Jun 25, 2024  
2018-2020 LSU Law Catalog 
2018-2020 LSU Law Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Degree and Graduation Requirements

All students must complete the requirements for the Juris Doctor degree, including earning a total of 94 credit hours. Those students who desire to earn the Graduate Diploma in Comparative Law (D.C.L.) degree must complete, as part of their 94 hours, fifteen credit hours from a list of courses designated for the D.C.L degree.

Students choosing to opt-out of earning the D.C.L. may request to do so during their second or third year by filing a notice of intent to opt out of the D.C.L.  If the student subsequently decides to complete the requirements of the D.C.L., the student may notify the Law Registrar prior to graduation of the change of intention. The Law Registrar will set a date by which students must make their final intentions known before graduation.

Course Credit Requirements

The first-year curriculum is prescribed and all entering students are assigned to a section and take all first-year courses together. When possible, at least one first-year course in each section in each semester is divided into two subsections so that all first-year students will experience one class per semester with a smaller number of students.

First-Year Curriculum

After the second semester, the required courses are:

LAW 5605  - Evidence,  LAW 5608  - Trial Advocacy, LAW 5721  - The Legal Profession; and a seminar or individual supervised research to satisfy the upperclass legal writing requirement. The Rules of the Supreme Court of Louisiana require a law student to successfully complete the ethics course LAW 5721   before taking the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE).

Six hours of instruction in designated experiential courses which include professional simulation, clinics and field placement courses are required. A list of these courses can be found in the course listings section of the catalog.

Students have the freedom to explore a wide variety of upper level courses in a sequence that suits their professional interests. All students must complete at least 94 credit hours. Students who choose to earn the D.C.L. must select 15 credit hours of course work from the groupings of designated courses with global, comparative, or civil law focus (referred to as the “basket”).

Mandatory Upperclass Law Courses

Upperclass Courses that Satisfy Requirements for the Optional Graduate Diploma in Comparative Law

Additional Degree Requirements for all Students

  • Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement—Every student must complete at least one additional rigorous writing experience after the first year. To satisfy this requirement, the student must meet individually with the instructor regarding the topic and scope of the paper, and the student must complete at last one revision of the paper after the instructor has critiqued a draft prepared by the student. A student may satisfy this requirement by preparing the paper in a seminar or as an independent research project. Successful completion of this requirement requires that the student earn a grade of 2.0 or higher on the paper.
  • No more than a total of 16 hours may be earned in summer school, and no more than 32 hours may be earned at another law school in non-matriculating status.
  • In order to graduate, a student must earn a cumulative weighted average of 2.0 or above (1) on all course work undertaken; and (2) on all course work undertaken during the last two semesters of study (including summer semesters).
  • Students will typically satisfy all degree requirements, including the minimum 94 credit hours and prescribed coursework, by attending six regular semesters, although many students may also elect to earn credits during a summer semester. Some students may be able to satisfy all degree requirements by attending five regular semesters and two summer semesters. The last 30 hours must be completed in residence; the Executive Committee may waive this requirement following a petition from the student. All degree requirements must be completed within four calendar years of the student’s matriculation at the Law Center. The Dean, where appropriate, may grant additional time.
  • Graduating students must complete and return an application for degree during their last semester. This form is available in the Office of Admissions and Student Records and on the web and must be received within the first three weeks of class.
  • A commencement ceremony is held only in the spring.
  • Students who will graduate in August or December may participate in the commencement ceremony if they have fewer than 10 hours to satisfy degree requirements. Students must complete the petition to participate in the ceremony. The form is available on the web. Students who graduate at the end of summer school will not be able to take the Louisiana Bar Examination the same summer.