The Caddo Parish Commission on Monday (April 15) will consider two pieces of legislation that could establish a satellite of Southern University Law Center in Caddo parish. Currently there is no public law center outside of Baton Rouge in the state of Louisiana.
The Parish legislation for support comes as House Concurrent Resolution 24 (HCR 24)from state Rep. Cedric Glover (D-Shreveport) calls on the Board of Regents to study how to meet education, economic, and workforce needs of the Shreveport-Bossier region, including through establishment of Southern University Law Center campus in Shreveport.
Caddo Parish Ordinance 5869 of 2019 will appropriate $100,000 to help fund the study to be conducted by the board regents. If approved, funding will come from the Parish’s General Fund Operating Reserve. The second legislation Resolution 26 of 2019 urges the Louisiana Legislature currently underway to adopt the HCR filed by Representative Glover. The parish legislation introduced by Commissioner Steven Jackson contends “there is a need in the Shreveport area for law degree programs in order to meet the educational needs of students and the economic and workforce development needs of the region.”
“I believe we have a real chance to make this reality. We know that previous efforts went unsuccessful with the Louisiana College start up law school in 2010. However , Southern University is an established brand in our community and Southern University Law Center has produced many brilliant legal minds that have made an impact locally and nationally. I am honored to play my part in hopes that we can make this happen,” Commissioner Jackson said.
The resolution also indicates, “local private resources to help pay additional cost of the study and that local facilities may be available to SU System at no cost to help make this effort a reality.” Commission President Stormy Gage-Watts stated, “a law school is something that will be a benefit to our community. We all need to speak with a united voice to support this effort.” The Caddo Parish Commission Long Range Planning Committee gave a preliminary green light to the initiative at its meeting. Now the full body will consider the matter.
“North Louisiana has a robust higher education offering. However, we know that we are losing talent with absence of legal education and can attract some out of state regional talent with one. We are home to the United States District for the Western Division, Louisiana Second Circuit Court of Appeals, District and Municipal Court, and we have a very active local bar association. There is clearly a void and we hope we can help fix that,” says Jackson.