The LSU Law Center has announced a formal change in the name of the Bachelor of Civil Law (B.C.L.) degree, awarded to LSU Law graduates along with the Juris Doctor (J.D.) since 2001. The degree will now be awarded as the Juris Doctor (J.D.) Graduate Diploma in Civil Law (D.C.L.). The change will be effective with the graduating class in Spring 2009.
The name change is simply that … a change in name only. “The joint degree remains as rigorous as ever, and no changes have been made to the substance of the course work required for the D.C.L.,” said Chancellor Jack Weiss.
Why the name change? The accreditation principles of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), a higher education accrediting agency, requires the change because a bachelor’s degree is not appropriate for the type of course work taken by LSU Law students. The Law Center is currently engaged in a renewal of its accreditation through SACS.
The D.C.L. will more appropriately reflect the graduate-level course work earned by LSU Law students in the civil law area, according to Cheney Joseph, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. The D.C.L will be awarded as a second graduate-level degree for recognition of the academic hours taken beyond those required by American Bar Association for the J.D. degree.
The Law Center became the only law school in the United States to award the B.C.L. when initiated in fall of 2001. The LSU Law Center is also one of only two schools within the entire Western hemisphere to award the joint degree.
The Law Center maintains an active program of learning, teaching, and research in the two great legal systems of the Western World, offering a rich set of Law Center course offerings in both Common and Civil Law.