The LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center is unique among university-affiliated law schools. Its designation as a Law Center, rather than Law School, derives from the centralization on its campus of Juris Doctor and optional Graduate Diploma in Comparative Law, and post-J.D. programs, Foreign and Graduate programs, including European programs in Lyon, France, a Center of Civil Law Studies, and the direction of the Louisiana Law Institute and the Louisiana Judicial College, among other initiatives. From its founding in 1906, the Law Center has offered its students a legal education recognized for its high standards of academic excellence, an outstanding teaching and research faculty, integrated programs in Louisiana civil law, in Anglo-American common, statute, and federal law, and, through a fusion of these programs with international and comparative law, an overall program that truly merits designation as a global law curriculum.
The Law Center Building, adjoining and interconnecting with the old Law Building, provides classroom areas, seminar rooms, discussion rooms, and meeting areas; library offices and facilities, including open stack areas on all four floors and carrels for student research; a practice court room; offices for student activities, including the Board of Advocates, Public Interest Law Society and The Civilian; and administrative and faculty offices.
The old Law Building houses the offices of the Louisiana Law Institute, Center of Civil Law Studies, Louisiana Judicial College, and Center of Continuing Professional Development; and offices for student activities, including the Louisiana Law Review, and the Student Bar Association. In addition, the building contains an auditorium for use by guest lecturers and visiting experts, the Tucker Law Collection, and several floors of library stack areas.
Mission and Educational Objectives
The mission of the Law Center is to educate a well-qualified and diverse group of men and women to become highly competent and ethical lawyers, to serve the common good through private practice, public service, law reform, and commerce, and to advance knowledge in law through scholarship and research.
The educational objectives of the Law Center are as follows:
- To educate a well-qualified and diverse student body drawn from a rich cross-section of backgrounds, talents, experiences and perspectives from around the state, the nation, and other jurisdictions, including those that share our civilian heritage.
- To prepare students to be practice-ready and competitive for placement in the public and private sectors through an innovative and rigorous curriculum.
- To enrich the quality of the intellectual community and the experiences of the student body.
- To support and assist in the professional endeavors of our alumni.
- To serve the members of the legal profession of the state, the nation, and the global community.
- To provide scholarly support for the continued improvement of the law and to facilitate the exchange of ideas among legal scholars.
- To promote the use of Louisiana’s legal contributions as reasoned models for consideration by other jurisdictions and to develop the Law Center as a bridge between the civil law and the common law.
- To embrace the responsibilities of a public law school to the varied segments and regions of the State
A Comprehensive Legal Research Facility — Law Library
The LSU Law Library is one of the largest academic law libraries in the United States and contains an expansive collection of legal materials in both digital and print formats. The library houses over 850,000 volume equivalents, which include more than 440,000 bound volumes and over 2.3 million items in micro format. The library also holds over 109,000 court records and has over 50,000 current serial subscriptions in digital and print formats. The collection includes statutes and reports of federal and state jurisdictions in the United States, as well as collections of law journals, encyclopedias, and treatises. The library also holds substantial collections of comparative, international, and foreign law, including materials from Europe, Latin America, and the countries of the British Commonwealth. Online access is available to more than 100 bibliographic and legal information databases, including Bloomberg Law, Lexis Nexis, Westlaw, and Hein Online. An electronic classroom and carrel computers are also available. The library is a selective depository for both U.S. government and Louisiana state documents. It is also a depository for over 109,000 records and briefs of the Louisiana Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal. Additional library resources include a reading room, group study rooms, study carrels, an electronic classroom, and audiovisual facilities
The Law Clinic
The Law Clinic engages students in the real practice of law and mediation while offering the opportunity to earn academic credit towards fulfillment of the requirements of the Juris Doctor degree. Students serve individuals in the Baton Rouge community while learning through practice. Current clinics include the Immigration Clinic, Parole & Reentry Clinic, Family Mediation Clinic, Civil Mediation Clinic, Juvenile Defense Clinic, Prosecution Clinic, and the Successions Clinic.
George and Jean Pugh Institute for Justice
The George and Jean Pugh Institute for Justice is a research and public service unit of the Paul M. Hebert Law Center, designed to provide encouragement and funding for research and other activities which enhance and improve the administration of the criminal and civil justice systems in the State of Louisiana. The Center supports as well activities that highlight the importance of individual and civil rights in the American constitutional system. In the 2017-2018 academic year, the Center will concentrate its efforts on police community relations and on an exploration of the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Professor George Pugh, during his over 40 years as an active member of the law school faculty, was heavily involved in law reform efforts. As a professor and mentor to countless students, Professor Pugh sought to instill in them the ideals of due process and ethical practice. Moreover, his contribution to the law of evidence in particular was immense. As a member of the Louisiana Code of Evidence, Professor Pugh worked to improve the administration of justice by recommending legislative changes that were designed to enhance the efficacy and fairness of the substantive and procedural laws of Louisiana.
Center of Civil Law Studies
The Center of Civil Law Studies was established in 1965 to promote and encourage the scientific study of the modern civil law system, its history, structure, and principles. Its purpose is to facilitate a better understanding and further development of the private law of the State of Louisiana and other civil law jurisdictions through theoretical and practical activities of all kinds, including publications, translations, the sponsorship of faculty and student exchanges, visiting scholars, and the presentation of specialized programs, seminars, and lectures. The Center of Civil Law Studies encourages legal education by sponsoring foreign students who wish to avail themselves of the opportunity of studying a mixed legal system. Such programs take advantage of Louisiana’s natural position as an education center for international studies.
The Center of Civil Law Studies publishes the Journal of Civil Law Studies, an online, peer-reviewed, and student-edited periodical, focusing on the civil law in Louisiana and in the world, and its relationship with other legal systems.
The Center of Civil Law Studies conducts translation projects to promote the civil law and its legal terminology in the English language and to make the Louisiana civil law accessible in French and in Spanish. Translation projects are supported by a three-year Partner University Fund grant, “Training Multilingual Jurists,” in cooperation with the University of Nantes (France).
Climate Change Law and Policy Project
Climate change is the most important environmental law issue and a dominant national security threat. As one of the world’s great river deltas, Southern Louisiana is gravely threatened by climate change. Relative sea level rise, the combination of sea level rise from global warming, and delta subsidence is drowning the coast. Ocean acidification threatens to disrupt important marine natural resources. As Hurricane Katrina demonstrated, coastal Louisiana is already subject to catastrophic hurricane flooding, which will be exacerbated by sea level rise and warming seas. Inland areas see massive flooding from extreme rain events on an increasingly frequent basis.
The LSU Law Center Climate Change Law and Policy Project focuses on mitigating and adapting to climate change, with a special focus on the Mississippi River delta as a model for river deltas worldwide. These topics are addressed through law school courses in Climate Change Law, National Security Law, Environmental Law, Coastal Law, and specialty seminars. The Project also draws on resources at the Louisiana Sea Grant and the LSU College of the Coast and Environment.
Sea Grant is a national program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Sea Grant’s mission is to enhance the practical use and conservation of coastal, marine, and Great Lakes resources in order to create a sustainable economy and environment. Louisiana Sea Grant is one of a network of 33 Sea Grant programs in the coastal US States and territories that carry out this mission through research, extension, and education activities. The Law Center works closely with the legal staff of Louisiana Sea Grant’s Law and Policy Program (SGLPP). The SGLPP is a great opportunity for law students to gain hands-on experience on a wide range of coastal and environmental issues. Students have the opportunity to work as legal interns and externs through SGLPP for clinical credit. Up to six students work as part-time staff under the supervision of staff attorneys in the LSU Campus office. For more information on the SGLPP, see: www.laseagrant.org/sglegal/
LSU’s College of the Coast and Environment (CC&E) offers a friendly and intimate setting that educates tomorrow’s workforce and leaders, undertakes interdisciplinary discovery, and improves the understanding of the interaction between complex human and natural systems, particularly in coastal regions. Home to awardwinning, internationally-acclaimed faculty, CC&E is comprised of two departments, the Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences (DOCS) and the Department of Environmental Sciences (ENVS). Known for its high impact contributions to research and education, CC&E conducts research on the Mississippi River delta, the Gulf coast, and around the world on all continents and oceans. Law students may take courses offered by CC&E in coastal and environmental science, as well as courses in environmental law and policy. CC&E offers an exciting series of guest speakers and departmental lectures that law students may attend. For more information, see: www.lsu.edu/cce/
Law students are encouraged to undertake research work on climate and environmental issues and have the opportunity to participate in the Louisiana Law Review, the LSU Journal of Energy Law and Resources, and for online publication as LSU Law White Papers and blog posts.
Professor Edward Richards directs the LSU Law Center Climate Change Law and Policy Project. For more information about the Project and coastal and environmental issues, see: sites.law.lsu.edu/coast/climate-change-law-and-policy-project/
Center of Continuing Professional Development
The LSU Law Center’s commitment to providing legal education is not limited to its students. The Center of Continuing Professional Development (“CCPD”) is committed to the mission of providing continuing legal education as a public service with the primary goal of enhancing the competence of attorneys licensed to practice law in Louisiana. The CCPD sponsors continuing legal education seminars featuring members of the Law Center’s outstanding faculty and leading practitioners speaking on legal developments in the areas of their expertise. Course materials provided to participants emphasize the CCPD’s dedication to the tradition of academic excellence at the Law Center. The seminars are held at the Law Center and various locations around the state. In addition to providing a valuable service to the Bar, the CCPD’s programs serve as a valuable interface with the legal community, especially with Law Center alumni.
The Office of Alumni Relations is committed to cultivating and strengthening relationships with graduates and friends of the LSU Law Center. The alumni staff is charged with overseeing all alumni activities and development.
The staff provides leadership and support for programs such as class reunions, various regional alumni events, distinguished alumnus presentations, and alumni giving programs. The alumni office also provides regular publications and newsletters to acknowledge notable achievements of Law Center alumni and to provide information on the activities and developments at the Law Center. The office strives to connect alumni with each other and their alma mater.
These activities complement the development efforts of the Law Center. Private gifts provide valuable resources for continued growth and improvement of the Law Center’s programs and facilities. Opportunities for giving include Law Dean’s Council, Annual Fund, class gift, and reunion gift programs, among others. The office also coordinates donations given to establish endowed scholarships, professorships, and academic chairs, as well as other gifts that support the programs and initiatives of the Law Center.
The LSU Community
Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College originated in grants of land made by the U.S. government beginning in 1806. In 1853, the Louisiana General Assembly established the Louisiana State Seminary of Learning and Military Academy near Pineville, Louisiana. The institution opened January 2, 1860, with General William Tecumseh Sherman as superintendent. Because of the Civil War, the school closed June 30, 1861, and reopened on April 1, 1862, with Col. William Linfield as acting superintendent. He was succeeded in 1863 by Professor William A. Seay. Because of the invasion of the Red River Valley by the Federal Army, the institution was closed again on April 23, 1863.
The Seminary reopened October 2, 1865, with Col. David F. Boyd as superintendent. It was destroyed by fire on October 15, 1869, and reopened on November 1, 1869, in Baton Rouge, where it has remained. In 1870, the name of the institution was changed to Louisiana State University.
Today, LSU holds a prominent position in American higher education and is committed to meeting the challenge of pursuing intellectual development for its students, expanding the bounds of knowledge through research, and creating economic opportunities for Louisiana. Enriched by Louisiana’s natural and cultural distinctiveness, the community of learning at Louisiana’s national flagship university prepares students to meet the environmental, social, economic, scientific, creative, and educational challenges that confront us locally and globally in the 21st century.
- LSU’s instructional programs include 225 undergraduate degrees, graduate/professional degrees, and graduate certificates.
- The student body consists of more than 30,000 students from 49 states and almost 100 foreign countries.
- Since its first commencement in 1869, LSU has awarded more than 277,000 degrees.
As the flagship institution of the state, the vision of Louisiana State University is to be a leading research-extensive university, challenging undergraduate and graduate students to achieve the highest levels of intellectual and personal development. Designated as a land-, sea-, and space-grant institution, the mission of Louisiana State University is the generation, preservation, dissemination, and application of knowledge and cultivation of the arts. In implementing its mission, LSU is committed to:
- offer a broad array of undergraduate degree programs and extensive graduate research opportunities designed to attract and educate highly qualified undergraduate and graduate students;
- employ faculty who are excellent teacher-scholars, nationally competitive in research and creative activities, and who contribute to a world-class knowledge base that is transferable to educational, professional, cultural, and economic enterprises;
- use its extensive resources to solve economic, environmental, and social challenges.
A Centralized Location
Studying law at LSU offers the advantages of living in a university town, a major industrial city, a thriving port and the state’s capital. Located on the east bank of the Mississippi River, Baton Rouge, with its metropolitan-area population of more than 800,000, combines the sophistication of its diverse culture and amenities with the convenience of a mid-sized, dynamic Southern city.
As Louisiana’s capital, Baton Rouge also affords the Law Center’s students varied opportunities for involvement in the state’s executive, judicial and administrative life. It is a city of great restaurants, a vibrant mix of three universities and colleges, and a distinctive blending of Louisiana’s Acadian, New Orleans, Mississippi Delta, Coastal Wetlands and West Louisiana cultures.
Year-round festivals, museum exhibits, ballet and theater productions are only a few of the many activities/events available. Eating is a favorite pastime of Louisianans, so students can sample Cajun cuisine at the many Baton Rouge restaurants or savor New Orleans-style seafood gumbo or crawfish etouffeé in area establishments. Just a few hours away, students can enjoy boating in the numerous waterways of the state or tour the historic antebellum homes along the Mississippi River.