The following joint degrees may be earned: J.D./M.P.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Public Administration).
Administrative, Juvenile, Criminal, Elderly, Tax, and Domestic Law clinics are limited to third-year students who may earn 6 credit hours. Seminars are available in various subject areas for second- and third-year students. Individual student research projects are available for 1 credit hour under the supervision of a professor. Nationally recognized legal scholars are invited each semester to lecture on current issues. At least 3 lectures are scheduled during the school year. First-year students are required to participate in 1 monthly session and tutorial programs 2 times a week. The most widely taken electives are Civil Rights, Law Office Practice, and Workers’ Compensation.
To earn the J.D., candidates must complete 96 total credits, of which 75 are for required courses. They must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the required courses. The following first-year courses are required of all students: Basic Civil Procedure, Civil Law Property, Constitutional Law I, Contracts, Criminal Law, Family Law, Legal Research, Legal Writing I and II, Obligations, and Torts I and II. Required upper-level courses consist of Advanced Legal Writing I and II, Agency and Partnership, Civil Procedure I and II, Commercial Papers, Conflict of Laws, Constitutional Law II, Corporations, Criminal Procedure, Evidence, Federal Jurisdiction and Procedure, Professional Responsibility, Sales and Leases, Security Devices, Successions and Donations, and Trial Advocacy. The required orientation program for first-year students is a 1- or 2-day program, with emphasis on analysis, reading comprehension, case briefing, and communication skills.
In order to graduate, candidates must have a GPA of 2.0 and a residency requirement (6 semesters).
In the fall 2007 first-year class, 1002 applied, 249 were accepted, and 177 enrolled. Figures in the above capsule and in this profile are approximate. One transfers enrolled in a recent year. The median GPA of the most recent first-year class was 2.8.
Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and take the LSAT. Minimum acceptable GPA is 2.0 on a scale of 4.0. The most important admission factors include LSAT results, GPA, and academic achievement. No specific undergraduate courses are required. Candidates are not interviewed.
Applicants should submit an application form, LSAT results, transcripts,a nonrefundable application fee, 2 letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. Notification of the admissions decision is beginning in February. Check with the school for current application deadlines. The law school uses the LSDAS.
In a recent year, about 87% of current law students received some form of aid. The average annual amount of aid from all sources combined, including scholarships, loans, and work contracts, was $17,022; maximum, $21,622. Awards are based on need and merit. Required financial statement is the FAFSA. Check with the school for current appliction deadlines. First-year students are notified about their financial aid application at time of acceptance.
About 48% of the student body are women; 69%, minorities; 68%, African American; 1%, Asian American; and 31%, Caucasian. The majority of students come from the South (96%). The average age of entering students is 27; age range is 22 to 54. About 60% of students enter directly from undergraduate school, 20% have a graduate degree, and 40% have worked full-time prior to entering law school. About 10% drop out after the first year for academic or personal reasons; 90% remain to receive a law degree.
Students edit the Southern University Law Review and the student newspaper, The Public Defender. Moot court competitions include the annual National Moot Court competition, the In-House Round Robin, and Thurgood Marshall competitions. Student organizations, local chapters of national associations, and campus organizations include Student Bar Association, Black Law Students Association, and Student Trial Lawyers Association, Phi Alpha Delta, Delta Theta Phi, ABA-Law Student Division, Environmental Law Society, Women in Law, and Sports and Entertainment Legal Association.
The law school operates on a traditional semester basis. Courses for full-time students are offered days only and must be completed within 5 years. There is no part-time program. New full- and part-time students are admitted in the fall. There is a 6-week summer session. Transferable summer courses are offered.