Most of the United States operates on common law, a legal system that uses court decisions (case law) to expand and interpret the rules laid out in statutes. However, Louisiana's legal system is based on civil law, a relic of the state's history as a French colony.
Law students in Louisiana have a unique opportunity to study both common law and civil law. The state is home to four accredited law schools, two in Baton Rouge and two in New Orleans.
Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center
The Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center ("LSU Law") is a public law school located in the state's capital, Baton Rouge. Located on the eastern banks of the Mississippi River, the city buzzes with the youthful energy of the Louisiana State University and several other colleges located in the city.
LSU's legal clinics and field placement opportunities give students hands-on experience in various practice areas, including:
- Juvenile Defense
- Wrongful Convictions
- State and Local Government
Tuition at LSU comes in slightly under the average for public law schools at about $24,000 a year, making it a good value option in the state. Students from LSU also achieve impressive bar passage rates — more than 80% of 2021 graduates passed the bar on their first try.
Southern University Law Center
Southern University Law Center ("SULC") is also located in Baton Rouge. SULC opened in 1948 as a law school specifically for Black students and is now one of the most diverse law schools in the country.
In SULC's unique Disaster Law clinic, students assist clients with FEMA registration, insurance claims, and other challenges that stem from natural disasters. Or if technology is more your speed, you can get hands-on experience in business and intellectual property matters in the Technology and Entrepreneurship clinic.
SULC tuition is much lower than many law schools, about $18,000 a year for Louisiana residents. But SULC grads have historically had slightly below-average bar passage rates. In 2021, around 63% of first-time test takers passed the bar exam.
Loyola University College of Law
Loyola University College of Law ("Loyola College of Law") is a private Jesuit college located in New Orleans and best known for its well-respected healthcare law program.
Students interested in environmental work can gain practical experience in Loyola's Environmental Law & Policy Lab. And the school's solo practice incubator program helps students interested in starting their own firm build a network and get feedback on their work. The program even provides office space to meet with clients!
If you can find time away from your legal studies, you will find plenty to do in New Orleans. No city in North America can quite compete with New Orleans when it comes to food, culture, history, and architecture.
Loyola is among a growing number of law schools accepting GRE scores for admissions instead of the LSAT and the only school in Louisiana that will accept a GRE score.
Tuition at Loyola is on the higher end for Louisiana, about $50,000 a year for full-time students.
Tulane University Law School
If you're looking for the highest-ranked Louisiana law school, look no further. Tulane University Law is a private school located in New Orleans. Tulane Law opened its doors in 1847, making it one of the oldest law schools in the country. As part of the Tulane University system, which has a student body of about 11,000, Tulane Law offers students a rich campus life.
Tulane is world-renowned for international and comparative law, thanks to Louisiana's unique civil law system. In fact, the Tulane Law Review was the first law journal in the country to focus on civil and comparative law.
As you might expect from a prestigious private school, tuition at Tulane is much higher than other law schools in Louisiana at around $60,000 a year. Many Tulane grads get hired at large law firms or take on federal clerkships.
Learn More About Law School
No matter where you go to law school, you will need lots of information as you proceed in your studies and legal career. FindLaw's Law Student section can provide helpful advice on study habits, extracurriculars, networking, and more from people who have been through it.