Southern University Law Center

The information on this page was provided by the law school.

Official Guide to ABA-Approved JD Programs


Introduction

In September 1947, the Southern University School of Law was officially opened, and it was redesignated as a law center in 1985. Accredited by the American Bar Association, the Association of American Law Schools, the Supreme Court of Louisiana, and the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, the Law Center maintains a high standard of professional education. It is fully approved by the Veterans Administration for the training of eligible veterans. The Southern University Law Center adheres to the principle of equal opportunity without regard to ethnicity, gender, creed, national origin, age, disability, or marital status.

The Law Center is located in Baton Rouge, the capital of Louisiana. With a population of over 600,000, this seat of state government includes state agencies and courts. As a hub of legal activity, Baton Rouge offers law students many opportunities to participate in state government through interaction with the legislature, state agencies, and private law firms.

Library

The law library contains more than 470,000 volumes, 1,000,000 microfiche, 40,000 rolls of microfilm, and 800 law reviews. The library offers research assistance and reference services to students, faculty, and the public. Its collection adequately supports the curriculum and conforms to the standards of the American Bar Association. Both the federal and Louisiana state governments have designated Southern University Law Center Library as an official depository for government documents. A complete collection of Louisiana legal materials, including continuing legal education materials of the Louisiana Bar Association, is provided in the library. Although library acquisitions reflect the civil law tradition of Louisiana, sufficient materials for research in the common law and a substantial number of basic legal reference works are available. Media equipment in the library includes copying machines for printed materials and microform.

The library occupies a 30,000-square-foot area, which includes computer and multimedia law learning labs. Cooperative arrangements with the Louisiana State University Law Center Library provide access to one of the largest Anglo-American and civil law resource collections in the southern region. Interlibrary loans can be made through the Southern University Law Library.

Curriculum

The program of study is designed to give students a comprehensive knowledge of both the civil law and the common law. While emphasis is given to the substantive and procedural law of Louisiana with its French and Spanish origins, Anglo-American law is strongly integrated into the curriculum. Fundamental differences in method and approach, and the results reached in the two systems, are analyzed.

The civil law system of Louisiana offers the law student a unique educational opportunity. The program of instruction examines the historical background of the Anglo-American setting. Students are trained in the art of advocacy, legal research, and the sources and social purposes of legal principles. Techniques to discipline the students’ minds in legal reasoning are an integral part of the educational objectives of the Law Center. Students are instructed in the ethics of the legal profession and the professional responsibility of the lawyer to society.

The Juris Doctor (JD) degree is offered at the Southern University Law Center through a full-time and a part-time day/evening program. The full-time JD program has a three-year curriculum requiring 90 hours of academic credit. The part-time program requires enrollment in at least eight credit hours each semester and can be completed in four years.

The Law Center also offers two dual-degree programs that can both be completed within four years:

  • JD and Master of Public Administration (JD/MPA) in conjunction with the Southern University Nelson Mandela School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs. The JD/MPA program requires 123 hours of academic credit.
  • JD and Master of Business Administration (JD/MBA) in conjunction with the Southern University College of Business. The JD/MBA program requires 120 hours of academic credit.

Admission

The Law Center does not prescribe any prelegal courses, but strongly recommends a foundation in such courses as English, speech, political science, history, economics, psychology, logic, mathematics, analytical courses, and science.

Students beginning the study of law are admitted only in the fall semester. Applicants are advised to take the LSAT prior to the February test date of the expected year of enrollment. All applications for admission are reviewed by a special committee. Many variables are taken into consideration for admission, including, but not limited to, the undergraduate grade-point average and the LSAT. Work experience and past pursuits are also reviewed.

Completed application forms, in addition to two letters of recommendation, one copy of an official transcript showing the degree earned, and a résumé, should be filed with the admission office during the fall semester prior to the year in which admission is sought.

Student Activities

Third-year law students are eligible to enroll in the Clinical Education Program, which allows students to handle cases under the direct supervision of a full-time faculty member of the Law Center.

The Southern University Law Review is a scholarly periodical published under the auspices of the Southern University Law Center. Editorial administration and managerial responsibilities are handled by the student members of the Law Review staff with guidance from a faculty advisor. Students who complete the first year with at least 29 credit hours and are ranked in the top 7 percent of their class at the end of the spring semester shall be offered membership. Students who complete the first year with at least 29 credit hours and a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 may participate in the “write-on” competition. Law Review membership provides eligible students with a wealth of experience in legal research and writing.

The Journal of Race, Gender and Poverty supplements the student-writing opportunities at the Law Center while providing an outlet for students who wish to think and write on topics that are not embraced by mainstream society. The journal thrives on the discussion of the taboo—those subjects that are relevant in society but fail to receive adequate coverage in mainstream law journals. The journal strives for a membership as diverse as its title—to be as inclusive as possible in its subject matter and to embrace the backgrounds and interests of an ever-diversifying student body. The journal plans to provoke critical thought and discussion, to enlighten the community, and, most of all, to serve as a reminder of the world’s persistent injustices, encouraging the community to take a stand against those injustices.

The Student Bar Association (SBA), an affiliate of the American Law Student Association, is a self-governing organization that receives the full cooperation of the Law Center faculty. Any student in good standing enrolled at the Law Center is eligible for membership. The purpose of the SBA is to promote the general welfare of the Law Center, encourage high scholarship among its members, and cultivate rapport and cooperation among the students, faculty, and members of the legal profession.

Housing

Limited dormitory accommodations are available for law students. All students desiring to live in campus housing are required to complete an application and submit it with a $50 nonrefundable application fee and $100 security deposit. Payments should be made in the form of a cashier’s check or money order payable to Southern University, then sent to:

Department of Residence Life and Housing
PO Box 9460
Baton Rouge, LA 70813

Phone: 225.771.3590

Other Student Organizations

  • American Constitution Society
  • Black Law Students Association
  • Business Entrepreneurship Leadership Association
  • Business Law Society
  • Christians at Law Society
  • Criminal Law Society
  • Cyber Law and Security
  • Delta Theta Phi Law Fraternity, International
  • Environmental Law Society
  • Evening Law Student Division
  • Federalist Society
  • Gay Alliance for Legal Equality
  • Health Law Society
  • Intellectual Property Law Association
  • International Law Students Association
  • Latino Law Student Association
  • Law Students Anonymous
  • Law Student Division, ABA
  • Law Students for Reproductive Justice
  • Louisiana Association for Justice
  • Louisiana Trial Lawyers Association
  • Maritime Law Society
  • Moot Court Board
  • National Lawyers Guild
  • Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, International
  • Phi Delta Phi International Legal Fraternity
  • Public Interest Law Society
  • Real Estate Law Society
  • Southern Law Running Club
  • Southern Student Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Southern Student Trial Lawyers Association
  • Sports and Entertainment Legal Association
  • Student Animal Legal Defense Fund
  • Thurgood Marshall Club
  • Trial Advocacy Board
  • Veterans Law Organization
  • Women in Law

Career Services

The Office of Career Services assists students and alumni in obtaining employment opportunities. Information on internships and clerkships before graduation is available through this office. The office maintains a resource center directed toward résumé and cover letter writing, interview skills, and legal career opportunities. The Law Center is a member of NALP—The Association for Legal Career Professionals—and subscribes to its standards for promoting career planning and development activities.

Admitted Applicant Profile

25-75% UGPA Range at Southern:

2.84 to 3.42

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Southern:

143 to 146

120
135
150
165
180

25-75% UGPA Range at Southern:

2.84 to 3.42

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Southern:

143 to 146

120
135
150
165
180

25-75% UGPA Range at Southern:

2.84 to 3.42

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Southern:

143 to 146

120
135
150
165
180

Contact Information

Department of Admission and Recruitment, PO Box 9294,
Baton Rouge, LA 70813,
United States