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About Tulane Law School

This group of frequently asked questions (and answers) addresses general topics about Tulane Law School and its curriculum.  Another FAQ section, addressing admission questions, appears in the Prospective Students section of this web site.  A Financial Aid FAQ section is also available.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tulane Law School

QUESTIONS ABOUT OUR CURRICULUM

Q-1.        What are your curriculum and requirements like?  How large are classes?

A-1.
The first-year law curriculum consists of 8 required courses.  First semester: Torts, Criminal Law, Civil Procedure, and Contracts I; Second semester: Constitutional Law, Property (Civil Law or Common Law), and Contracts II or Obligations I.  Legal Research & Writing continues for both semesters.

Each first-year required course is taught in three sections of about 85 students each. There are nine Legal Research & Writing groups of about 27-28 students, divided among five full-time Legal Research & Writing instructors. Each Legal Research & Writing group also has two third-year senior fellows assisting with the class.

After the first year, all courses are elective, with the exception that all students must take the Legal Profession course and fulfill our pro bono, skills and upper-level writing requirements. Elective courses usually have between 15 and 125 students in them, depending on the course. There are some exceptions. When courses are very popular, they are taught in more than one section, in order to keep the size down.

J.D. candidates are permitted to design their own programs of study so as to attain in-depth exposure to a particular area of law if they so desire. Students may elect to follow a general program by sampling courses in many fields or may choose to concentrate their studies in particular areas of study.

We offer certificates of specialization in Admiralty & Maritime Law, International & Comparative Law, European Legal Studies, Environmental Law, Sports Law, and Civil Law.

Q-2.         What’s this I hear about Tulane teaching a different kind of law?

A-2.
We are a national law school, and we teach the same courses as any other national law school in this country. Although Louisiana is considered a civil law state, this does not affect legal education for non-Louisiana students at Tulane. (If, however, a student knows that he or she will be practicing in Louisiana, that student will probably want to enroll in courses that lay the foundation for work in the civil law--courses which are available at Tulane, in addition to the complete array of common law and federal courses.)

We offer a full curriculum in the common law, just as any other law school does, plus electives in the civil law for students intending to practice in Louisiana or another civil law jurisdiction or who have a serious interest in comparative law.

For many students, the availability of civil law courses is a unique advantage that draws them to Tulane. Anyone interested in international or comparative law, and particularly in our European Legal Studies program, will find it essential to have training in the civil law, as well as in common law. Tulane is one of the few law schools in the United States that can offer such well-rounded training.

It happens that many of our professors, because of the strong comparative and international influences at Tulane, have become familiar with legal systems other than the common law system. Therefore, it would not be unusual, in a common law course, for the professor to show how the law has developed in the common law system and to indicate, for example, that it has developed along similar (or different) lines in the civil law system. Going to law school at Tulane will not place any student at a disadvantage with respect to practice in other states.

Q-3.        I’m interested in labor law/ international law/ tax law/ environmental law, etc. . . Do you have any special expertise in those areas?

A-3.
Tulane Law School is most well known for its reputation in international and comparative law, maritime law, and environmental law. We have a comprehensive curriculum in intellectual property law, and we offer a certificate of specialization in sports law. In general, refer to the faculty biographies and to the course listings on our website. These can answer many questions. Even if your area of interest is not listed below, we may well have courses in the area.  Just ask!

                International and Comparative Law
The Eason Weinmann Center for International and Comparative Law is located at Tulane Law School. We have a number of international and comparative law scholars on our faculty.  Each semester we have visiting lecturers from other countries. We have recently had visitors from Japan, Germany, England, Canada, and Israel. Our graduate studies programs bring in dozens of international students to Tulane. Most significant, however, is the number of courses we have in these areas. We offer students the opportunity to pursue a specialty certificate in European Legal Studies or in International & Comparative Law. We offer a number of students each year the opportunity to study abroad for one semester through participation in exchange programs with the University of Amsterdam, the University of Bologna, the University of Copenhagen, Fudan University, the University of Heidelberg, Bucerius University, the University of Paris, the University Jean Moulin in Lyon, the University of Buenos Aires, Ramon Llull University in Barcelona, and the University of New South Wales, University of Hong Kong, and the University of Strasbourg.

                Admiralty and Maritime Law
We have more offerings in the areas of Admiralty and Maritime Law than any other law school. Advanced admiralty courses are open to J.D. students, as well as to graduate students.  Additionally, we offer a certificate program in Admiralty and Maritime Law.               

                Intellectual Property and Technology 
We offer intellectual property courses and seminars, including ones focussing on international aspects of this field. Tulane also has a student organization and a journal dedicated to this professional area, as well as a Center for Intellectual Property Law & Culture. 

                Labor & Employment Law
Professors FriedmanBarron, and Strickler all do work in labor and employment law. Professors Friedman and Strickler have co-authored a book on employment discrimination, and Professor Friedman is a graduate of Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, as well as Yale Law School. Professor Barron has practiced labor law and continues to be actively involved in arbitration.

                Energy and Environmental Law
Professor Oliver Houck was the director of the National Wildlife Federation before he came to Tulane. He continues to be heavily involved in conservation efforts. We have an environmental clinic; an environmental law journal; Institute for Water Resources Law & Policy directed by Mark Davis; and a very active student Environmental Law SocietyProfessor Günther Handl is an expert in public international law and particularly international environmental law. Professor Adam Babich, director of our Environmental Law Clinic, is an experienced environmental litigator. Professor Amy Stein has interests and experise in both environmental and energy law.

Louisiana is an ideal locale for studying these sometimes conflicting areas, and particularly after Hurricane Katrina and the more recent BP oil spill. Oil and gas is probably our most important industry, after the Port of New Orleans, but we also are heavily involved in preservation of our swamplands. Several of our part-time faculty teach and practice in the oil and gas field.

                Corporate, Commercial, & Tax Law                                                                                                                                                                This is really the bread-and-butter of any law school. Tulane offers dozens of courses in corporate, commercial, and tax law.

                Sports Law
We offer a certificate of specialization in Sports Law. The courses required for the Sports Law certificate are basic business, tax, corporate, labor, intellectual property and antitrust courses that are essential to any well-rounded legal education. Advanced courses are offered focussing on the sports aspects of these areas. Professor Gabe Feldman, who directs the program, is an expert in this area.

                Constitutional Law
In addition to our required first-year course in this field, we offer as many as 15 other courses each year in constitutional law. At least 10 full-time faculty teach and write in this area.

                Criminal Law and Procedure
There is a required first-year Criminal Law course, followed by a number of electives focussing on criminal law and procedure. In addition, we offer a Criminal Defense Litigation Clinic.

 

Q-4.        What joint-degree programs do you offer?

A-4.
We offer:

                JD-MBA (4 years) in cooperation with Tulane's Freeman School of Business

                JD-MACCT (3 or 4 years), also with the Freeman School 

                JD-MHA (Health Systems Management, 4 years) in cooperation with Tulane's School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine     

                JD-MPH (Environmental Health Sciences, 4 years) and JD-MPH(Community Health Sciences, 4 years), also with Tulane's SPHTM

                JD-MSW (4 years), with Tulane's School of Social Work                

                JD-MS in International Development (3 to 4 years) in cooperation with Tulane's Payson Center for International Development                 

                JD-MA in Latin American Studies (4 years) in cooperation with Tulane's Stone Center for Latin American Studies

                Other JD-MA programs may be arranged on an ad hoc basis through cooperating agreements between the Law School and Tulane's School of Liberal Arts or School of Science & Engineering.  Other JD- MPH or MSPH programs may be arranged through cooperating agreements between the Law School and Tulane's School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine (SPHTM)

In general, the Law School will grant 6 to 9 hours of credit for work done for another degree program, if that other degree is in fact completed. The graduate or other professional schools usually grant between 6 and 12 hours of credit for work completed towards the law degree. Therefore, the time needed to complete both degrees can usually be shortened by 1 or 2 semesters.

 

Q-5. What clinical opportunities are available?

A-5. There are six clinics operating at Tulane Law School:

                1. Civil Litigation (civil rights, housing, landlord-tenant, employment)

                2. Criminal Litigation (defense)

                3. Juvenile Litigation (child custody, abuse, criminal matters)

                4. Domestic Violence

                5. Legislative & Administrative Advocacy (handling lobbying activities for otherwise unrepresented groups)

                6. Environmental Law (both litigation and non-litigation matters)


Students have the opportunity to work on actual cases through the Clinics or on simulated cases through the trial advocacy program. (The trial advocacy programs bring other practicing attorneys to the campus to work with students on trial skills). While most of the in-house clinics are limited to third-year students who can be admitted to practice under the student-practice rule, two of the clinics permit enrollment by second-year students who work on non-litigation matters.

Third-year students may receive credit for externships with federal and state judges in New Orleans. We also offer a Public Service Externship Program for second- and third-year students, and for summer placements.  Externships may be performed with a broad range of organizations in New Orleans during the academic year or elsewhere during the summer. 

Many students work part-time in their second or third years for local attorneys or law firms.

Note also--we have a Community Service requirement in which students spend 30 hours working with a practicing attorney on a pro bono case.                

ABOUT OUR STUDENT BODY
  • Our in-state percentage is about 21%, our out-of-state percentage is about 79%.
  • Median age of entering students is 24.8 years.
  • 20% minority students, 50% women

QUESTIONS ABOUT TULANE LAW SCHOOL

Q-1. Tell me about your career services office.

A-1.
Our Career Development Office is located in its own building, right next door to the Law School. It is overseen by an Associate Dean and staffed by five career professionals and three support staff.  The staff works closely with students on job-search strategies and interviewing skills, and sponsors seminars and workshops on various types and areas of employment.  In addition, the office arranges a variety of on-campus and off-campus interview programs,

Q-2. Is Tulane a new law school?

A-2. Legal studies were established in 1847, making Tulane the 12th oldest law school in the country.

Q-3. How big is your law library?

A-3.
The Library has a collection of over 560,000 volumes. It offers a wide range of computerized research databases. The entire Law building offers wireless internet connectivity.  The main reading room seats 106, and over 200 study carrels are located throughout the four floors of the law library.

Q-4. What about Public Interest?

A-4.
Tulane was the first law school in the United States to institute a 30-hour community service requirement for graduation. During the second and/or third year of law school, each student contributes a total of 30 hours toward a pro bono case supervised by a practicing attorney.

This is just one example of our strong commitment to the public interest. One of our most active student organizations is the Tulane Public Interest Law Foundation which, with the Law School’s help, funds summer fellowships for Tulane law students pursuing public interest employment.  Another example of our commitment is our Loan Repayment Assistance Program, which assists eligible students working in public interest legal positions with the repayment of their educational loans.

                In addition, we offer a robust public interest externship program.  Through this program, students can earn credit toward the JD for work with a wide range of organizations in New Orleans during the academic year or throughout the world during the summers.

Q-5. Do you offer graduate degree programs?

A-5. Graduate Programs (for students who already hold law degrees)

                Tulane Law School offers individuals who already have law degrees the opportunity to pursue advanced degrees in law through its graduate studies programs. Five different Master of Laws (LLM) degree programs are offered, and lawyers from throughout the world enroll in Tulane's LLM programs. Tulane also offers the Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) to individuals who have completed an LLM degree.

                General LL.M.                

                LL.M. in International & Comparative Law               

                LL.M. in Admiralty 

                LL.M. in Energy & Environment               

                LL.M. in American Law                

                S.J.D.                

                One of the advantages for our JD students is that many of our graduate degree students are lawyers from around the world, giving all of our students the opportunity for contact with foreign attorneys.

Q-6. Do you offer summer programs?

A-6.

  •   Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  •   Cambridge and London, England
  •   Paris, France
  •   Berlin, Germany
  •   Rhodos and Spetses, Greece
  •   Siena, Italy
  •   Amsterdam, The Netherlands         

      Not all programs are offered every year, http://www.law.tulane.edu/abroad

OTHER QUESTIONS

Q-1. What housing arrangements are offered at Tulane?

A-1.
Tulane University offers two graduate housing options, both off-campus.  The Papillon Apartments, located on Josephine Street in the Lower Garden District , feature 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom apartments.  The Papillon is a short walk to the St. Charles Avenue streetcar and is also serviced by the Tulane shuttle.  Deming Pavilion, located on the Health Sciences Center Downtown Campus, features studio and 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom apartments.  Deming is also serviced by a Tulane Shuttle running between both campuses.  More information about these Tulane-owned options is available at http://housing.tulane.edu/grad_options.html

Most graduate and professional students, however, prefer to live off-campus in one of the many residential neighborhoods surrounding the school. Rents range from $700 and up for a one-bedroom, $850 and up for a two-bedroom, and $1500 and up for a three-bedroom apartment, though more expensive apartments are certainly available. The law school admission office provides information that can assist students in finding apartments. We maintain listings of apartments about which we’ve been notified and lists of law students who need roommates.  In addition, the University's Housing and Residence Life Department offers graduate students the opportunity to search for roommates and find off-campus apartments through the web services RoommateClick and ApartmentSource.  Information about these web services is available at http://housing.tulane.edu/grad_options.html

MORE INFORMATION

Our website contains comprehensive information about all of our programs. Upon request, we can mail to interested individuals our Viewbook.

Periodically, we publish hard copy brochures on Tulane’s programs in the following areas:

Our Application materials are available through the electronic application service on the website of the Law School AdmissionCouncil (LSAC), www.lsac.org 

 

Related Links:

Media Inquiries:
Linda P. Campbell
Director of Communications
tel 504.865.5976
linda.campbell@tulane.edu

Mailing Address:
Tulane University Law School
John Giffen Weinmann Hall
6329 Freret Street
New Orleans, LA  70118
tel 504.865.5930
fax 504.865.6710

Other Contact Information:
admissions@law.tulane.edu
careers@law.tulane.edu
finaid@law.tulane.edu



 
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