Law School for Shreveport Is Approved
Update: A representative from Southern University reached out to clarify the Board of Regent's ruling. At present time, a Southern University Law School has not been approved for Shreveport, only Southern University Law Center pilot program. According to a release from the University, much like other Universities establishing new law centers, the pilot program will hopefully lead to a long term campus. The decision to move into the next phase will be dependent upon multiple factors and will require a much greater investment from the community. You can read the full proposal here.
The State Board of Regents has voted unanimously to bring a law school to Shreveport. It will take several years to get it up and going, but the pilot program called “Semester in Shreveport" could begin in 2022.
It is a 3-phased approach with phase 1 aimed at allowing students in their final year of law school to complete up to 16 hours of courses and prepare for the bar exam in Shreveport. The program in phase 1 can accommodate 40-50 students.
Phase 2 would be implemented in the fall of 2023. Students could complete 17-41 hours at the local campus. This phase would involve bringing in faculty and other components to accommodate the program.
Phase 3 would be implemented in the fall of 2025. At this point, the local program would be considered a branch campus of the Southern University Law Center. 2/3 of a students hours could be completed in Shreveport. This would involve a facilities plan and have budget implications.
During the Board of Regents meeting, several members made it clear that this program will depend on funding from the local community. The program will cost 8-10 million a year with half of that coming from tuition. The other half would have to come from local stakeholders.
Another measure of success will be bar passage rates. The goal is an 85% passage rate.
Dr. Ray Belton the President-Chancellor of Southern University says “It is clear there is excitement about this proposal. We will be able to test the market to see if the resources are there and we can move to advance the program.“
Chancellor John Pierre of the Southern University Law Center says “This will bring legal education to NWLA in a way that is measured and could ultimately prove to be sucessful and could be a model for how we expand higher education. I believe this plan is the best opportunity to achieve success.”