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December 2018
December 19, 2018

2018 in Review: The top 10 LSU Law stories of the year

The year 2018 flew by for us at the LSU Law Center. From student honors and graduation, to alumni achievements, to the welcoming of new faculty, the year was packed with big achievements.

Below are the top 10 stories from LSU Law this year:

 

headshot of man with American flag in background

1. 2015 LSU Law graduate Ben Aguiñaga selected for U.S. Supreme Court clerkship

Ben Aguiñaga, a 2015 graduate of the LSU Law Center, was selected to serve as a law clerk to United States Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito for the 2018-19 term of the Court. Aguiñaga became just the second LSU Law graduate to serve as a Supreme Court law clerk. Michelle Stratton, a 2009 graduate, clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas for the 2011-12 term.


2 photos of a group of students holding awards

2. LSU Law captures Space Law, Admiralty moot court national championships

Two mock trial teams from the LSU Law Center won first place in a pair of national competitions on March 24. LSU Law students Zach Miller and Max Roberts were crowned champions of the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition’s North American regional rounds in Washington, D.C. Participating for the first time in the competition, the team also took home the award for Best New Team. Also, LSU Law’s team of Jessie Finley, Sara Kuebel and Jacob Cunningham won the 2018 John R. Brown National Admiralty Law Moot Court Competition in Seattle. The national-championship-winning team also won the competition’s Maritime Law Association of the United States Award for the Best Brief.


a row of law text books on a shelf

3. LSU Law students achieve state’s highest passage rate on July 2018 Bar Exam

LSU Law Center students achieved the state’s highest passage rate among all examinees on the latest Louisiana State Bar Exam and among first time takers, according to results released Oct. 5 by the Committee on Bar Admissions of the Supreme Court of Louisiana. The results are for test takers who sat for the statewide bar examination in July 2018. Of all LSU Law test takers in July 2018, 87.41 percent successfully passed the exam. LSU Law graduates exceeded the overall state average (68.69 percent) by nearly 19 percentage points. Among LSU graduates taking the bar exam for the first time, 92.13 percent passed, exceeding the state average (76.24 percent) by nearly 16 percentage points.


female graduate smiles while two male faculty members place hood on her

4. 172 students receive degrees at 2018 LSU Law Center Commencement ceremony

The LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center awarded degrees to 172 students during Commencement ceremonies held Friday, June 1, at Pete Maravich Assembly Center, with Congressman and U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise delivering the Commencement address. LSU Law’s 2018 graduating class represented 30 Louisiana parishes, 16 U.S. states and five countries. Women made up 57 percent of the class, and men made up 43 percent. LSU Law awarded the Juris Doctor degree to 164 students, with 138 of those students also earning the Graduate Diploma in Comparative Law and four earning the Graduate Certificate in Energy Law and Policy. Eight students received the Master of Laws degree.


front of LSU Law Center at dusk with pink and purple cloud in background

5. LSU Law Center moves up 8 spots in 2019 U.S. News and World Report rankings of law schools

The LSU Law Center moved up eight spots to No. 88 in the latest law school rankings released March 20 by “U.S. News and World Report.” The Law Center remained in the top 100 law schools in the nation in the closely watched rankings, moving up from No. 96 in the previous year. More than 200 accredited public and private law schools are reviewed by the magazine. LSU Law is one of 52 public law schools in the country to be ranked in the top 100. LSU Law entered the “U.S. News” Top 100 for the first time in 2004.


students and faculty stand on the front steps of the LSU Law Center

6. 16 LSU Law students selected for induction into The Order of the Coif

Sixteen members of the LSU Law Class of 2018 were inducted into The Order of the Coif in a ceremony June 1 in the McKernan Auditorium. The Order of the Coif is a national honorary law fraternity. The Louisiana chapter was established in 1942, and its purpose is to stimulate scholarly work of the highest order and to foster and promote a high standard of professional conduct. Each year, the local chapter elects to membership from the highest ten percent of the senior class, those students who are deemed qualified.


Headshots of two women and four men on a purple background

7. LSU Law Center honors 2018 Distinguished Alumna/us of the Year and Distinguished Achievement Honorees

The LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center honored Chief Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson and Judge John deGravelles as the 2018 Distinguished Alumna/us of the Year. Jane Politz Brandt, James A. Brown, Thomas M. Hayes III, and Harry J. “Skip” Philips, Jr. were named the Distinguished Achievement honorees. The six LSU Law alumni were honored at a ceremony on Friday, March 2, at the Loews Hotel in New Orleans.


headshot photos of 9 LSU Law students

8. Nine LSU Law students selected for induction into The Order of the Barristers

Nine members of the LSU Law Class of 2018 were inducted May 30 into the Order of the Barristers. The Order of Barristers is a national honorary organization whose purpose is the encouragement of oral advocacy and brief writing skills through effective law school oral advocacy programs. Students who have excelled in moot court, mock trial, brief writing, oral advocacy, and other advocacy programs throughout their time at the LSU Law Center are selected to join the Order.


A ship wheel and other instruments with shipping passports in background

9. Jerry Dodson donates shipping memorabilia to pique LSU Law students’ interest in maritime law

Jerry Dodson’s collection of maritime memorabilia started in 1977 when the LSU Law graduate bought an antique ship wheel and compass in Greece and brought it to his Baton Rouge office. Forty years later, the collection has grown to paintings, a ship bell, ship figureheads, and a set of shipping passports signed by 18 of the first 19 United States Presidents. The 1966 grad donated the maritime art collection to the LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center, where they adorn the first-floor lobby.


headshots of three women and a man on a gold background

10. LSU Law welcomes new faculty for Fall 2018 semester

The Paul M. Hebert Law Center welcomed four new faculty members starting in the Fall 2018 semesters — Lisa Avalos, Nicholas Bryner, Lécia Vicente, and Madalyn Wasilczuk.

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