Common + Civil Law
The LSU Law Center’s program of legal education offers a rich curriculum leading to a degree in the common law, with an option to earn a degree in the Civil Law through a deep exploration of comparative subjects.
All LSU law students must complete the requirements for the traditional Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree by earning a total of 94 credit hours. Students may also earn the optional Graduate Diploma in Comparative Law (D.C.L.) degree by completing some fifteen credit hours as part of the 94 credit hour program. These courses may be selected from a list of designated D.C.L. courses.
Specific details of the requirements for the J.D. degree and the D.C.L. diploma may be found in the LSU Law Center Catalog.
In the first year, Contracts, Torts, Federal Civil Procedure, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, and Legal Writing and Research are required, as well as Obligations, Civil Law Property, , and Legal Traditions, a study of the traditions and methodologies of the civil law and common law systems. After the first year, students have freedom to explore a wide variety of upper-level courses in a sequence that suits their professional interests. Students who chose to earn the D.C.L. must select 15 credit hours of course work from a grouping of designated courses with a global, comparative, or civil law focus.
Students make their decision to pursue the D.C.L. during their second or third year. Students who do not wish to pursue the degree must file a notice of intent with the Law Registrar. Should a student who opted out of earning the D.C.L. subsequently decide to complete the requirements for the D.C.L., the student must notify the Law Registrar of the change prior to graduation.
LSU Law’s joint J.D./D.C.L. program is designed to strengthen the Law Center’s leadership role as curator of the Louisiana Civil Code and the Civil Law generally; extend recognition to Law Center graduates, who, in order to master both the Civil and the Common Law Systems, must satisfy one of the nation’s highest course credit hour requirements; and position the Law Center as a leader among American law schools in the globalization of its curriculum.