Law Center Receives Congressional Appropriation for Public Health and Latin American Commercial Law Programs

Federal funding has been received to expand two important initiatives of the Law Center — the Public Health Law and Latin American Commercial Law Programs. “These initiatives address areas of state and national significance,” according to Chancellor John Costonis. The half million dollar appropriation was secured through efforts spearheaded by Representative Billy Tauzin’s office and supported by other members of the Louisiana delegation.

The goal of the Public Health Law program is to encourage a better understanding of public health law by lawyers and public health professionals. The program will focus on two key areas of public health concern: traditional public health law, including communicable disease control and sanitation, with an emphasis on bioterrorism preparedness; and, management of obesity as a public health problem. Law Center Professor Edward Richards, program director, said, “The project will produce materials to teach principles of public health law and to encourage students to seek careers in public health law.” Additional materials will be developed for reference, self-study and professional continuing education.

The Latin American Commercial Law Program will help to facilitate economic development between Louisiana and the United States, as well as Louisiana and Latin American nations. The program will utilize the Law Center’s bi-jural (Civil and Anglo-American Law) expertise to build relations with Latin American law students, practitioners, governmental agencies, and university law departments. Via cooperative endeavors with various Latin American universities, the Law Center aims to provide training in the fundamentals of United States commercial law on the LSU campus and abroad. The Law Center will use the project to establish rapport with Louisiana municipal and state agencies, and with federal agencies seeking to expand Latin American trade.

A variety of activities are planned, including formation of an advisory committee to guide educational initiatives; creation of a Distinguished Visitor’s Program on Civil and Common Law Hemispheric trade law issues; conferences featuring United States and Latin American scholars, law school deans, businesspersons, and economic development officials; recruitment of outstanding Latin American candidates for the Law Center’s LL.M. and M.C.L. degrees; and developing specialized curricula and skills programs to facilitate Latin American students’ transition from the Latin American Civil Law to Anglo-American Common Law legal system.