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In addition to the usual common law and federal subjects, Tulane offers electives in the civil law, giving students the opportunity to pursue comparative education of the world's two major legal systems (Louisiana is the only state to have a civil law system, rather than common law). Students are permitted to survey a broad range of subject areas or to concentrate in one or more.
The law school's 160,000-square-foot (15,000 m2) building, John Giffen Weinmann Hall, was completed in 1995. Designed to integrate classrooms, a student lounge, a computer lab, faculty offices, and a law library that contains both national and international collections, the building is centrally located on Tulane's Uptown campus. The law school has been on the Uptown campus since 1906, and has been housed in several buildings since then, until the completion of Weinmann Hall. The law school was located in Jones Hall from 1969 until 1995, where scenes for The Pelican Brief were filmed.
Next to Weinmann Hall on the 6200 block of Freret Street is the Law Annex, a light gray cobblestone building that houses the Career Development Office (CDO). The Law Annex was a faculty residence before being converted for its current use. Nearby is the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library, Tulane's main library; the Lavin-Bernick Center, which houses university dining facilities and the university bookstore; the Reily Student Recreation Center (a gym with indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and basketball, squash, and tennis courts); the Freeman School of Business; the Newcomb Art Gallery; and various other buildings.
In 2006, Tulane Law School planned a 13,000-square- foot addition and renovation project to bring the Career Development Office into Weinmann Hall. There is no word on whether these renovations have been scrapped, but as twelve years have passed since that date renovations seem fairly unlikely at this point.
Jones Hall, where the law school was located from 1969 until 1995 and where scenes for The Pelican Brief were filmed.
To complete the Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree program, a student must finish six semesters in residence, 88 credit hours, an upper-level writing requirement, and a 30-hour community-service obligation. The first-year curriculum comprises eight required courses. The first-year legal-research-and-writing program is taught by instructors with significant experience as lawyers and writers, each assisted by senior fellows.
Tulane Law offers six optional concentration programs for J.D. students who wish to receive one certificate of completion in an area. The six are European legal studies, environmental law, international and comparative law, maritime law, sports law, or civil law.
Tulane's Eason Weinmann Center for Comparative Law, its Maritime Law Center, and its Institute on Water Policy & Law, promote scholarship in comparative, maritime, and environmental law.
Tulane conducts an annual summer school in New Orleans and offers summer-study programs abroad. Tulane also offers semester-long exchange programs with select law schools in a number of countries throughout the world.
In addition to the J.D., the school offers two graduate degrees in law: The Master of Laws (LL.M.) the Doctor of Laws (S.J.D.) program. The five specialized LL.M. programs are in: maritime law, energy and environmental law, American business law, American law, and international and comparative law. LL.M. students may also pursue a general LL.M., which does not concentrate in any one area.
Tulane benefits from having a top law school and a top business school located immediately next to one another, both of which consistently rank among the top 50 in the nation, according to the U.S. News & World Report and the Financial Times (the Finance department in particular has been ranked among the top 10 in the world on several occasions). This close proximity has facilitated the growth of Tulane's JD/MBA program. In the '06-'07 school year, Tulane boasted of having 25 joint JD/MBA candidates. In March 2007, Tulane announced that it had hired a new business law professor, whose objectives would include "maximiz[ing]...the growth of the Law School's JD/MBA joint degree," and strengthening ties between the law school and Freeman School of Business. In January 2008, the Tulane JD/MBA Club held a networking event in New York City with the creator of jdmba.com, an interschool JD/MBA networking website.
In March 2009, the University announced the designation of a $1.5 million donation to support in perpetuity a JD/MBA professor of national stature at Tulane.
The joint Juris Doctor/Master of Health Administration program with the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine (TUSPH&TM) permits students to earn both degrees in 4 years, whereas normally the JD would take 3 years and the MHA, 2 years. Students take 79 units in the law school (rather than the normally-required 88 units) and 46 units in TUSPH&TM. Students are permitted to skip the course Social and Behavioral Aspects of Global Health which is normally required for the Public Health Core. Students take Health Care Law in the law school instead of the TUSPH&TM version of the course, and the course counts for both JD and MHA.
In recent years, the program has enrolled 0-2 students per year, and graduating students have gone into health care law practice and health care management in approximately equal numbers.
JD/MA in Latin American Studies
Enriched by Tulane's position of hosting one of the top Latin American Studies programs in the United States, the joint degree in law and Latin American Studies meets the need for "lawyer-statesmen" who know the law and who understand the societies of Latin America. The program employs a multi-disciplinary approach intended to enhance appreciation of the economic, social, political, and other forces in Latin America that influence the development of law and legal institutions. In addition to law school requirements, students pursuing the joint JD/MA in Latin American Studies must complete 24 semester hours of coursework in graduate courses approved by the Roger Thayer Stone Center for Latin American Studies. Demonstrated competence in either Spanish or Portuguese is required, and competence in both is encouraged.
According to Tulane Law School's 2015 ABA-required disclosures, 60% of the Class of 2015 obtained full-time, long-term, bar passage-required employment nine months after graduation, excluding solo practitioners, and 4.9% of the class was seeking employment but not employed. According to Tulane Law School's official 2017 ABA-required disclosures, 63.3% of the Class of 2016 was employed in non-school-funded, full-time, long-term, bar passage required jobs nine months after graduation, and 6.5% of the class was seeking employment but not employed.
Career development services
Tulane Law School's Career Development Office has five career counselors, newly recruited. The School also has an office coordinator.
In March 2018, Law.com ranked Tulane Law 36th among its list of The Top 50 Go-To Law Schools.
Tulane Law is ranked 37th in Law School 100's 2018 ranking, which relies on a qualitative assessment.
The U.S. News & World Report's rankings for 2015 placed Tulane Law at 46th. In its most recent ranking, released in 2017, it puts Tulane Law School at 51st.
The Leiter law school ranking, conducted in 2010, put Tulane at 38th, based on student quality.
Tulane University Law School graduates had the highest passing rate on the Louisiana State Bar Exam administered in July 2017, according to results released by the Louisiana Supreme Court Committee. In all, 91 percent of Tulane students passed the bar on their first attempt, compared to the state average of 79.6 percent.
In scoring that runs from .14 (least ethnically diverse) to .73 (most diverse), Tulane's diversity index, according to the latest U.S. News & World Report Law School Diversity Index, is .33, with Hispanic students the largest minority at 8% of the student body. By way of comparison, among the top ten of U.S. News & World Report's Best Law Schools, those nearest to Tulane in this category are Duke University, with a score of .42, and University of Virginia, at .37.
Tuition and fees for a full-time Tulane Law School student for the 2017-2018 academic year are $54,658 ($50,358 tuition and $4,300 in mandatory fees). The total cost of attendance (tuition, fees, books and living expenses) for the 2017-2018 academic year is estimated at $77,334.
Law School Transparency estimated total cost of attendance for three years at $284,440 in 2017, noting that for the 2015-16 academic year, 32.3% of students received scholarships of 50% or more of tuition and fees.
An active moot court program holds trial and appellate competitions within the school and fields teams for a variety of interschool competitions. The Law School has a chapter of the Order of the Coif. The Student Bar Association functions as the student government and recommends students for appointment to faculty committees. Over 40 student organizations are active at Tulane, including The Federalist Society, American Constitution Society, Maritime Law Society, Sports Law Society, Tulane Law Women, Black Law Students Association, La Alianza, Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, Environmental Law Society, and several legal fraternities. The Tulane Public Interest Law Foundation raises funds, matched by the Law School, to support as many as 30 students each summer in public interest fellowships with a variety of organizations.
Journals published or edited at Tulane Law School include:
Jasper K. Smith, Louisiana state representative from Caddo Parish 1944-1948 and 1952-1964, former city attorney of Vivian; dropped out of Tulane after passing the bar exam before he completed his studies (D)[self-published source]
^Frederick W. Williamson and George T. Goodman, eds. Eastern Louisiana: A History of the Watershed of the Ouachita River and the Florida Parishes, 3 vols. (Monroe: Historical Record Association, 1939), pp. 782-786