BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) – While things physically look different on Southern University’s campus due to the pandemic, the mission of John Pierre’s law class remains the same.
“Their history makes the environment so much richer” Chancellor Pierre said. “It is one where that true mission is adhered to on a daily basis”.
Pierre is the Chancellor of the Southern University Law Center; one of just six HBCU law schools in the country.
“HBCU’s have helped create African American, Latino and Asian talent that have gone out into corporate America and in government and have been transformative forces in this world” Pierre said.
The Southern University Law School opened in 1947 after a Black man filed a lawsuit seeking to attend a law school at a state institution. The law school’s first graduating class in 1950 was a major milestone for Black people wanting to pursue legal careers, but like other HBCU systems then and now, these institutions have always stood as mecca’s of higher learning for all people.
“Most people have a curiosity to learn about folks who are not from where they are” said Chancellor Pierre. “We start out with that curiosity and then we have a faculty that is also diverse and so they bring in their perspective to the students that are eager to learn who are excited about learning and who want to have a transformative experience”.
“We have diversity from a cultural and racial and ethnic standpoint it’s very, very wide” Chancellor Pierre explained. “We have students from a diverse set of undergraduate majors who come to law school and they’re very diverse age wise” he said.
Since its opening 73 years ago, the Southern University Law Center has produced graduates that have gone on to become legal and political juggernauts. Jesse Stone, Jr., one of the law center’s first graduates, would go on to become an Associate Justice for the Louisiana Supreme Court. Former Louisiana Governor Mike Foster earned his law degree from SULC in 2004, State Representative Ted James is a law center grad, and former Miss Louisiana and current television judge Faith Jenkins got her start at the Southern University Law Center.
“It’s that welcoming, family based environement- that one of service- because when you look at why HBCU’s came into existence, they came into existence with a mission to essentially educate a whole set of people that had been denied access to education and therefore their history makes the environment so much richer” Chancellor Pierre said.
To learn more about the Southern University Law Center, visit https://www.sulc.edu/
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