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October 2017
October 18, 2017

LSU Law graduates nominated for Federal, Judicial appointments

Mark Wesley Menezes nominated to be Under Secretary of the Department of Energy

Mark Menezes

LSU Law 1981 graduate Mark Menezes has been nominated to serve as Under Secretary of the United States Department of Energy.

Menezes is Vice President of Federal Relations for Berkshire Hathaway Energy, a diversified energy company.  Before joining Berkshire, Menezes was a partner at Hunton & Williams heading its energy practice group.

Prior to Hunton, he was Chief Counsel, U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce, for the House Majority during the enactment of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Before joining the committee, he was Vice President with Central and South West Corporation and upon its merger with American Electric Power Company, served as vice president and associate general counsel.

Menezes is a graduate of Louisiana State University receiving both his undergraduate and juris doctor degrees. He is a charter member of the Advisory Council for LSU Energy Law Center.

Two LSU Law Center graduates nominated to U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Kurt D. Engelhardt

Kyle Duncan

Two LSU Law Center graduates – Kyle Duncan and Chief U.S. District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt – have been nominated to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Duncan is a 1997 graduate of the LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center and practices law in Washington, D.C. Engelhardt, a 1985 graduate, is currently chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

“This is a wonderful day for LSU Law. We are proud to have two graduates nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit,” LSU Law Dean Tom Galligan said. “I had the pleasure of teaching Kyle Duncan, and he was a very fine student while at LSU Law. We are equally honored to have Chief Judge Englehardt nominated in recognition of his distinguished career and service to the judiciary.”

Duncan is former general counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. He also formerly served as Louisiana’s first Solicitor General, representing public officials and the state before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Fifth Circuit, the Louisiana Supreme Court and federal district courts.

Engelhardt joined the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana in December 2001 on the nomination of President George W. Bush. He became chief judge of the New Orleans-based court two years ago. Prior to his judicial service, Engelhardt was a partner at the insurance company defense firm of Hailey, McNamara, Hall, Larmann & Papale in Metairie, La.

In addition to Duncan and Engelhardt, President Donald Trump nominated two others – Texas Supreme Court Justice Don R. Willett and former Texas Solicitor General James C. Ho – for spots on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The New Orleans-based 5th Circuit hears appeals from Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi.

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October 18, 2017

LSU Law Public Interest Law Society helps Lone Star Legal Aid after Harvey flooding

On Aug. 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey struck the Texas Coast. The flooding that resulted caused an electrical short, explosion and fire in the building that housed Lone Star’s Houston main office. Lone Star Legal Aid is the organization which provides civil legal representation for indigents in East Texas.

That flooding and fire caused the complete loss of all of Lone Star’s physical equipment – all of their furniture (desks, chairs, waiting area furniture, etc), all of their electrical equipment (computers, printers, telephone equipment, etc.) and all of their office supplies (paper, pens, sticky notes, file folders, hole punchers, etc.)

After the flood waters subsided, the Law Center’s Public Interest Law Society (“PILS”) reached out to Lone Star to find out what they needed.  The answer was simple – Lone Star needed everything that a law firm would need to function.   With help from the Law Center administration, the Baton Rouge Bar Association, the Louisiana State Bar Association, and Skip Phillips of Taylor Porter, PILS set out to spread the word and gather surplus and unused office furniture, computers and office supplies of all kinds from lawyers and firms in Baton Rouge and nearby areas.

The effort was successful.  Many law firms made significant donations, including: Taylor Porter Brooks & Phillips LLP; Hurlburt, Monrose & Ernest LLP of Lafayette; and Legacy Estate and Elder Law of Louisiana. Preis PLC, also of Lafayette, made a particularly large donation of office furniture, chairs and printers. Other groups and businesses also contributed, including: Louisiana State University; the students and faculty of the LSU Law Center; BARBRI Co. and their Law center representatives; Emprint Moran Printing; Capital Area Computer Recycling and the staff of the Louisiana Law Institute.

On Oct. 6, the Law Center PILS caravan reached Houston, including a 27 foot U-Haul truck, a pickup truck and four SUVs, all filled to the brim with furniture equipment and supplies for Lone Star Legal Aid. Through the generosity of many, PILS was able to deliver more than promised, and far more than staff at Lone Star expected.

Thanks go to all of the LSU students and others who contributed in so many ways:

  • Patrice Pippens and her 1L crew  – Derek Hoffman, Chris Lamy, Hannah Mayeaux and Bret Shallenberger – who picked up most of the donations in and around Baton Rouge;
  • Will Patrick, Chris Handy, Eli Medina, Briana Falcon, Davi Clement, Endya Hash and Victoria Heyer, who helped load the front half of the U-Haul Thursday night and the other vehicles Friday morning;
  • David Albano, Nick Algero & Chris Guelzow traveled with the caravan to Lafayette, to load the rest of the U-Haul truck; and
  • MJ Hernandez, John Devlin, Connor Fagan, Cody Frye, Rachel Warren, Chris Handy, Gabriella Diaz, Evan McMichael, Mary Grace Pollet (and her mom), Bret Shallenberger and Neemesh Chheda, who drove or rode to Lafayette to pick up the last donations and on to Houston to deliver our goods to Lone Star Friday afternoon.

Particular thanks go to MJ Hernandez, who organized the entire event, and Dean Tom Galligan, Albin Murtagh Jeff Brooks, Pam Hancock, Maggie Thomas, Lee Ann Lockridge and Lauren Ferand, all of whom provided crucial assistance and support.

 

Watch a video made by Lone Star Legal Aid

 

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October 6, 2017

LSU Law passage rate increases on July 2017 Bar Exam

Nearly 84 percent of LSU Law first-time test takers and more than 80 percent of all LSU Law test takers passed the July 2017 Louisiana bar exam, according to results released Oct. 6 by the Committee on Bar Admissions of the Supreme Court of Louisiana.

Among LSU Law first-time test takers in July 2017, 83.92 percent successfully passed the exam. LSU Law graduates exceeded the overall state average (79.57 percent) by four percentage points. Of all LSU Law test takers, 80.54 percent successfully passed the exam, exceeding the state average (72.09 percent) by eight percentage points.

“Congratulations to all who passed the Louisiana State Bar Examination. The exam is rigorous and challenging, and we are proud of all who passed,” LSU Law Dean Tom Galligan said. “The LSU Law Center will, as always, look at the results to determine how we can do even better. We will not be happy until 100 percent of our graduates pass the bar on their first attempt.”

LSU Law’s passage rate of first-time and overall test takers improved in July 2017 from a year ago. In July 2016,  more than 81 percent of LSU Law first-time test takers and 77 percent of all LSU Law test takers passed the bar exam.

“Historically, LSU Law has had the highest July bar passage of the state’s four law schools,” Galligan said.  LSU Law students had achieved the state’s highest passage rate in 24 of the previous 27 summer bar exams.

“We are proud of our record; it has stood the test of time.  But we don’t own that top spot. We have to earn it, and this time we didn’t,” Galligan added. “Today we congratulate all of the law schools on their success.  At LSU, we will continue to do the best job we can to train outstanding lawyers for our state and nation.”

Bar passage is required before law school graduates may practice in Louisiana. The results include the percentage of examinees passing the bar who graduated from the state’s public and private law schools and the percentage passing who graduated from out-of-state law schools.

The report is available at http://www.lasc.org/press_room/bar_exam_results.asp

The results for all first time test takers are as follows:

SCHOOL # APPLICANTS PASSED FAILED
LSU 137 115 (83.94%) 22 (16.06%)
LOYOLA 95 83 (87.37%) 12 (12.63%)
SOUTHERN 97 57 (58.76%) 40 (41.24%)
TULANE 56 51 (91.07%) 5 (8.93%)
OTHER 75 60 (80.00%) 15 (20.00%)
TOTAL 460 366 (79.57%) 94 (20.43%)

The results for all test takers are as follows:

SCHOOL # APPLICANTS PASSED FAILED
LSU 149 120 (80.54%) 29 (19.46%)
LOYOLA 114 93 (81.58%) 21 (18.42%)
SOUTHERN 136 68 (50.00%) 68 (50.00%)
TULANE 64 55 (85.94%) 9 (14.06%)
OTHER 96 67 (69.79%) 29 (30.21%)
TOTAL 559 403 (72.09%) 156 (27.91%)
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October 2, 2017

Two LSU Law Center graduates nominated to U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Kurt D. Engelhardt

Kyle Duncan

Two LSU Law Center graduates – Kyle Duncan and Chief U.S. District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt – have been nominated to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Duncan is a 1997 graduate of the LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center and practices law in Washington, D.C. Engelhardt, a 1985 graduate, is currently chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

“This is a wonderful day for LSU Law. We are proud to have two graduates nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit,” LSU Law Dean Tom Galligan said. “I had the pleasure of teaching Kyle Duncan, and he was a very fine student while at LSU Law. We are equally honored to have Chief Judge Englehardt nominated in recognition of his distinguished career and service to the judiciary.”

Duncan is former general counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. He also formerly served as Louisiana’s first Solicitor General, representing public officials and the state before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Fifth Circuit, the Louisiana Supreme Court and federal district courts.

Engelhardt joined the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana in December 2001 on the nomination of President George W. Bush. He became chief judge of the New Orleans-based court two years ago. Prior to his judicial service, Engelhardt was a partner at the insurance company defense firm of Hailey, McNamara, Hall, Larmann & Papale in Metairie, La.

In addition to Duncan and Engelhardt, President Donald Trump nominated two others – Texas Supreme Court Justice Don R. Willett and former Texas Solicitor General James C. Ho – for spots on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The New Orleans-based 5th Circuit hears appeals from Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi.

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