Southern University Law Center

Coordinates: 30°31′30″N 91°11′40″W / 30.5249°N 91.1945°W / 30.5249; -91.1945
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Southern University Law Center
School typePublic law school
DeanJohn K. Pierre
LocationBaton Rouge, Louisiana, United States
30°31′30″N 91°11′40″W / 30.5249°N 91.1945°W / 30.5249; -91.1945
Enrollment452 Full- and 170 Part-Time[2]
Faculty36 Full- and 99 Part-Time[2]
USNWR ranking147-193 (bottom 25%)[3]
Bar pass rate57.9% (2022 first-time takers)[4]

Southern University Law Center is a public law school in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It is part of the historically black Southern University System and was opened for instruction in September 1947. It was authorized by the Louisiana State Board of Education as a Law School for blacks to be located at Southern University, a historically black college, and to open for the 1947-1948 academic session.

The school offers 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 at Southern. SULC's students 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 British common-law tradition.

A study-abroad program is offered in London, in which students take courses with international subject matter. SULC publishes two legal journals: its traditional Southern University Law Review and The Journal of Race, Gender and Poverty.

According to SULC's 2019 ABA-required disclosures, 43.9% of the Class of 2019 obtained full-time, long-term, bar passage-required employment ten months after graduation, excluding solo practitioners.[5]


In 1946, Charles J. Hatfield, III, an African-American veteran of Louisiana, applied to Louisiana State University Law School, the only state school that offered a law degree. Although he was academically qualified, he was rejected because of his race, as the state system was segregated. Hatfield filed suit against the state for rejecting his application. While he did not win in court, the State Board of Education decided to found a law school for African Americans.[6]

The State Board of Education responded by deciding at its January 10, 1947, meeting to found a law school at Southern University to serve African-American students, to open in September of that year. 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 in the state. The first dean of the law school was Aguinaldo Alfonso Lenoir, Sr. 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. The building that houses the law center is named A.A. Lenoir Hall after its first dean.

From 1972 to 1974, the law school dean was Louis Berry, a civil rights attorney originally from Alexandria, Louisiana.[7]

Today, the law school is one of only two public law schools in the state. Its student body is the most diverse in the state of Louisiana.[citation needed]


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.


The Southern University Law Center 2018 first year class had an admission rate of 60.71% with 46.09% of admitted students enrolling, enrolled students having an average LSAT score of 145 and average GPA of 2.99.[2]

Clinical program[edit]

At Southern University Law Center, clinical education is available to second and third-year 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[edit]

Housed in the 93,400-square-foot (8,680 m2) 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 2019 ABA-required disclosures, 43.87% of the Class of 2019 obtained full-time, long-term, bar passage-required employment ten months after graduation, excluding solo-practitioners.[5] SULC's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 19.4%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2018 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job nine months after graduation.[8]

ABA Employment Summary for 2019 Graduates[5]
Employment Status Percentage
Employed - Bar Passage Required
Employed - J.D. Advantage
Employed - Professional Position
Employed - Non-Professional Position
Employed - Law School/University Funded
Employed - Undeterminable
Pursuing Graduate Degree Full Time
Employed - Start Date Deferred
Unemployed - Not Seeking
Unemployed - Seeking
Employment Status Unknown
Total of 155 Graduates


The total cost of full-time attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at SULC for the 2019-2020 academic year is $19,010 for Louisiana Residents and $31,610 for non-residents.[9] The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $156,305 for residents and $205,106 for non-residents.[9]


  • Ranking among the "Best Law Schools for Public Service" in 2012 by PreLaw Magazine.[10]
  • Ranking #148-194 in 2020 Best Law Schools by U.S. News & World Report.[11]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Law School Profiles". U.S. News & World Report. Archived from the original on 5 April 2011. Retrieved 1 April 2011.
  2. ^ a b c "ABA School Data" (PDF). Retrieved 22 May 2020.
  3. ^ Southern University Law Center." U.S. News & World Report
  4. ^ "ABA - Bar Passage Outcomes". Retrieved 2023-09-27.
  5. ^ a b c "Section of Legal Education, Employment Summary Report" (PDF). SULC. Retrieved 22 May 2020.
  6. ^ Miriam Childs, "Chief Honored at SULC 70th Anniversary" Archived 2018-06-19 at the Wayback Machine, De Novo (Newsletter of the Law Library of Louisiana), Vol. 14, Issue 3, Fall 2017; accessed 18 June 2018
  7. ^ Leona W. Smith, St. Landry-Up From Slavery Then Came the Fire!!, p. 33. Bloomington, Indiana: Author House, 2011. 2011-09-21. ISBN 978-1-4567-6032-8. Retrieved July 13, 2013.
  8. ^ "Southern University Law Center Profile". Law School Transparency. Retrieved 25 Feb 2020.
  9. ^ a b "Law School Transparency SULC". Law School Transparency. Retrieved 25 Feb 2020.
  10. ^ "10 Best Law Schools for Public Service". U.S. News & World Report. Archived from the original on 14 March 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
  11. ^ "Southern University Law Center". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  12. ^ "Judge Jeff Cox". Archived from the original on May 17, 2014. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
  13. ^ "Randal L. Gaines' Biography". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved May 4, 2015. {{cite web}}: Check |url= value (help)[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ "Richard Gallot, Jr. Biography". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  15. ^ "Edmond Jordan Announces Candidacy for Louisiana House District 29". July 15, 2015. Archived from the original on May 8, 2016. Retrieved May 15, 2016.
  16. ^ "Rep. Sherman Q. Mack". Archived from the original on May 27, 2011. Retrieved May 18, 2012.
  17. ^ "Kanawha delegate Poore says she'll run for Congress - Statehouse News - Charleston Daily Mail - West Virginia News and Sports". July 9, 2013. Archived from the original on July 10, 2013. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
  18. ^ "Ledricka Thierry's Biography". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved May 12, 2015.

External links[edit]