I came to Mercer to serve as Dean in 2010 after many years in law school teaching and administration, primarily at Cornell and for a few years apiece at the University of Texas and Case Western Reserve. All three of those schools have much to be proud of, but when it comes to the quality of the teaching, curriculum, and overall student experience, Mercer is second to none.
The Mercer law faculty are truly gifted and dedicated teachers. They are also remarkably thoughtful about the ingredients of a first-rate legal education. The school’s award-winning Woodruff Curriculum was years ahead of its time in integrating into the curriculum crucial insights about producing practice-ready, ethical lawyers, and the faculty have continued to build on the strong foundation that the Woodruff Curriculum laid.
It is very much in keeping with that tradition that our legal writing program consistently ranks among the very best in the nation. Similarly, it is no accident that a few years ago we became the first law school to host a national moot court competition in professionalism and legal ethics.
It is difficult to argue with success. When the American Bar Association released data in the spring of 2013 showing that Mercer ranked 25th among the nation’s more than 200 law schools in the percentage of 2012 graduates who, nine months after graduation, were in full-time, long-term positions requiring bar admission, it spoke volumes about both the quality of the lawyers Mercer is turning out and legal employers’ recognition of that quality.
The student body is among the smaller ones in the country, which is a great asset. Its size fosters a sense of community that enriches the educational experience and a sense of camaraderie that produces life-long friendships and a strong alumni network. The students are a very diverse group, and the close-knit environment enables them to benefit from, and truly appreciate, the diversity that one another bring.
Our law school is a place where students know that their individual development, well-being, and success are of paramount importance. The faculty contribute a great deal to making the law school such a student-friendly place by being so accessible to students outside the classroom, giving so freely of their time as coaches and judges in moot court, and more. The law school’s staff, though, deserve at least as much credit. They are an unusually able group, and they obviously carry out their responsibilities with the students’ best interests foremost in mind.
Finally, for natural beauty and charm, Mercer and Macon are hard to beat, and the law school building is a truly grand and inspiring structure on the outside and a warm and user-friendly facility on the inside. If you have not yet visited us, I encourage you to do so soon. Mercer is a law school with a long and illustrious past and a bright future.
Gary J. Simson
Dean and Macon Chair in Law