On December 16, 1946, in response to a lawsuit by an African-American resident seeking to attend law school at a state institution, the Louisiana State Board of Education took “positive steps to establish a Law School for Negroes at Southern University…to be in operation for the 1947-1948 session.”
Plans for the law school were approved by the State Board of Education at its January 10, 1947, meeting. On June 14, 1947, the Board of Liquidation of State Debt appropriated $40,000 for the operation of the school. The Southern University Law School was officially opened in September 1947 to provide legal education for African American students.
Southern University Law Center graduates, beginning with the legendary civil rights attorney, political leader, and educator Jesse N. Stone, Jr., Alvin Basile Jones, Leroy White, Ellyson Fredrick Dyson, and Alex Louis Pitcher of the class of 1950, have spread across the state and nation as trailblazers in the legal profession, securing equal rights for others. To date, the Law Center has more than 2,500 graduates and is one of the nation’s most racially diverse law schools.