LSU Law Professor Emeritus Alain Levasseur has been honored by one of the top civil law schools in Eastern Europe with the title of Doctor Honoris Causa.
Levasseur, who retired in 2015 but still teaches one course each semester at LSU Law, traveled to Romania in October to accept the honorary doctorate—the third of his career—at a special event at the University of Bucharest.
“With a strong scientific impact in the legal world, Professor Alain Levasseur has been involved in institutions and publications that are the pillars of international research in comparative law,” the University of Bucharest said in its announcement of the honorary degree. “Active involvement, publications, courses and conferences have earned him academic prestige, evidenced by a series of high-level acknowledgments of his contributions to the development of comparative law science and research in the field of intersecting cultures and legal traditions.”
“None of this would be possible without the continued support of LSU Law,” says Levasseur, who was previously honored with a Doctor of Law Honoris Causa from the University of Paris Panthéon Assas in 2010 and a Doctor of Laws Honoris Causa from Paul Cézanne University Aix-Marseille III in 1998.
“Receiving an honor like this is very gratifying,” he continues, “but it’s not something that you actively work for or maneuver to get. It’s certainly one of the top honors one can get in this profession, so it’s also very humbling.”
Levasseur’s connections to Romania can be traced all the way back to the 1970s and ‘80s, when his father was the French Ambassador in the country. As a professor, he returned to the country on several occasions, including in 2009 to support scientific communications and attend the Journées of the World Congress of the Association “Henri Capitant” of the Friends of the French Legal Culture. The Journées were dedicated to the law of succession.
During his career at LSU, Levasseur’s was invited to teach courses and give lectures at the universities of Montreal, Paris, Lyon, Aix-Marseille and Genoa, among others.
Along from numerous articles, Levasseur has published more than 30 books in English and French, most of them on comparative law topics. Among them is the “Dictionary of the Civil Code,” published by LexisNexis in France in 2014, which includes some 11,000 entries in French that were translated into English.
“This is maybe my proudest achievement,” he says of the book, which took him more than two years to complete.
Levasseur most recently finished the first volume of a “Treatise on Obligations,” which will be published in January and will be followed by a second volume that he’s currently working on. He’ll be teaching a class on Louisiana law of obligations at LSU Law in the spring semester.
“I do what I do because I love it,” he says. “What pleases me the most about the honorary degrees is that they help put LSU Law on the forefront of comparative law, which has been my goal since I became a faculty member here in 1977.”
Born in Bilbao, Spain—where his father was Consul General of France—and raised in France, Morocco, Brazil and Canada, Levasseur earned a DESS from the University of Paris Law School in 1965 and an M.C.L. from Tulane University in 1966. He returned to Tulane University two years later to teach. In 1969, he was an associate with the Paris firm of Mudge, Rose, Guthrie & Alexander but left to become a technical assistant at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. In the fall of 1970, he resumed teaching at Tulane until 1977, at which point he transferred to LSU Law.