BATON ROUGE, La.
The Southern University Law Center officially unveiled its completed expansion late last week.
The $4.1 million, decade-in-the-making expansion adds 13,400 square feet to the law school’s 101,000-square-foot A.A. Lenoir Hall, complete with three new stadium-style classrooms, new student seminar rooms, additional faculty offices, a lounge and more library stacks space.
“It’s just in time to greet the largest first-year class in the history of the law center,” Chancellor Freddie Pitcher said, discussing the 260 new, day- and evening-class students.
The law school opened 52 years ago with one classroom and just a few students. It has grown to an enrollment level that rivals Louisiana State University’s law school, once Southern’s evening-division students are counted. Southern’s expansion was federally funded, and the state added another $650,000 to renovate old classrooms, furniture and technology.
The only final touches remaining are furniture and decoration additions. But the functionality was all completed for the beginning of the new fall semester.
“It offers so much more space, especially with such a large incoming class,” Southern Student Bar Association President Raushanah Hunter said. “It wasn’t as comfy as it is now.”
While the law school has much more progress to make, Pitcher said the law school has battled and overcome numerous accreditation issues over the years, including facilities concerns, low bar-passage rates and inadequate faculty publishing.
Pitcher also in the past has promoted the diversity of the law school. Although Southern is a historically Black institution, last year’s enrollment was about 60 percent Black and 38 percent White.
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