2018 marks the 50th anniversary of clinical legal education at the University of Georgia School of Law. This timeline hopes to capture a variety of moments from the clinic and experiential learning program history, from 1967 to present, by combining articles, press releases, photographs, audio and video.

This interactive timeline was created by the Alexander Campbell King Law Library. To explore more content from the University of Georgia School of Law Archives please visit our institutional repository at:

1957-09-01 19:42:12

Origins from 1957

Legal aid by the University of Georgia Law students can find its origin as long ago and 1957 when a small group of students, in cooperation with attorneys of the local bar, began to furnish legal aid to the poor. This work continued in a similar manner in the civil side of the Legal Aid and Defender Society's work through 1967.

1964-01-01 21:26:47

Memory of John F. T. Murray

The Legal Aid & Defender Society dedicated to John F.T. Murray their first annual report. This was due to the fact that in 1964 Dean Cowen "appointed Professor John F.T. Murray to work with the Legal Aid Society and with the Athens bar in expanding the program to include legal aid for indigents accused of crimes. He sought foundation assistance to establish the program and finance it until its worth could be demonstrated."

1965-11-01 19:42:12

UGA Legal Aid & Defender Society Opens Office Downtown

In the fall of 1965 through a grant from the National Defender Project which had been provided with funds of the Ford Foundation to improve administration of criminal law and procedure throughout the nation, the University of Georgia Legal Aid Defender Society opened its first office in downtown Athens. The office operated by second and third year law students began its service to the indigent in the Athens-Clarke County area.

1966-01-01 21:26:47

Society Receives NLADA Grant

In 1966 the school applied for and received a grant from the National Defender Project (now known as the National Legal Aid & Defender Association) to operate the programs of the Legal Aid and Defender Society.

1967-01-01 19:42:12

Gary Blasingame Joins Faculty, Creates "Criminal Trial Practice"

On January 1, 1967 for the first time a practicing attorney joined the University of Georgia School of Law faculty for the sole purpose of supervising the activities of the Legal Aid and Defender Society.

1967-05-01 02:20:41

Legal Aid & Defender Society Annual Report

In 1968 a printed annual report was published for the Legal Aid and Defender Society. It included photos of students and faculty, a dedication to Jon F. T. Murray, and statements from Dean of the Law School Lindsey Cowen, Clarke County Superior Court Judge James Barrow, Legal Aid and Defender Society director Gary Blasingame and Legal Aid and Defender Society president Bill Goodman. It gave a brief history of the society and the evolution it had experienced up to that point in time.

1967-08-01 10:26:34

Judge James Barrow Certifies 7 Students to Act as Counsel in Court

In the fall of 1967 Judge James Barrow of the Superior Court of Clarke County under the Law School Legal Agency Act of 1967 certified seven students to act as counsel in court.

1968-09-01 23:45:18

Peckham Becomes Director

Robert Peckham became the director in September 1968 and in that year the Society handled 210 criminal cases and 170 civil cases.

1969-08-01 17:34:49

Clinic Photos, Circa 1970

Several photos appeared in that first annual report. Among them were images of students from the early days of the society, an office image of the first society's location, and photos of student officers and Blasingame leading them in a small classroom setting.

1970-09-01 23:45:18

General Assembly Permits Students to Assist DA's

In 1970 the General Assembly voted to permit law students to assist district attorneys in the prosecution of cases and the Prosecution Clinic (now Prosecutorial Justice Program) 34 students were enrolled in the first year and it was the largest fo 10 such projects in the country. Professor Donald Eugene Wilkes!!!-gives us someone to get a quote from!!!! assumed the temporary directorship after the resignation of Charles T. Shean, clinic director during 71-72, who went on the become the assistant director of the Georgia District Attorneys Association.


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