Southern University Law Center, a campus of the Southern University System, opened for instruction in September 1947. Its concept was born out of a response of a lawsuit by an African American resident, Charles J. Hatfield, III, seeking to attend law school at a state institution. On December 16, 1946, Louisiana State Board of Education took steps to establish a Law School for blacks at Southern University to be in operation for the 1947-1948 session. The University is a member-school of Thurgood Marshall College Fund.
There are full-time, part-time, and evening programs. For students who want to pursue the JD and MPA, the school offers a joint-degree program in cooperation with the Nelson Mandela School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs. There's also a study-abroad program in London, in which students take courses with international subject matter. SULC also publishes two legal journals: its traditional Law Review as well as The Journal of Race, Gender and Poverty. SULC's students also learn two different systems of law: Louisiana is a civil law jurisdiction (in the tradition of France and Continental Europe), while law in every other state is based on the common law tradition.
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