship

 

Benefits of the Externship Program include: 

  • A great learning experience, letting students apply the knowledge they’ve learned in law school to actual practice settings.
  • Practice at being a professional within a support structure of both a fieldwork supervisor and a faculty member.
  • Exposure to a field that you may or may not want to work in later. Students learn about their own placement and also about those of fellow classmates, through classroom discussion.
  • Creating networking opportunities. Some students have secured temporary or permanent jobs at either their placement sites or through contacts developed during the placement.
  • Enhancing your resume, giving you a list of specific skills and experiences that you have gained through the fieldwork. 

Semester-in-Practice

This program allows students to participate in expanded externships during the academic year, in addition to taking additional law courses.

The course is designed to offer students practical work experience in public service offices while providing faculty supervision and guided reflection. In addition to field work, the course meets for two hours per week in a classroom. The course includes readings, reflective journals, and class discussion, all of which are designed to help students learn from their fieldwork experience. Throughout the course, students explore fundamental questions of meaning and purpose in living a life of service in the law. 

Asylum and Human Rights Clinic

Mercer Law has one of the first Asylum and Human Rights clinics in the state of Georgia and in the Southeast. Through the clinic, students work on real-life asylum appeals. Students directly help clients who would otherwise have no legal representation in the complex immigration appeals process.  

Students draft legal documents involved in immigration appeals, gaining experience in how to develop a compelling factual narrative and how to make effective arguments regarding points of law.  The clinic files appeals before the Board of Immigration Appeals in Washington, D.C.

Professor Scott Titshaw, who practiced immigration law and served as chair of the Georgia/Alabama Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), supervises the clinic. 

Domestic Violence Clinic

Mercer Law’s Domestic Violence Clinic provides students with an opportunity to represent victims in Temporary Protective Orders. Under the supervision of Professor Bonnie Carlson, students are responsible for all aspects of trial preparation litigation.

The DVC is a two-semester, 4-hour graded course and it fulfills the advanced writing requirement and the experiential learning requirement.  During the fall semester, students learn the Georgia law and court rules surrounding the issuance of Temporary Protective Orders, as well as client interviewing and counseling, negotiation, and trial skills. In the spring, students work in pairs to represent clients in Temporary Protective Order cases, starting with initial client interviews, investigating cases, drafting trial documents, and culminating with negotiating a settlement or litigating the case before the Bibb County Superior Court.

 

Habeas Project

I

In the Habeas Project, Mercer Law’s nationally recognized post-conviction defense legal clinic, students work closely with a faculty supervisor to provide representation for those unable to afford counsel whose constitutional rights have been violated.

Since 2006, the Project has handled dozens of cases pending before the Georgia Supreme Court and various Georgia Superior Courts in post-conviction matters, in which litigants no longer have the right to appointed counsel. In the clinic, Professor Meagan Hurley supervises student case work and mentors in all aspects of representation: client visits, investigation, case planning, brief drafting, and preparing for oral arguments and evidentiary hearings. Students begin to integrate their understanding of larger constitutional criminal law concepts with rules of evidence, appellate/post-conviction rules and procedures, and legal writing and client counseling techniques. Qualified students may sign their clients’ briefs, in addition to engaging in oral advocacy in a variety of courts. The Habeas Project has had remarkable success in a number of appellate and post-conviction cases.

*

Public Defender Clinic

Third-year students are eligible to participate in the Public Defender Clinic. Under the Third Year Practice Act, students have the opportunity to appear in court at hearings and trials on behalf of clients. Students assist in the representation of clients of the local public defender office in all aspects of representation, including fact investigation, witness interviewing, legal research and drafting, and preparing cases for trials and hearings. During the Fall and Spring semesters, students work at least 14 hours per week in the public defender office. Additionally, students participate in a weekly faculty-led seminar to further develop practice skills, explore questions of professional satisfaction and identity, and to unpack ethical challenges that come with live-client representation. 

Joint JD/MBA Program

Mercer Law and the Stetson-Hatcher School of Business of Mercer University offer a joint program of study that permits both the Juris Doctor and the Master of Business Administration degrees to be earned in as few as three years. Both schools have collaborated to offer strong combined programs in law and business. The MBA program offers a flexible evening format and an intimate graduate setting, providing students with an opportunity to develop strong connections with each other, the faculty, and the business community. With its focus on ethical leadership and problem-solving skills, Mercer's MBA program enables students to make connections between business theory and its practical application. Neither the JD nor MBA degree will be awarded to a student until he or she has completed the requirements set forth in the joint program for both degrees.

Business Certificates

Students in good standing at Mercer Law may choose to take up to three 600-level graduate courses in the Stetson-Hatcher School of Business without applying for admission to the MBA Program. Two specific combinations of courses can be taken for either a Certificate in Practice Management or a Certificate in Corporate Finance.

International Programs

Mercer Law School offers a full array of international law courses and other opportunities for students. Our curriculum contains courses in both public and private international law, comparative law, and immigration law. Each semester students have classes in each of these areas available, and for those who are particularly interested in international and comparative law the faculty has developed a pathway devoted to these areas.  

Mercer Law School is one of a select group of institutions, and the only law school, that participates in the programs offered by the Oxford Consortium for Human Rights. Students may apply to attend a one-week program (usually in March) at Merton College, Oxford to study human rights and humanitarian law. 

Study abroad programs can further enhance your interest in international law. If you are interested in learning about international law, Mercer has a number of options to allow you to explore this dynamic and fascinating area of law.

Student Life

Engaging Student Life

Choose from more than thirty student groups organized around career aspirations, community service, identity, honing your advocacy skills or exploring niche legal interests at Mercer Law School.

With nearly every student involved in at least one student organization, it’s easy to connect to the Mercer Law community beyond the classroom.

It’s hard to imagine a law school with a more robust student-life atmosphere. From the absolutely serious to the downright fun, Mercer Law students work and play with a purpose that feeds both their heads and their hearts.

Often the work they do benefits people other than themselves. Like the annual auction by Mercer’s Association of Women Law Students that raises thousands of dollars each year for local charities. Or the annual scholarship funds raised each year by Mercer’s Black Law Students Association to support local high school students aspiring to become lawyers. Or the conservation and recycling efforts by the Environmental Law Society to help promote sustainable living. Mercer Law School has won the Attorney General’s Legal Food Frenzy numerous times, competing against all other law schools in the state, to help provide food for the Middle Georgia Community Food Bank.

The Student Bar Association facilitates many of the student activities. SBA officers are the student-elected representatives of the law school. The SBA provides a number of opportunities to work with administrators and faculty to advance Mercer Law, as well as assist the surrounding community.

Mercer Advocacy Council

Making Practice-Ready Mercer Lawyers

Mercer Law is home to one of the nation’s most elite advocacy training programs, ranking 15th in Trial Advocacy according to the U.S. News & World Report, 2nd in Advocacy Competitions in the American Bar Association rankings, and 4th in Trial Advocacy Competitions in the prestigious Gavel rankings. We distinguish ourselves by providing individualized training, by distinguished practitioners and judges, and a bespoke and evidence-centric curriculum that’s designed to train practice-ready lawyers. From the courtroom to the boardroom, Mercer advocates are equipped to confidently vindicate their clients’ interests on day one.

View the wins for the Mercer Law Advocacy teams successes from 2019-present.

NOTABLE WINS

NATIONAL CHAMPIONS

2022 Allstar Mock Trial Competition

 

BEST ADVOCATE

2023 National Trial Competition

NATIONAL CHAMPIONS

2022 ABA Negotiations & ABA Client Counseling Competition

NATIONAL CHAMPIONS

2023 National Moot Court Competition

 

SEMIFINALIST TEAM

2023 National Trial Competition

NATIONAL BEST ORALIST

2023 National Moot Court Competition

Trial Advocacy Competition Results

National Trial Competition

  • National Semifinalists, 2023
  • National Best Advocate, 2023
  • Regional Co-Champion, 2023
  • Regional Co-Champion, 2022
  • Regional Semifinalists, 2021

Allstar Mock Trial Competition

  • National Champions, 2023
  • Best Advocate in Final Round, 2023
  • Regional Champion, 2022
  • Best Advocate, 2021

American Association for Justice STAC

  • National Quarterfinalists, 2023
  • Regional Co-Champion, 2023

Georgia Law Students Closing Competition

  • Champion, 2022

Case Western Reserve Classic

  • Finalists, 2022

Trials and Tribulations

  • Best Advocate, 2022
  • Semifinalists, 2023

South Texas Mock Trial Challenge

  • Finalists, 2022
  • Octofinalists, 2023
  • Most Professional Advocate, 2023

William Daniel Mock Trial Competition

  • Most Professional Team, 2021-2023

Syracuse National Trial Competition

  • Best Cross Examiner, 2021

Michigan National Trial Competition

  • Semifinalists, 2022

BLSA Mock Trial Competition

  • Best Advocate, 2022
  • National Semifinalists, 2022
  • Regional Finalists, 2022

National Ethics Trial Competition

  • Semifinalists, 2019

Costello National Criminal Law Trial Competition

  • Semifinalist, 2021

 

 

Mercer Law Review

The Mercer Law Review was founded in 1949 and is the oldest continually published law review in Georgia.  Since its inception, the Mercer Law Review has served as an invaluable aid to practitioners and has provided a great service to the academic community through its publication of scholarly articles and its annual surveys of Georgia and Eleventh Circuit law.

Each four-book volume of the Mercer Law Review is edited and published by students of Mercer University School of Law. The Annual Survey of Georgia Law reviews noteworthy opinions of the Georgia appellate course decided in the preceding year.  This is one of the most widely read books published by the Mercer Law Review because it provides practitioners with a concise overview of developments in the law for major practice areas. The Lead Articles Edition contains selected transcripts and related articles from each annual symposium hoted by the Mercer Law Review. The Articles Edition is a collection of articles selected for their timeliness and contribution to developing legal scholarship. Finally, the Eleventh Circuit Survey examines major developments in federal law by discussing noteworthy decisions of the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and various district courts within the Eleventh Circuit.

 

Recreation and Wellness

Recreational Sports and Wellness is located in the University Center and is comprised of five major program areas. Aquatics, Fitness/Wellness, Intramural Sports, Outdoor Adventures, and Sport Clubs give law students the opportunity to participate in a variety of interests and activities.

As a law student at Mercer, you will have an abundance of opportunities to participate in Recreational Sports programs.

Explore Macon

As one of the South's most historic and culturally rich communities, Macon will provide you with ideal access to music, art, culture, recreation, outdoor activities, and professional resources. Located just an 1.5 hour drive south of Atlanta, Macon offers the best of both urban and small-town living. 

Macon has restaurants, breweries, nightlife, things to do and see, and fun to be had. There’s always a place to go, a band to see, or an event to attend.

Highlights of Macon throughout the year include: 

  • A lively arts and entertainment scene, including five historic downtown theatres and venues host beautiful ballets, high-definition opera, chart-topping bands, live symphonic performances, and touring Broadway shows;
  • College Hill Corridor’s Second Sunday outdoor concerts;
  • Bragg Jam’s Concert Crawl that features over 50 bands performing at 15 venues; 
  • The annual International Cherry Blossom Festival in March;
  • and Mercer as the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program as part of the Southern Conference.

Furman Smith Law Library

The Furman Smith Law Library, named to honor a distinguished alumnus, is the center for legal information and research in the Law School. Law faculty, staff, and students have access to a rich and varied collection of print and electronic resources, accessible from the law library’s web site and easy to find by using our online catalog. The law library’s web site features an extensive collection of annotated links to Georgia and federal legal research materials.

Legal research is an essential lawyering skill and an integral part of the curriculum at Mercer Law School. Mercer’s highly qualified law librarians/legal research faculty have law degrees and are among the best at delivering expert instruction in the required Introduction to Legal Research course and the popular elective, Advanced Legal Research. Our law librarians provide expert reference assistance and work closely with the law faculty to support their scholarship and curricular needs.

In the law library, students find comfortable research and study areas conducive to quiet study or to collaborative work.  Carrels, tables, soft seating, “smart” study rooms and a technology lounge are available to law students, all in a wireless environment.

Career Placement and Bar Passage

Our mission in Career Services is to empower our students and alumni to actively seek and develop satisfying and fulfilling careers by:

  • Providing individual counseling, educational programming and resources designed to assist students and alumni in applying their education and experiences toward advancing career goals;
  • Facilitating and supporting connections among potential employers, students, alumni and Mercer Law School; and 
  • Providing these services in a professional and responsive manner that respects the individual differences and needs of the students and alumni.

The Career Services Office is also a resource for employers seeking to recruit candidates for permanent positions, summer jobs and part-time employment throughout the school year. We provide several methods for students to connect with potential employers, including On-Campus Interview (OCI) programs held each fall and spring, resume forwarding, job fairs and job postings.

Mercer Law School Career Services is committed to your success. This tailored, individual attention contributed to 95.83% of the class of 2022 graduates who were employed within 10 months after graduation.

Alumni Network

The thoughtful, driven community you find as a Mercer Law student extends beyond your three years of law school and continues for decades through the Mercer Law alumni network. With over 7,000 alumni across the globe, you will find Mercer Lawyers succeeding and serving in their communities.

Whether through networking events, internships, mentor-ships, job opportunities, or even adjusting to a new city, Mercer Lawyers are eager to connect and mentor Mercer Law students and fellow alumni. The strength of our alumni community is truly one of the unique things about Mercer Law.

Learn more about career placement at Mercer University School of Law

Tuition and Aid

Expense Cost
Tuition
$42,832.00
Fees
$300.00
Expected Cost of Attendance
$62,496.00

At least 99% of Mercer Law students receive some amount of financial assistance. The aid may be in the form of merit scholarships, Direct Stafford loans, Direct Graduate PLUS loans, alternative private loans, work-study assignments, vocational-rehabilitation benefits, and other programs.

Scholarships

Mercer Law School offers merit scholarships each year to applicants whose academic records, LSAT or GRE scores, and personal achievements demonstrate the potential for outstanding performance in the study of law. Every accepted student is automatically considered for a merit scholarship with the exception of the George W. Woodruff Scholarship.

The George Woodruff Scholarship is a merit-based scholarship awarded to four members of each entering class. The scholarship covers full-tuition and a $5000 annual stipend. The deadline to have the admission application and Woodruff essay complete and submitted to Mercer is January 15. 

Subject to availability of funding, the Law School also provides some limited additional scholarship awards to students who are ranked in the top segment of their class after the first year and who received little or no other Mercer scholarship awards when they entered.

January 15: Priority deadline for scholarship consideration

Mercer Law does not award scholarships that are conditional on law school academic performance other than remaining in good academic standing. In order to remain in good academic standing, a student must have a 78 average or above at the end of each academic year. 

External / Outside Scholarships

External scholarships are awarded through various outside (non-Mercer) organizations. The total financial aid that a student can receive annually, including external awards, cannot exceed the estimated cost of attendance at Mercer Law.

Learn more about tuition & aid at Mercer University School of Law

Admission Decisions: Beyond the Numbers

 

For 150 years we have been teaching the law to caring, accomplished, critical thinkers with outstanding intellectual ability who bring a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives to the classroom and to the legal profession. Mercer Law graduates become successful, practicing lawyers who serve their communities and clients with integrity.

At Mercer Law, we seek to attract students who embody the diverse character and the variety of experiences of our nation and our world. We seek to produce genuinely good lawyers in an ethical and pragmatic sense who are well-equipped to begin their careers in the practice of law. By cultivating a community of diversity, justice, inclusion, and belonging, our graduates are equipped to act ethically, effectively, and with excellence in the many forms of service required of lawyers.

DECISION FACTORS

We conduct a holistic review of many factors related to an applicant's potential for success in law school and potential to become a competent and ethical attorney. We believe that enrolling students with a wide range of experiences, abilities, perspectives, accomplishments, skills, goals, and interests enhances the quality of the conversations in our classrooms and better prepares attorneys to work with clients from corporations to the indigent. Some of these factors include The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) or Graduate Records Examination (GRE), undergraduate course of study and grade point average, letters of recommendation, personal statement, postgraduate work, work experience, extracurricular activities, academic distinctions or honors, community and military service, leadership ability, character and fitness, relevant demonstrated skills, obstacles overcome, and all other relevant background information will be evaluated.

We accept applications between September 1 and June 1 from prospective students wishing to begin their studies in the fall semester. Acceptance and scholarship decisions begin in early fall. Applicants are encouraged to complete their applications by January 15 in order to receive the timeliest consideration.

Applicants must have completed a bachelor's degree prior to law school enrollment. You must either take the LSAT or GRE and register with the Credential Assembly Service (CAS). Applicants must submit two letters of recommendation and a personal statement. 

All transfer and transient applications should be received and completed by July 1.

Qualifications for Admission to the Bar

In addition to a bar examination, there are character, fitness, and other qualifications for admission to the bar in every U.S. jurisdiction. Applicants are encouraged to determine the requirements for any jurisdiction in which they intend to seek admission by contacting the jurisdiction. Addresses for all relevant agencies are available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

Learn more about admission at Mercer University School of Law

Admitted Applicant Profile

25-75% UGPA Range at Mercer:

3.33 to 3.71

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Mercer:

153 to 158

25-75% UGPA Range at Mercer:

3.33 to 3.71

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Mercer:

153 to 158

25-75% UGPA Range at Mercer:

3.33 to 3.71

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Mercer:

153 to 158