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Southern University Law Center

Southern University Law Center
Seal of Southern University Law Center.
Established 1947
School type Public university
Dean Freddie Pitcher, Jr.
Location Baton Rouge, Louisiana, US
Enrollment 481 Full- and 248 Part-Time[2]
Faculty 71 Full- and Part-time[3]
Bar pass rate 56.25%[4]

Southern University Law Center, a campus of the Southern University System, opened for instruction in September 1947. Its concept was born out of a response of a lawsuit by an African American resident, Charles J. Hatfield, III, seeking to attend law school at a state institution. On December 16, 1946, Louisiana State Board of Education took steps to establish a Law School for blacks at Southern University to be in operation for the 1947-1948 session. The University is a member-school of Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

There are full-time, part-time, and evening programs. For students who want to pursue the JD and MPA, the school offers a joint-degree program in cooperation with the Nelson Mandela School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs. There's also a study-abroad program in London, in which students take courses with international subject matter. SULC also publishes two legal journals: its traditional Law Review as well as The Journal of Race, Gender and Poverty. SULC's students also learn two different systems of law: Louisiana is a civil law jurisdiction (in the tradition of France and Continental Europe), while law in every other state is based on the common law tradition.

According to SULC's 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 22.8% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, bar passage-required employment nine months after graduation, excluding solo practitioners.[5]


Plans for the law school were approved by the State Board of Education at its January 10, 1947, meeting. On June 14, 1947, the Board of Liquidation of State Debt appropriated $40,000 for the operation of the school. The Southern University Law School was officially opened in September 1947 to provide legal education for African-American students.

After 38 years of operation as a School of Law, the Southern University Board of Supervisors re-designated the school as the Southern University Law Center.

From 1972 to 1974, the law school dean was Louis Berry, the civil rights attorney originally from Alexandria, Louisiana.[6]


The Law Center program is accredited by the American Bar Association, the Supreme Court of Louisiana, the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and the Association of American Law Schools. It is approved also by the Veterans Administration for the training of eligible veterans.

Clinical program

The clinical education program at Southern University Law Center is ranked 42nd out of 216 clinical education programs nationally by the American Bar Association. At Southern University Law Center, clinical education is available to third years students but not required.

  • Administrative/Civil Law Clinic
  • Criminal Law Clinic
  • Domestic Violence Clinic
  • Elder Law Clinic
  • Juvenile Law Clinic
  • Low-income Taxpayer Clinic
  • Mediation Clinic

Physical plant

Housed in the Script error: No such module "convert". A. A. Lenoir Hall, the Law Center's program of study is designed to ensure that students graduate with a comprehensive knowledge of civil law and common law. Though emphasis is given to the substantive and procedural law of Louisiana, with its French and Spanish origins, Anglo-American law is integrated into the curriculum.


According to SULC's official 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 22.8% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, bar passage-required employment nine months after graduation, excluding solo-practitioners.[5] SULC's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 39.8%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2013 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job nine months after graduation.[7]

According to The Faculty Lounge, 43.2% of the Class of 2012 was employed in full-time, long-term positions requiring bar admission, ranking 161st out of 197 law schools. [8]

ABA Employment Summary for 2013 Graduates[5]
Employment Status Percentage
Employed - Bar Passage Required
Employed - J.D. Advantage
Employed - Professional Position
Employed - Non-Professional Position
Employed - Undeterminable
Pursuing Graduate Degree Full Time
Unemployed - Start Date Deferred
Unemployed - Not Seeking
Unemployed - Seeking
Employment Status Unknown
Total of 206 Graduates


The total cost of full-time attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at SULC for the 2013-2014 academic year is $31,078 for Louisiana resident and $39,678 for non-residents.[9] The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $122,502.[10]

Other accomplishments

  • Ranking among the "Best Law Schools for Public Service" in 2012 by preLaw Magazine.[11]
  • Ranking first among law schools awarding "Law Degrees With Most Financial Value at Graduation" in 2011 by U.S. News & World Report.[12]
  • Ranking fourth most popular law school by U.S. News & World Report.[13]
  • Ranking in the top ten among law schools for competitiveness and diverse faculty and student body in the 2000 edition of The Princeton Review: The Best Law Schools.
  • Ranking third among institutions awarding law degrees to African Americans by Black Issues in Higher Education (2000)
  • Ranking first among accredited law schools in the country for women-friendliness in a Woman’s Guide to Law Schools (1999)
  • Ranking in the top 20 percent of the nation’s accredited law schools in favorable student/faculty ratio (13:1)

Notable alumni


  1. ^ "Law School Profiles". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  2. ^ "ABA School Data". ABA. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  3. ^ "ABA School Data". ABA. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  4. ^ Supreme Court "Bar Passage Statistics". Retrieved 1 Nov 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c "Section of Legal Education, Employment Summary Report". ABA. Retrieved 19 July 2014. 
  6. ^ Leona W. Smith, St. Landry-Up From Slavery Then Came the Fire!!, p. 33. Bloomington, Indiana: Author House, 2011; ISBN=978-1-4567-6032-8. Retrieved July 13, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Southern University Law Center Profile". Law School Transparency. Retrieved 19 July 2014. 
  8. ^ Rosin, Gary. "Full Rankings: Bar Admission Required, Full-Time, Long Term", The Faculty Lounge, 30 March 2013. Retrieved on 2 May 2013.
  9. ^ "Southern University A & M College - 2013 Standard 509 Information Report" (PDF). SULC. Retrieved 19 July 2014. 
  10. ^ "Southern University Law Center Profile, Cost". Law School Transparency. Retrieved 19 July 2014. 
  11. ^ "10 Best Law Schools for Public Service". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 15 February 2012. 
  12. ^ "10 Law Schools with Most Financial Value". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  13. ^ "Top 10 Most Popular Law Schools" (PDF). U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  14. ^ "Rep. Sherman Q. Mack". Retrieved May 18, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Judge Jeff Cox". Retrieved April 26, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Results for Election Date: 10/4/2008". Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved April 26, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Randal L. Gaines' Biography". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  18. ^ "Hon. John Michael Guidry". East Baton Rouge Parish Library. 
  19. ^ "Edward C. "Ted" James, II". Retrieved April 24, 2015. 
  20. ^ "J. Schuyler Marvin: District Attorney". Retrieved April 16, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Kanawha delegate Poore says she'll run for Congress - Statehouse News - Charleston Daily Mail - West Virginia News and Sports". July 9, 2013. Retrieved October 18, 2013. 
  22. ^ Ron Manley. "Terry Ray Reeves". Retrieved May 17, 2015. 
  23. ^ "Ledricka Thierry's Biography". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved May 12, 2015. 
  24. ^ "Ebony Woodruff". 

External links