August 2020
Dear Alumni and Friends:
 
This is a challenging time for many of you, our students, and families. We completed this newsletter just before Hurricane Laura devastated parts of Louisiana and Texas. We send this now, knowing that many of you are working diligently to recover from an incredibly damaging storm, and that the havoc wreaked extends far into our state, including in Alexandria and other central areas, and on to the northern corners, from Shreveport to Monroe and in between. For those who are now in recovery mode, we encourage you to reach out to your network of friends and supporters within the LSU Law family. We at the LSU Law Center are thinking of you.
 
All my best,
Lee Ann Wheelis Lockridge
LSU Law Interim Dean
David Weston Robinson Professor of Law
McGlinchey Stafford Professor of Law
To our LSU Law Family:
 
With heavy hearts, we acknowledge that well over 1,000 LSU Law alumni live or practice in communities impacted by Hurricane Laura. Please know that we are here to support you! 
 
If you are relocating and need a referral to alumni in other cities, please reach out to lawalumni@lsu.edu or Karen Soniat, Director of Alumni Relations, at ksonia2@lsu.edu or 225-938-7763. 
 
We know this will be a long recovery. We stand ready to assist you in any way possible.

Sincerely,
 
The LSU Law Office of Alumni Relations
LSU Law students participating in supply drives to assist Hurricane Laura victims
To assist those who have been hardest hit by Hurricane Laura, LSU Law students are participating in multiple efforts to collect and deliver much-needed supplies to the Lake Charles area. The drives are being coordinated by the LSU Student Bar Association, LSU Public Interest Law Society, other LSU Law student organizations, and individual students.

Second-year law student Sam Ducote, a native of Hackberry in Cameron Parish, and his family have had their lives upended by previous hurricanes—Rita destroyed their home in 2005 and Ike did the same in 2008. He’s thankful that Laura only damaged his family home this time, but he knows many others in the area have lost everything, and he wants to help them.

“I and a group of my fellow classmates will host a donation drive this week at the Law Center and haul the donated supplies to Lake Charles on Friday, and then distribute them to low-income areas—house to house and neighborhood to neighborhood,” he says, adding the LSU Law students are hoping to deliver items such as bottled drinking water, non-perishable food items, insect repellent, tarps, hand sanitizer, masks, flashlights, and gloves, since officials anticipate it may be as many as five weeks before electricity and water services are fully restored in the Lake Charles area. Donations can be dropped off in Room 107.

In a separate effort, the LSU Public Interest Law Society is participating in a supply drive this week in conjunction with the LSU College of Agriculture. The items they collect will also be delivered to the Lake Charles area this weekend. PILS and the College of Agriculture are asking for donations of items such as plastic totes, batteries, gloves, fans, mops and buckets, garden hoses, garbage bags, hand sanitizer, bleach, dehumidifiers, mold killer, baby wipes, toiletries, N95 cleaning masks, rubber boots, and extension cords, among others. Donations can be dropped off at the PILS office on the first floor of the LSU Law Center.
LSU Law welcomes students, faculty, and staff back to Paul M. Hebert Law Center for an unprecedented fall semester
LSU Law’s fall semester got underway on Monday, Aug. 17, with a mix of in-person and online courses. While the Paul M. Hebert Law Center looks a little different this fall due to health and safety precautions implemented as a result of COVID-19—and despite the closure of the law center for three days during the second week of classes due to Hurricanes Marco and Laura—the semester is off to a good start.

“I’m very pleased to say that we’ve had a relatively smooth—albeit quite different—opening for the fall semester and that we were not impacted by the hurricanes aside from some canceled classes,” says Interim Dean Lee Ann Wheelis Lockridge. “The health and safety of everyone on our campus continues to be our highest priority. While we have been required to rethink how we use the law center and deliver our educational program due to COVID-19, I’m confident that by working together our talented students, faculty, and staff will overcome any challenges and adapt to new responsibilities.”

Bucking a national trend of declining enrollment at law schools, LSU Law has about 20 more students this fall semester than it had a year ago—598 students are enrolled this fall, with 596 J.D. and two LLM. Supported by a talented Admissions Office staff and faculty, who did an outstanding job of recruiting another talented class during a pandemic, there are 208 first-year students enrolled this fall, which is three more than last year’s entering class.

This year’s 1L students hail from 23 states and two foreign countries. Louisiana residents comprise 63% of the class, while 37% are nonresidents; 52% are female and 48% are male; and 19% of the students identify as students of color. The median LSAT is unchanged from last year, at 155, while the median GPA is 3.45. Additionally, 11 of the students are enrolled in the LSU Law/LSU 3+3 Program.

LSU Law is collecting messages of encouragement and support from alumni to share with students who continue to pursue their law degrees during unprecedented challenges and disruption. Thank you to all those who have already submitted messages, and if you have not done so already, please share some cheer by providing a simple message of encouragement that will show our students the compassion and enthusiasm of our LSU Law alumni. A simple, “You can do it! If I can finish 1L, so can you!” or any other supportive message of your choice can provide much-needed inspiration to students during these unsettling times.

Submissions will be collected through September 4, and LSU Law be using your messages in displays within the Law Center to lift up the student body. With your permission, we might also use your message on the newly launched @LSULawDean Twitter account or the existing @LSULawCenter Twitter account or LSU Law Facebook page.

LSU Law awards 8 degrees to August 2020 graduates
LSU Law has awarded degrees to eight students who completed their studies in August. All eight of the graduates earned a Juris Doctor (JD) degree and five earned also earned a Graduate Diploma in Comparative Law (JDCL).

“I'm incredibly proud of our August graduates. Successfully completing the rigorous curriculum at LSU Law is a great accomplishment, and they did it while under the added duress of dealing with an unprecedented pandemic,” says LSU Law Interim Dean Lee Ann Wheelis Lockridge. “We expect these talented 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.”

LSU Law Faculty Play Key Role in U.S. Feminist Judgments Project
Five LSU Law faculty members are part of a global collaboration of feminist law professors who are re-imagining and rewriting key judicial decisions from a feminist perspective.

The project re-imagines key decisions through a “feminist perspective that takes into account race, class, gender, disability and other status groups historically marginalized by the law.”

LSU Law seeking judges for virtual Flory Mock Trial and Tullis Moot Court competitions
While many of our alums and friends are in recovery mode from Hurricane Laura and COVID-19 has changed our year, LSU Law will be forging ahead with virtual versions of the Ira S. Flory Mock Trial Competition and Tullis Moot Court Competition this fall.

The competitions have always been an important part of our legal education program and despite the circumstances, we are planning now for these important competitions. Both competitions provide students with the opportunity to develop their advocacy skills in front of professionals in the legal community. The feedback students receive from practitioner-judges is crucial to their professional development as legal advocates. 

“Throw a blazer on over your yoga pants, pop on a nice neutral background, and come judge superb student talent in moot court and mock trials from the comfort of your living room,” says Professor Jeff Brooks, the Preis PLC Director of Advocacy and Professional Practice, who also serves as Director of Field Placement and Advocacy Programs and is an Assistant Professor of Professional Practice.
 
Get complete details on competitions and dates, and sign up to be a judge. Questions may be directed to advocacyprogram@lsu.edu. Thank you for supporting our 2020-2021 advocacy competitions! 
Professor Susan Tanner joins LSU Law faculty on Legal Research and Writing team
Professor Susan Tanner has joined the LSU Law faculty on the Legal and Research Writing team and is teaching two sections of the Legal Research and Writing course this fall.

“From the moment I stepped on campus the first time, I felt welcomed and a part of a vibrant and energetic community of scholars,” says Tanner. “The collegial spirit among the faculty really sets LSU apart from other law schools I visited.”

Along with Tanner, LSU Law is also pleased to welcome Mariano Vitetta (LLM 2020) to the Center of Civil Law Studies as a Research Associate on a one-year appointment. A legal translator, Mariano is a graduate of the University of Buenos Aires and he teaches legal translation at Austral University. In addition to managing the Journal of Civil Law Studies with Christabelle Lefebvre, his main project will be to translate the Louisiana Civil Code into Spanish.

Daniel Bosch joins LSU Law as New Advocacy Fellow
Daniel Bosch, a 2020 LSU Law graduate and Order of the Barristers inductee, will remain at the Paul M. Hebert Law Center as the new Advocacy Fellow. Bosch will work with Professor Jeff Brooks in the administration, coaching, and preparation of students for moot court, mock trial, and alternative dispute resolution competitions.

“I am very excited that Danny is returning to LSU Law as our new Advocacy Fellow,” says Brooks, Preis PLC Director of Advocacy and Professional Practice and Director of Professional Practice. “As a law student and member of our Board of Advocates, Danny demonstrated exemplary advocacy skills, extraordinary logistical skills, and a talent for coaching and mentoring. I look forward to working with him this year as our program transitions into a new world of online advocacy competitions.”

Prior to his legal studies, Bosch earned a Master’s in Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from LSU and worked for the Louisiana Legislature, the Louisiana Secretary of State, and the United States Senate.

'Louisiana Law Review,' 'LSU Journal of Energy Law and Resources' announce Junior Associates
The Louisiana Law Review Board of Editors and Senior Associates have selected 25 Junior Associates for publication in Volume 81, and The LSU Journal of Energy Law and Resources Board of Editors has selected papers from 17 Junior Associates for inclusion in Volume IX.

Since 1938, Louisiana Law Review has served as Louisiana’s flagship legal journal and has become a vibrant forum for scholarship in comparative and civil law topics. The LSU Journal of Energy Law and Resources is a student-edited academic journal focusing broadly on energy and its relationship to other areas of law.


In our latest Dean's Council Spotlight, 1987 LSU Law graduate Denise C. Puente shares her advice to current law students, talks about her 33-year career at Simon Peragine Smith & Redfearn, and discusses why she supports LSU Law and the Dean's Council.

"Fortunately, I was the recipient of a scholarship, which helped finance my tuition," Puente says. "Between student loans, scholarships and the money I earned clerking, I was able to pay for law school. I have been very lucky. The law degree I earned has given me great opportunities. If I can help someone else in the same way my benefactor helped me, I am happy to do so.

Loan Repayment Assistance Program recipient profile: David Hogan ('18)
Growing up in South Louisiana in a family of socially-minded attorneys, 2018 LSU Law graduate David Hogan says he always “harbored an appreciation and interest in fighting for justice and protecting those who do not have the means to do so themselves.”

As a law student, Hogan was a member of the Trial Advocacy Board and he took every available criminal course offered at LSU Law, including the Juvenile Defense Clinic, where he provided full representation to a juvenile in delinquency proceedings.

“I knew when I entered law school that I wanted to help people and soon realized I could be of the most service as a public defender,” says Hogan. After graduating cum laude, Hogan joined the East Baton Rouge Office of the Public Defender, where he routinely works on misdemeanor cases, low-level felonies, and some violent crimes as an Assistant Public Defender.

LSU Law alumna named Tulane Law Vice Dean for Academic Affairs
Professor Sally Brown Richardson, a 2009 LSU Law graduate and respected scholar of property rights, will serve as Tulane Law’s Vice Dean for Academic Affairs.

Richardson has been at Tulane eight years and was awarded tenure in 2018 based on her impressive record as a nuanced and thoughtful scholar of comparative property law and an international leader in her field. In 2019, she received Tulane University’s highest teaching honor— the President’s Award for Excellence in Professional and Graduate Teaching. 

As Jessica Brewer begins her final year of law school at the Paul M. Hebert Law Center, she’s looking forward to a career in immigration law. She grew up on a cattle farm in Arlington, Tennessee, just outside of Memphis, and she became interested in pursuing a career in law after becoming passionate about immigrant rights as an undergraduate.

“I enrolled in classes directly related to immigration patterns in the U.S. and the U.S. South,” says Brewer. “I even traveled abroad to study the Sandinista Revolution in Nicaragua. Those experiences motivated me to seek a career that would allow me to protect immigrant rights.”

Brewer is actively involved in internal and external trial advocacy and moot court competitions at LSU Law, and this fall she is a student attorney in the Immigration Clinic.

Professor Elizabeth Carter recently participated in a Q&A with The Advocate on the basics of estate planning and creating a living will. Read the full Q&A. Carter's article, "Are Premarital Agreements Really Unfair?: An Empirical Study," has been published by Hofstra Law Review, and she was also a panelist on the ABA Real Property Trusts and Estates Section webinar: Natural Disasters and Abandoned Real Property Part 1 on June 23.
Professor Lécia Vicente will chair a panel titled Comparative Law Studies in Context: The Challenges and Opportunities of Translation, at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Comparative Law. This year, the title of the conference is “Comparative Legal History” and it will be held via Zoom on Oct. 15-16. Get more details about the panel and the conference.
Professor Ken Levy was quoted by The Advocate in a story about a Livingston Parish barbecue restaurant that defied a judge’s order by opening its doors to diners, setting up a showdown with Health Department officials who say the business needs to close if it won’t comply with state mandates intended to battle a life-threatening pandemic.
A headshot photo of a man wearing a suit and tie
Professor William Corbett (pictured) and Professor Ken Levy are quoted by The Advocate in an article about the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, which says that Title VII prohibits discrimination in employment against members of the LGBT community, and its impact on hiring by religious institutions.
LSU Law 2020 class reunions to go virtual on Oct. 23
Although we are unable to safely welcome back our graduates from the classes of 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000, and 2010 for an in-person Reunion Weekend this year, we're not going to let the pandemic get in the way of our plans to celebrate these amazing classes!

Stay tuned for more information on how we intend to celebrate your reunions virtually—until we can gather together safely. Rest assured an extra special in-person Reunion Weekend is envisioned for next year, honoring ALL 2020 AND 2021 reunion classes!

Here’s how you can be involved now:

  • Volunteer to serve on your class reunion committee. Contact Gigi Gauthier at 225-578-0733 or ggauthier@lsu.edu.
 
  • Send us your favorite photos from the good old days and share memories here.
 
  • Help make your Class Scholarship drive a success by making a gift today! Our studentsyour future colleaguesare grateful for your support and the difference you make in their lives. Read a story about how the LSU Law Class of 1978 endowed a $100,000 scholarship through their Class Scholarship campaign. At their 40th class reunion in October 2018, members of the class posed with a check for their endowed scholarship (pictured above), which increased following the reunion when they raised the final $10,000 of their goal.
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.