June 2020
LSU Law awards 164 degrees to spring 2020 graduates
LSU Law has awarded degrees to 164 students who completed their studies in the spring semester. Among the graduates, 153 earned a Juris Doctor (JD) degree—with 130 of those students also earning an optional Graduate Diploma in Comparative Law (JDCL)—and 11 earned a Master of Laws degree (LLM).

“I am incredibly proud of our Class of 2020 graduates, who not only successfully completed the rigorous LSU Law curriculum but finished their studies under the added duress of an unprecedented global pandemic,” said LSU Law Interim Dean Lee Ann Wheelis Lockridge. “Our LSU Law alumni are successful attorneys, elected officials, business leaders, and distinguished members of the judiciary. We expect our talented Class of 2020 graduates to achieve great success in their careers and add to the exceptional legacy of the Paul M. Hebert Law Center. Everyone at LSU Law wishes them all the best.”

The LSU Law Class of 2020 represents five countries, 16 states and 29 Louisiana parishes. Planning for a postponed commencement ceremony to honor the class in person continues, but a date has yet to be set.

A total of 47 LSU Law students in the Class of 2020 earned academic honors. The Juris Doctor and Optional Graduate Diploma in Comparative Law are awarded Summa cum laude to any student who ranks in the top two percent of the graduating class; Magna cum laude to any student who ranks in the next ten percent of the graduating class (students whose averages place them below the top two percent but within the top twelve percent); and Cum laude to any student who ranks in the next thirteen percent of the graduating class (students whose average place them below the top 12 percent but within the top 25 percent). Notation of academic honors is posted on the student’s academic transcript and diploma.

10 LSU Law students selected for induction into The Order of the Barristers
10 LSU Law students in the Class of 2020 have been selected for induction into The Order of the Barristers, a national honorary organization whose purpose is the encouragement of oral advocacy and brief writing skills through effective law school oral advocacy programs.

The inductees, in alphabetical order by last name (pictured left to right, top to bottom), are: Taylor Brooke Ashworth; Katelyn E. Bayhi; Daniel Wayne Bosch, Jr.; Sarah Madaline Day; Indigo Kate Diekmann; Riley Elizabeth Frank; Michael Wayne Maldonado; Kelsey L. McGill; Juan J. Moreno; and Briana C. Reid. They will be awarded charcoal-colored cords to wear at commencement to signify their membership in the Order.

Each year, graduating LSU Law students who have excelled in moot court, mock trial, brief writing, oral advocacy and other advocacy programs throughout their time at the Paul M. Hebert Law Center are invited to join the LSU Law chapter of the Order. Dozens of members of the Class of 2020 submitted nomination forms setting out their candidacy for Order membership.

LSU Law is allocated a very limited number of The Order of the Barristers inductees each year, with the number corresponding to the number of students who participate annually in LSU Law intramural and interscholastic advocacy competitions and advocacy-related coursework. Applications were reviewed by a committee of faculty members, who then recommend the candidates for induction into the LSU Law chapter to the dean.

LSU Law thanks the faculty members who participated in what was an incredibly challenging selection process and congratulates the 10 new members of The Order of the Barristers.
Annie Scardulla voted LSU Law Professor of the Year by students
As Advocacy Teaching Fellow at LSU Law, Annie Scardulla spends a lot of time with students, working with them on their trial advocacy skills, coaching moot court teams and traveling with them to competitions, and mentoring students through the Fit to Practice Program that she created shortly after joining the faculty three years ago.

“That’s one of the greatest things about my position, I really get the chance to work closely with students and I get to know them on a level that’s so much deeper than a surface level,” says Scardulla, who graduated from LSU Law in 2014 and served as president of the Moot Court Board during her final year in law school. “That’s really the part of the job that I cherish.”

So when Scardulla recently got an email informing her that students at the Paul M. Hebert Law Center had voted her LSU Law Professor of the Year, she sat down and cried.

“I was shocked and very, very moved,” says Scardulla (pictured above, third from left, with 2019 LSU Law Order of the Barrister students Ashley Delaune, J. William VanDehei and Justin DiCharia). “I just couldn’t believe it. It’s such a huge honor.”

The honor especially touched Scardulla because it comes as she prepares to join the University of North Carolina School of Law as an assistant professor in August. Her last day with LSU Law is June 12.

“My experience at LSU Law has fundamentally changed my life and it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me—so that made it hit home even more,” she says. “I’ve always seen my position as having a somewhat limited impact on students, because aside from my work with the advocacy programs I only teach legal writing to one section of students each year. Getting an honor like this really made me realize that maybe I’ve had a broader impact on the students than I thought.”

LSU Law space law moot court team advances to North American quarterfinals
The LSU Law team competing in the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition has advanced to the quarterfinals of the North American portion of the international competition.

The team—which consists of LSU Law students (pictured left to right) Mary Gentry, Sean McAuliffe and Morgan Sharp—will now compete against seven other teams online in late May, with the winner to represent North America in the World Finals in October.

The students were supposed to compete in Washington, D.C., in late March, but the rounds were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The competition instead graded all of the teams’ written briefs, which had been submitted earlier this year.

The LSU Law team is coached by Zach Miller, a 2019 LSU Law graduate who is currently a judicial law clerk for Chief Judge Shelly D. Dick at the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana. Miller represented LSU Law and North America at the 2018 World Finals of the Lachs Moot Space Law Moot Court Competition in Bremen, Germany, placing as an international semifinalist.

Since its inception by the International Institute of Space Law in 1992, the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition has grown to cover five world regions: North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Africa. More than 60 teams compete for the international title every year, with one team from each region competing in the World Finals.
91% of LSU Law Class of 2019 were employed within 10 months of graduation
The latest employment and salary figures from the American Bar Association show that 91% of the 173 LSU Law 2019 graduates were employed within 10 months of their graduation last May.

Among them, 88% of last year’s graduates were employed in positions for which bar passage was required, and 7% were employed in positions for which a J.D. was an advantage.

The majority found employment in private practice—64%—while 11% landed judicial clerkships; 11% were working in business and industry; 3% got public interest positions; and 1% found academic work.

Across all sectors, the average annual starting salary for 2019 graduates was $63,849. The lion’s share of 2019 graduates found work in Louisiana, 115, with the next most popular states for finding work were Texas and Florida.

Every year for the past decade, the annual ABA employment and salary report has shown more than 90% of LSU Law graduates have found employment within 10 months of their graduation.

Five LSU Law grads receive funding through Loan Repayment Assistance Program
LSU Law has provided five recent graduates who work in public service positions in Louisiana with funding through the Loan Repayment Assistance Program established earlier this year with support from the Kendall Vick Public Law Foundation.

ReAzalia Allen (’15), Teddi Buller (’19), Alex Hertenstein (’16), David Hogan (‘18) and Fahreta Muminovic (’15) have each received $5,000 through the program, which aims to remove the barriers to public interest practice for those who have incurred significant debt to finance their legal education.

Allen is a Senior Staff Attorney in the Section 27, Division J, Civil Court at the 19th Judicial District Court, working under the supervision of Hon. Judge Trudy M. White. Buller is Judicial Law Clerk for the Hon. Jason Meche in the 27th Judicial District Court in Opelousas. Hertenstein and Hogan are Assistant Public Defenders at the East Baton Rouge Office of the Public Defender. Muminovic is Senior Staff Attorney at Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans—Immigration Legal Services.

Each says the funding from the LSU Law Loan Repayment Assistant Program will help them pay down their student debt and continue working in public interest practice; work that they all say is deeply rewarding.

LSBA accepting applications for Leadership Class through June 26
Louisiana State Bar Association President-Elect Alainna R. Mire is seeking applications from young lawyers for the Leadership LSBA 2020-21 Class. The deadline to submit an application, along with a CV or résumé, is Friday, June 26. Mire’s goal is to appoint 14 members.

The Leadership LSBA Program provides exposure on how the LSBA functions as well as on the pressing issues facing the association and the legal profession. Participants also receive information on the responsibilities of volunteer leaders. Through at least one class project, the program further develops young attorneys’ leadership skills and provides them with opportunities for statewide networking. Previous projects included a 5K benefiting the Lawyers Assistance Program, a legal aid hackathon, and a special edition of the Louisiana Bar Journal.

Eli Medina recently wrapped up his time at LSU Law, serving as managing editor of Louisiana Law Review during his final year of law school before graduating cum laude. Now, he’s preparing to move to Houston to begin working for Vinson & Elkins in commercial practice. A 2017 graduate of the LSU Honors College, Medina says scholarships were instrumental to his success at LSU Law.

“Compared to my undergraduate experience, law school’s expenses and academic demands are several times greater while opportunities for jobs are severely limited,” says Medina, who received four endowed scholarships during his last year of law school. “Scholarships kept me enrolled and focused, and they also allowed me to enrich my experience at LSU Law by participating in extracurricular activities, such as advocacy competitions and the Louisiana Law Review, without jeopardizing my financial stability.”

Professor Lisa Avalos' article “Reversing the Decriminalization of Sexual Violence” will be the lead article in Volume 21 of the Nevada Law Journal, to be published in December.
LSU Interim President Tom Galligan has published two pieces in the current volume of Louisiana Law Review: “A Cypress is Gone—A memorial to the late Professor David W. Robertson,” and “LHWCA Section 905(b); and Scindia: The Confused Tale of a Legal Pendulum” (with Brian C. Colomb).
Professor Ken Levy is featured on an episode of the "Good Law Bad Law" podcast with Aaron Freiwald, in which he discusses free will, responsibility and crime.
Professor Christina Sautter’s article, “Delaware as Deal Arbiter,” will be published in the Washington & Lee Law Review.
Earlier this year, we asked you to save the dates of Oct. 23-24 for LSU Law’s 2020 Reunion Weekend. Please continue to do so. We hope to be able to safely celebrate in person at your reunion reception, All-Alumni Tailgate and the LSU vs. Mississippi State football game, but that still remains uncertain. What is certain is that we will celebrate, even if it has to be virtually. Stay tuned for more details!

In the meantime, you can get involved with your reunion by volunteering to serve on your class Reunion Committee and help establish your class scholarship. We'd also love it if you shared your memories, favorite professors, and special messages for the LSU Law Class of 2020 and your classmates here.

For more details on how you can get involved, contact Gigi Gauthier, Associate Director of Alumni Relations, at ggauthier@lsu.edu.
Find out about the latest news and accomplishments of your classmates.

To submit an item for Class Notes, please contact the Office of Alumni Relations.
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