Questions about LSU Law

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
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Questions about LSU Law

Postby Gold188 » Thu Dec 20, 2007 10:16 pm

Does anybody go to LSU and if so, could you explain the difference in the curriculum? I've been told that LSU is different from most schools in that it teaches Civil Law as opposed to common law. I was recently admitted and was wondering if I'd be able to go there, and come back and take the Florida Bar with no problem. Would all that Civil stuff screw me up? Would I still be able to apply to the JAG corps? Let me know if you know.


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Postby hurley325 » Mon Dec 24, 2007 12:26 am

I have applied and been admitted there as well.

From what I understand, most classes emphasize the Civil Law/Louisiana interpretation of different issues in the law and then explain a little about how that compares to the common law. I believe that there was one class that you were allowed to choose between two options, one that focused on the common law and one that focused on civil law (but I'm not 100% sure on that).

I actually really liked the law building, campus, and Baton Rouge, when I visited. It will probably be one of my cheaper options when it comes time to deciding on a school as well, so it is definitely an option for me, unless I get an acceptance from Tulane, in which I can almost guarantee where I will be going next year. Snooping around on LSN, it looks like we have applied to a bunch of the same schools (LSU, KU, SLU, UF, OU, Houston). Good luck at all those schools, even though it looks like you have gotten decisions at most of them already.

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Re: Questions about LSU Law

Postby arich24 » Tue Jan 15, 2008 2:38 pm

You just have to be careful going to a Louisiana school and then taking the bar elsewhere as Louisiana law is based on the Napoleonic code! Although, b/c of this, they say, if you can pass the Louisiana bar, you can pass any:)!

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Re: Questions about LSU Law

Postby Texasapp » Sat Sep 19, 2009 2:40 pm

It's really not that different at all. You take one class that emphasizes civil law during the first year. Torts emphasizes Louisiana because most Tort law comes from the state. That will happen wherever you go.

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Re: Questions about LSU Law

Postby SpencerPratt » Sat Sep 19, 2009 10:22 pm

Do Tulane and Loyola emphasis both sides as much as LSU?

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Re: Questions about LSU Law

Postby johnadams » Sat Sep 19, 2009 10:45 pm

at tulane, you choose common law or civil law your first year, which leaves you taking contracts II and Common Law Property or Obligations I and Civil Law Property, or something like that.

At LSU, you must take the civil law classes. Not sure about loyola. I think you choose there, too.

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Re: Questions about LSU Law

Postby Anonymous Loser » Sat Sep 19, 2009 10:46 pm

Texasapp wrote:It's really not that different at all. You take one class that emphasizes civil law during the first year. Torts emphasizes Louisiana because most Tort law comes from the state. That will happen wherever you go.

Isn't there a required Civil Law Property class as well? Lousiana property law is quite different than the common law: I think figuring out future interests and the RAP in a bar examination course would be difficult if you didn't cover these topics in law school.

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Re: Questions about LSU Law

Postby soundgardener » Sun Sep 20, 2009 5:10 pm

arich24 wrote:You just have to be careful going to a Louisiana school and then taking the bar elsewhere as Louisiana law is based on the Napoleonic code! Although, b/c of this, they say, if you can pass the Louisiana bar, you can pass any:)!

This may be nitpicky, but Louisiana law is not based on Napoleonic code. The Napoleonic Code was not enacted until 1804 while the US acquired the Louisiana purchase in 1803. Louisiana law and Napoleonic Code share the same heritage of Roman law as opposed to English common law.

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Re: Questions about LSU Law

Postby law dog 2013 » Sun Sep 20, 2009 6:17 pm

As a LA resident on the verge of attending law school, I've been doing a lot of thinking and research along these lines. The decision to study primarily civil or common law obviously has some long term career consequences. LSU's program addresses the dilemma head on by requiring its students to study both systems, consequently requiring additional courses and awarding a J.D./D.C.L. (degree in common law). As the implied the the degrees awarded, the emphasis is indeed placed on civil law. It seems LSU law grads who practice in states other than Louisiana are not unduly hindered by their studies in civil law, but I really don't know. However, if not practicing in LA or international law, courses in civil law would be, from a practical point of view at least, essentially a waste of time and effort. These additional courses typically occupy one summer, also causing some potentially serious scheduling conflicts (if one were attempting to write onto the law review at the end of 1L or pursuing summer employment--LSU law students don't typically get Biglaw summer associate positions).

Employment prospects are good in Texas and in LA are probably better than from any other LA school. (LSU has by far the most practicing lawyers in the state, and most Tulane grads go elsewhere.) Baton Rouge is a bad ass college town, and New Orleans is only an hour away...

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Re: Questions about LSU Law

Postby gittar03 » Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:51 pm

I'm currently attending LSU law.

During my first semester, we were required to take Legal Traditions, which was an introductory course into the civil law as well as common law. It was a class pretty much geared to convince you why civil law is superior to common law (mostly because it has been codified and relatively "predictable.") I wasn't convinced, but then again, I'm fairly apathetic to this debate.

My general feeling is that if you intend on practicing in Louisiana (or at least open to the option), you couldn't pick a better law school to attend. Louisiana law is a mix of civil and common law and thus graduating from one of these law schools will place you into a market that is generally monopolized by Louisiana law grads. Students from outside of Louisiana coming back to practice will have a harder time acclimating to what you would have learned had you attended school in this state.

Now that being said, LSU has just underwent a "significant" chance to its degree requirements. Instead of 97 credits to graduate, it is now 94. Not a huge difference, but this means that you can finally graduate in 3 years instead of 3.5 (summers were mandatory before this was enacted.) All this happened this past semester in 2009.

If you want to attend LSU, feel free to send me a message and I'll get back to you when I can. I'm here and haven't regretted it.

Best of luck to all of you.

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Re: Questions about LSU Law

Postby acagle » Tue Mar 23, 2010 12:41 am

I am having the same problem. I currently live in southeast Texas. I have been accepted to LSU, but I don't know if it would prepare me for the bar in other states. My husband and I still aren't sure where we want to be permanently and I want to keep my options open. I'm still waiting to hear back from some other schools before I make my final decision, but the deposit deadline is fast approaching.

How good is LSU with scholarships?

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Re: Questions about LSU Law

Postby leejh38 » Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:28 am

It's a bit of a misunderstanding about how LSU works because of the Civil Law in LA. What you find in LA is that many of the schools do a "tracking" system. Example, at Tulane you have to pick either the Civil Law or the Common Law; there is no cross studying. LSU differs in that they require a minimum of 15 credit hours in the Civil Law. 1L year, first semester you'll take Legal Traditions (as described above), Contracts, Torts, Crim, CivPro I, and Legal Writing. 1L, second semester you'll take Obligations, Civil Law Prop, Crim Procedure I (called ACJ I), CivPro II, ConLaw I, and Legal Writing. But then, as you go through the rest of law school, you're given relative freedom to take whatever you want. Evidence and Legal Professions are the only required courses that you have to get at some point after 1L year. You are given discretion on which Civil Law courses you want to take outside of 1L year. LSU offers every Common Law course you would want to take at any other law school.

So, if you're from outside of LA (as I am) and plan to practice outside of LA (as I do) LSU is not going to hinder you from being able to do that because of its Civil Law twist. You will be perfectly fine leaving the state and taking the bar exam in a common law state. LSU exports a lot of graduates to TX and they integrate just fine. I've looked at it almost like a bonus. There are not a lot of Civil Law trained attys outside of LA. So if you're planning on practicing outside of LA, along the Gulf Coast for instance, there probably aren't many lawyers who can claim knowledge of the Civil Law. You can use this niche knowledge to corner the market, or convince an employer that your expertise can be utilized in any case involving LA law. The civil law is an alien concept to American attys; its really not difficult, and in many ways its much cleaner than common law.

Bottom line, if you're looking at LSU for law school, you shouldn't worry about being able to leave LA for wherever. You'll be more than prepared to take the bar and practice in any of the 50 states.

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