Georgia State University - College of Law

Georgia State Law School Higher Education Architecture SmithGroup
Georgia State University, College of Law
Georgia State Law School Exterior SmithGroup Architecture Higher Education
Georgia State Law School Exterior Higher Education Architecture SmithGroup

Located in the heart of downtown Atlanta, this is the first building designed for Georgia State University’s College of Law. University leaders sought to create a facility that would provide state-of-the-art academic spaces and create a sense of community among students and faculty. It was essential that the new College of Law become a resource for the city.


Georgia State University


Atlanta, Georgia


Architecture, Higher Education, Interiors, MEP Engineering, Professional Education, Programming


205,000 SF

Featured Awards

AIA Georgia, People's Choice - Built Award, 2016
Atlanta Urban Design Commission, Award of Excellence, 2016
AIA Northern Virginia, Award of Merit (Institutional Architecture), 2016
Associated Builders & Contractors Georgia Chapter, Award of Excellence, 2016

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Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) South Atlantic Chapter, Honor Award (Public Building, New Construction, Constructed value less than $100 million), 2016
Build Georgia Awards (Associated General Contractors of Georgia), First Place, 2016
ENR Southeast, Award of Merit (Higher Education/Research), 2015

SmithGroup, with architect of record Stevens & Wilkinson, responded with an iconic building for the University. Design objectives were to advance learning; create a close sense of community; and leverage opportunities with the legal community inherent to the school’s dynamic urban context.

A conference center features events space and appellate courtroom available for community programming. The legal community also benefits from a new international arbitration center, and a 10,000 sf legal clinic supports the University’s commitment to provide legal services to the underserved.

It really lends itself to a different type of learning that goes on now in law schools and that does best in an environment where students can collaborate, where they have a lot of natural light, where they're working with their cohorts. And this space just seems to really reflect new learning disciplines for graduate work and particularly for law schools.

Heather McKinney
Juror, AIA Northern Virginia Chapter Awards 2016

The new facility also provides 23 cutting-edge classrooms, with faculty offices interspersed to foster greater student/faculty interaction. A multi-level, naturally-lit connective space promotes community within the school. The law library—the social heart of the building—occupies the building’s top two floors and creates a center of intellectual activity and research, as well as an experimental learning environment for emerging innovative pedagogy. These glass-enclosed spaces serve as a beacon and announce the school’s presence as a civic resource.