20 Things You Didn’t Know about Tulane Law School


Tulane Law School is a part of the Tulane University system. The school is one of the oldest law schools in the United States with a rich and storied history. It’s not an Ivy League institution, but it is among the most prestigious in the country. If you’re considering Tulane Law School but you’re not familiar with its history, or current requirements, here are twenty things you probably didn’t know about the school to help you decide if it’s the best choice for you.

1. Tulane Law School was founded in 1847

Tulane Law School celebrates its 125th anniversary in 2022. Tulane Law School confirms that the school opened its doors to law students in 1847. It is the twelfth oldest law school in the nation. The school was established thirteen years after Tulane University received its official recognition to offer educational programs.

2. Tulane Law School has a storied history

The parent university of Tulane Law School was first established as a part of the Medical College of Louisiana, which dates back to 1834. The institution was the forerunner of Tulane University, operating as a state-chartered school called the University of Louisiana. The school received a name change in 1884 when it was reorganized, changing from a state-chartered school to a private, non-sectarian university. It was named for a prominent philanthropist, Mr. Paul Tulane.

3. Tulane law school is a pre-civil war institution

Tulane University School of Law opened before the advent of the Civil War. It began with just twenty-two students. Each student paid a tuition of $100 for the complete course of study. The school had graduated 263 students by the time that the Civil War commenced, but the war that divided the North and the South forced the closure of the school. It was closed until 1865 when the Law School reopened with new dean Christian Roselius.

4. Tulane Law School has closed twice in its 125-year history

Tulane Law School has enjoyed prosperity since the time of its establishment, but there have been two periods when the school was forced to close. The first closure was because of the Civil-War conflict, which made it unsafe for the school to keep its doors open. The second closure was forced when Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc in the region, causing damage and death in its wake. Tulane Law School closed its doors on August 29, 2005, causing massive interruptions in the educational careers of its students. The school didn’t stay down long. The doors re-opened to receive students on January 9, 2006, less than six months after the forced closure.

5. Tulane Law School is in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tulane Law School’s campus is in the heart of the culturally rich city of New Orleans. Students attending the school have access to the amenities of the city with its international port, center for admiralty law, international trade, and massive entertainment and dining venues. Students are in one of the most celebrated cities in the South, enjoying a host of foods, music genres, live performers, and cultural events. The environment of New Orleans is made up of people and cultures from around the world. Unique backgrounds and customs are celebrated daily through food, music, art, and entertainment. It is the home of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival as well as Mardi Gras and other celebrations.

6. Tulane Law School is ideally situated for law students

Tulane Law School is in a prime location with access to numerous courts. Many movements for environmental, political, and social change exist in the city, as well as numerous legal resources. All levels of state court exist in the city, along with federal district courts. It is the home of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Students at Tulane Law also have access to the law libraries of the Louisiana Supreme Court and Fifth Circuit courts, which are open to students. Many of the New Orleans practicing lawyers teach advanced and specialized law courses as adjunct faculty members, lending their expertise for the benefit of the student body.

7. Tulane Law offers civil law electives

Wikipedia confirms that students may pursue comparative education of the two major legal systems in the world. Louisiana is the only state in the union with a civil law system vs. common law. Students receive exposure to a broad array of concentrations and subject areas. The uniqueness of its dual legal systems sets Tulane Law in an outstanding position to deliver more opportunities for its law students.

8. Tulane Law School is known for its outstanding programs

The Sports Law and Environmental Law programs at Tulane Law School are known to be the strongest in the nation. Other notable programs include its Maritime Law program which is held in high regard throughout the world and its Corporate Law program. For the past two decades, Tulane Law School served as host of the Tulane Corporate Law Institute, with its Mergers and Acquisitions and Corporate Law forums.

9. Tulane Law employed notable professors

Tulane Law is known for its notable faculty and adjunct faculty, who either taught at the school or are still teaching. The founder of TPG Capital, David Bonderman, and Hoffman Franklin Fuller, tax law authority taught at Tulane. New York City’s Standard Oil executive Cecil Morgan was dean from 1963 through 1968. Jonathan Turley, the second most cited professor of law in the US, and civil law professor Ferdinand Stone, US Senator from 1876 through 1879James B. Eustis, and civil service reformer Charles E. Dunbar were also faculty.

10. Current Tulane Law School professors have impressive credentials

Tulane Law has a long history of professors with notable credentials, but the current staff also has impressive histories. Edward F. Sherman helped to write the Vietnam code of civil procedure for the nation. He served as the dean from 1996 through 2001 and is currently a faculty member. Gabe Feldman is a notable legal analyst for the NFL Network. Loulan Pitre Jr. is a lawyer in New Orleans who specializes in environmental issues. He is a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives for Lafourche Parish from 2000 through 2008. Michael R. Fontham is a current faculty member who authored the evidence book used by practicing attorneys and law students titled “Trial Technique and Evidence.”

11. Tulane Law School graduated notable business people

Mike Tannenbaum is the General Manager of the New York Jets. He graduated from Tulane Law School with his JD in 1995 and a Sports Law certificate. Peter Schools is the CEO of Broadwebasia. he graduated with his JD in 1985. Dean Lombardi is the General Manager and President of the Los Angeles Kings. He earned his JD degree with a specialization in labor law. Richard Brennan Jr. was the owner of Commander’s Palace along with other New Orleans businesses as well as his family restaurant business. He graduated with his law degree from Tulane but entered other industries.

12. Tulane Law alumni are also government officials

A degree from Tulane Law School can open many doors in the arena of government. Some of its most notable alumni went on to have political careers. Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Edward Douglass White is an alumnus. Other notable alums include Newton Crain Blanchard, Louisiana Governor from 1904 through 1908. Francis T. Nicholls was governor of Lousiana from 1876 to 1880, then again from `888 through 1892. Other Tulane Law graduates who went on to become governors include Bob Wise, Governor of West Virginia, and David C. Treen. Louisiana Republican Governor, Alvin Olin King, Huey Long, Jared Y. Sanders Sr, Oramel H. Simpson, Murphy J. Foster, and Newton C. Blanchard.

13. Tulane Law graduated alumnus who went on to become senators

Several Tulane Law alumni went on to become United States senators. David Vitter, Luther Strange, John H. Overton, Randall Lee Gibson, Allen J. Ellender, Robert F. Broussard, and Edwin S. Broussard were all US Senators. Gibson Hall at Tulane Law is named after graduate Randall Lee Gibson. Many alumni became US Representatives. Jared Y. Sanders Jr., Lewis L. Morgan, John Rarick, Cedrick Richmond, Enos McClendon, Bob Livingston, Hale Boggs, and others are among them.

14. Tulane Law alumni became judges

Tulane Law has graduated many students who went on to become judges. Peter Beer served on the US District Court of the Eastern District of Louisiana. Others include Nannette Jolivette Brown, Patricia E. Campbell-Smith, Edith Brown Clement, W. Eugene Davis, Jimmy Dimos, Dee D. Drell, John M. Duhe Jr. Madeline Hughes Halkala, Bill Pryor, Eleni M. Rahmel, and dozens more. Several became notable mayors. Some of them are Ralph T. Troy, Mayor of Monroe, Louisiana, Columbus, Georgia Mayor Robert Poydasheff, Ravinder Bhalla, Hoboken, New Jersey Mayor, and others.

15. Tulane Law has graduated numerous successful female students

Tulane Law welcomed women into its classrooms before some law schools admitted women to their programs. Yvette Kane graduated in 1953 and became a judge in the United States District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania. Patricia Head Minaldi graduated in 1959 and became a judge in the United States District Court, Western District of Louisiana. Sarah S. Vance, a 1950 graduate, became a judge for the US District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana. Bridgett N. Whitmore earned her JD in 1998 and served on the 193rd District Court, Dallas County, Texas. Elizabeth Weaver, 1965, served on the Michigan Supreme Court. Madeline Hughes Haikala, 1964, served on the United States District Court, Northern District of Alabama.

16. Tulane Law graduated notable professionals in the arts

Other notable Tulane Law graduates became professionals with successful careers in the arts. Jonathan Hensleigh earned his JD in 1985. He wrote “Die hard with a Vengeance” in 1995, followed by the screenplay for the film “Jumanji,” and Armageddon” in 1998. He is a notable screenwriter. Robert Harling became a successful movie screenwriter, director, and producer. Novelist Whitney Gaskell nee Kelly of the 1997 class and Jan Crull Jr. JD, class of 1990, became an investment banker, filmmaker, Native American Rights Advocate, and attorney.

17. Tulane fosters in-class and extra-curricular camaraderie

LSac confirms that Tulane Law School offers support in academics and outside activities for its students to foster a sense of community and ample opportunities for the development of fully-rounded and balanced graduates. Tulane Law has something going on every day of the week. The school is home to forty student organizations. Some clubs and organizations include the International Law Society, Graduate Lawyers at Tulane with US and international law school graduates in programs beyond the graduate level, and many more.

18. Tulane Law provides rigorous academic programs for law students

Tulane Law provides a choice of five LLM programs. Requirements include classroom lectures and participation and completion of 24 semester hours. Degree candidates must choose a seminar in their field of interest and write a minimum of one paper. They may also choose to conduct a directed research project instead of the seminar paper. Students must also complete two full-time semesters in residence.

19. Tulane Law School is the home of many legal journals

US News confirms that Tulane Law School sponsors several student-run legal journals. Some include The Tulane Journal of International and Comparative Law, the Tulane Law Review, Tulane Maritime Law Journal, and many others. Students serving on the journal staff learn how to write legal documents and improve their writing and reasoning skills while sharpening their analytical skills and reviewing the submissions for inclusion in publications.

20. Tulane University is ranked the 55 best law school in the United States.

Tulane is one of the highest-ranked law schools in the United States. It’s known for the strength of its specialty programs such as Clinical Training, Business Corporate Law, Constitutional Law, and Contracts/Commercial Law. Other notable programs are Criminal Law, Dispute Resolution, Environmental Law, Health Care Law, Intellectual Property Law, International Law, Legal Writing, Tax Law, and Trial Advocacy.

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