Welcome to the Loyola University Newsroom

Print this page

Loyola University New Orleans College of Law Celebrates 100th Graduating Class

Loyola press release - May 12, 2017

Incoming dean, Judge Madeleine Landrieu, will share her vision for the century-old law school at Commencement 2017

2017 graduates of Loyola University New Orleans College of Law will be honored Saturday as the 100th graduating class of the century-old law school. Commencement 2017 also marks a welcome and a homecoming for the law school’s new dean. Fourth Circuit Appellate Judge, the Hon. Madeleine M. Landrieu, J.D. ’87, H ’05, who begins work at Loyola this summer, graduated 30 years ago from the law school and in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, received an honorary degree from Loyola together with her entire family, many of whom are Loyola graduates.

Landrieu will deliver the address at Commencement 2017 for the Loyola University of New Orleans College of Law, which runs from 5:45 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 13, at the Superdome. In her talk, she will celebrate the university and law school’s rich heritage, as well as share a bit about her vision for the school.

“Steeped in both 500 years of Jesuit values and a hundred-year history of seeking justice, Loyola University New Orleans College of Law continues to lean forward,” Landrieu said. “Graduates of the class of 2017 have received both a rigorous and transformative legal education. They leave Loyola’s gates fully prepared to face the challenges that stand before them and ready to seek justice in a changing world.”

Upon accepting her new position in February, Landrieu said that her law degree from Loyola is “one of my life’s most treasured blessings.” It has been her honor to serve in the Louisiana judiciary for the past 16 years, she said. The new position as Loyola law school dean allows her to continue service to others.

The School of Law, as the College of Law was then known, was founded in 1914 and graduated its first class in 1917, according to Ferris Family Distinguished Professor of Law M. Isabel Medina, who in 2016 published a book on the history of Loyola University New Orleans College of Law which examines the prominent Jesuit institution across its 100-year history, from its founding in 1914 through the first decade of the 21st century. With a mission to make the legal profession attainable to Catholics, and other working-class persons, Loyola’s law school has endured the hardships of two world wars, the Great Depression, the tumult of the civil rights era, and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to emerge as a leader in legal education in the state.

The School of Law, which began as an evening program, added a full-time day program in 1925. Since then, the nationally recognized law school has graduated more than 11,500 students. Distinguished alumni include Louisiana Supreme Court Justices; federal, state and city judges; public defenders; private attorneys; civil rights leaders; immigration experts; education leaders, and city mayors, including New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu J.D. ’85, H ‘05 and former Mayor Moon Landrieu ’52, L’54, H ‘79, H ‘05, the incoming dean’s brother and father.

The unique opportunity to earn certificates in both civil and common law gives Loyola law graduates flexibility to practice in Louisiana, across the country or around the globe. The combination of a rigorous and diverse curriculum taught by esteemed faculty, together with practical professional experience earned through Loyola’s Law Clinic and the Gillis Long Poverty Law Center, renowned Skills program, externships, and study abroad offerings spurs Loyola law graduates to join distinguished alumni in their avid pursuit of justice and dedication to service.