Southern University Law Center

Southern University Law Center

advert = January 2008
citations missing = January 2008
POV = January 2008
quotefarm = January 2008
refimprove = January 2008
trivia = January 2008
name = Southern University Law Center

established =1947
type =Public, Co-ed
head =Freddie Pitcher, Jr.
city =Baton Rouge
state =Louisiana
country =United States
students =487 Full-Time and Part-Time
faculty =35 Full-Time & 33 Adjunct Faculty
ranking = Tier 4 [ [ Best Graduate Schools - Education - USNews ] ]
bar pass rate =61%
annual tuition =In-State Tuition: $6,611 (full-time), $5,494 (part-time)Out-of-State Tuition: $11,211 (full-time), $10,094 (part-time)
affiliations =
homepage = []

Southern University Law Center, a campus of the Southern University System, opened for instruction in September of 1947. Its concept was born out of a response of a lawsuit by a black 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 African-Americans at Southern University to be in operation for the 1947-1948 session.

There are full-time, part-time, and evening programs. Internships and externships abound. There are six different clinics. "Our law school's clinical program is a great asset and one which cannot be found at all law schools," boasts one student. "The clinical program provides hands-on experience with the realities of practicing law. It teaches what no textbook or case can teach and is an exceptional learning tool." 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 in International Criminal Law and Conflict of Laws. SULC also publishes two legal journals: its traditional Law Review as well as The Public Defender. SULC's students also get to experience the pleasure (and pain) of learning 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 (of England). SU students learn both.

Graduates employed in areas of practice: Private practice : 37%Business/Industry : 5%Government : 15%Judicial clerkships : 6%Public Interest : 7%Academic : 1%Other : 29% The Law Center itself is a nice place to spend a few years. The library serves as an official depository for government documents. Classrooms "offer cutting-edge technology and spacious seating designed so that every student has access to the professor and class discussion." "The entire Law Center is wireless, including the patio area." "Wireless printing" is another perk.

The student population is very close-knit" at Southern, which allows you "to draw on the strengths of other students in areas" in which you "may be weak." "You like some people," of course, and "you can't tolerate others." In this sense, SU is "just like a grown up high school." Overall, though, "there is a great sense of unity, primarily among 1Ls," despite the small contingent of "super competitors and neurotic memorizers" that you'll find at pretty much any law school.

Southern is a unique law school in that it provides "a valuable education for many nontraditional students who otherwise would not have been given a chance to succeed in law school." The student population is diverse, certainly the most diverse in Louisiana. "I think I attend the only law school in the nation where there is such a mixture of culture," explains a 2L.

Beyond the "friendly" confines of the Law Center, Baton Rouge is a student's Shangri-la, especially if you like music and food. Baton Rouge is home to unique art and culture, tons of festivals, and mouthwatering cuisine of every kind. When students take a break from hitting the books, a good number of bars and clubs and a raging live music scene keep life interesting.


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.

Southern University Law Center graduates, beginning with the legendary civil rights attorney, political leader, and educator Jesse N. Stone, Jr., Alvin Basile Jones, Leroy White, Ellyson Fredrick Dyson, and Alex Louis Pitcher of the class of 1950, have spread across the state, nation, and world as trailblazers in the legal profession, securing equal rights for others. To date, the Law Center has more than 2,500 graduates and is one of the nation's most racially diverse law schools.

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, enhancing its image in the region and the nation. The Law Center stresses legal education of high quality for students from diverse backgrounds.

Mission Statement

Southern University Law Center's mission statement as it appears on its website:

:The mission of the Southern University Law Center is to provide sound legal educational training to a diverse student body, while maintaining its historic role of providing legal educational opportunities to under-represented racial, ethnic, and economic groups.


* Ranked #4 Best Environment for Minority Students in 2007 by the Princeton Review

* Ranked #3 Most Diverse Faculty in 2007 by The Priveton Review

* Ranked 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.

* Ranked third among institutions awarding law degrees to African Americans by Black Issues in Higher Education (2000)

* Ranked first among accredited law schools in the country for women-friendliness in a Woman’s Guide to Law Schools (1999)


External links

* [ Southern University]
* * [ Southern University System]
* [ The Southern Digest Online Edition]

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