Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, La., provides one of the most diverse student bodies and faculties in the country. Coupled with the lowest tuition in the region and a unique clinical program, it’s no wonder the school ranks as the 17th Best Value Law School in the country by The National Jurist in 2011.
The law center does not have demanding entrance requirements. The median LSAT range for its incoming classes is 143 to 148. Students will not lose an arm and a leg to attend. At $8,478 in tuition, the school has the lowest cost in the region and one of the lowest tuitions in the nation. That results in graduates having the lowest debt in the region.
For the low cost, students at Southern University overwhelmingly graduate with some form of practical training. More than 80 percent of Southern University students participate in at least one of the school’s eight clinics. One such clinic is the Disaster Relief Clinic, which kicks into action when local residents are hit with tragedies like Hurricane Katrina or the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
“[Students] have a leg up on the practice when they graduate,” said Chancellor Freddie Pitcher. “Our attorneys are known for being real sharp litigators. Anywhere our attorneys land, they are well prepared.”
But perhaps the biggest asset the school has is the diversity of its students and faculty. With minorities making up 65.2 percent of the school’s classes, Southern University is by far the most diverse in the region. Just as important, Pitcher stressed that the diversity of the school’s faculty helps the school stand out.
“We are very proud of our diversity,” he said.
On the downside, students have struggled on the bar exam, with a 63.5 percent pass rate in 2010 and 2011.
Published Summer 2012