Steps To Becoming a Lawyer in Louisiana

Louisiana is the sole state in the country that has its system built on civil law. It’s constructed out of French and Spanish codes as opposed to English common law. What this means is that judges in the state are allowed to rule on their own interpretation of the law as opposed to legal precedents. That’s why studying law in Louisiana is totally different than in any other state in the country. These challenges are found in Louisiana’s completely essay based bar exam. There are other states to practice in, but if you insist on Louisiana, but if you’re up to the challenge, following these steps must be taken.

Obtain Your Major

The Louisiana Supreme Court Committee on Bar Admissions doesn’t require you to possess a degree in any particular course of studies. To get into an American Bar Association (ABA) accredited law school though, you’ll need to graduate from a place that appears on the U.S. Board of Education’s accredited list. That’s found at the Database of Accredited Post-Secondary Institutions and Programs. There are plenty of schools that will satisfy this requirement.

Take Interesting Classes

The ABA doesn’t require you to attend a particular program at a particular school. It does want you to take classes that are interesting through, no matter what your interest is. If you take interesting classes, your grade point average will be higher, and that what makes you a better law school candidate. Classes that might make you a better law school candidate include English, social studies, political science eartg science and psychology.  Again though, these are just recommendations. Any major will do, so long as it’s interesting to you.


Once you’ve completed your major and have your bachelor’s degree in hand, you’re eligible to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). This has nothing to do with the practice of law. That’s another reason to study in an area that you like. It tests your abilities in the following subjects:

  • Reading Comprehension: This section consists of perhaps four passages. Discerning the main theme and arguments of the passages is important.
  • Logical Reasoning: Questions will range from making comprehensive or discerning arguments to discussion of logical argument patterns.
  • Analytical Reasoning: This section might be the most difficult. Recognition of a group from a common combination, recognizing patterns and thinking analytically will be of great help.
  • Writing Sample: You’ll be given an essay question to defend or deny. You’re not scored on this section, but your answer will be provided to all law schools that you apply to.
  • Mystery Question: This question will not be scored, but you won’t know it. It will be from one of the first three areas. That’s just more reason to try and do your best.

Applying for the LSAT Process and Getting Your Score

You can schedule your LSAT online. You’ll be asked to pay the $215 testing fee and $125 fee for three schools. Any additional schools are an additional $45 each. Tests are given on Saturdays and Mondays in November, and March in 12 locations scattered throughout Louisiana. It takes about three weeks to get your score. The lowest is 120 and the highest is 180. There are four ABA accredited law schools in Louisiana. They scored as follows:

  • Tulane University 158
  • Louisiana State University 155
  • Loyola University New Orleans 152
  • Southern University 143

The Application Process for Law School

As there are more than 200 law schools in the country, so don’t limit yourself geographically. You can still take the bar exam in Louisiana if that’s whet you want to do. The Credential Assembly Service is used when applying to law schools. It gathers transcripts, letters of recommendation and other relevant data in an intelligible and readable form for presentation to admission committees across all ABA law schools. The cost is $195 with a $45 cost for every law school applied to. Online approval is available at every law school that you apply to.

The Louisiana Bar Exam

The Louisiana Bar Exam is given over Monday, Wednesday and Friday on the last week of February and the first week of July. As stated earlier, since Louisiana is the only civil law state in the country, it’s nothing like any other bar exam in the country. It consists of 21 total hours of testing, including general Code I, II, and III of the Louisiana Code. The second day includes civil procedure, torts and business entities. Friday’s session includes constitutional law, criminal law and procedure, evidence and federal jurisdiction and procedure. The exam is almost all subjective essay questions. Louisiana doesn’t use the MBE in any part of its bar examination process.

What’s a Passing Score?

A passing score on the Louisiana Bar Exam Is 650. That’s 70% of seven separate essay exams including four Code exams that must be passed. Code subjects carry twice the weight as non-Code subjects.

The Application Process

Everybody taking the bar exam must be registered as a law student. The bar exam application must be submitted to them at a cost of $875. Applicants must also complete the NCBE Character Report Application. The National Conference of Bar Examiners is used for this purpose. Fingerprinting and a federal criminal check must also be performed at any police station.

The Pass Rates

Pass rates from ABA approved schools in Louisiana for the 2021 year follow:

  • LSU Law Center 81.62%
  • Loyola 80%
  • Tulane University 79.44%
  • Southern University 51.61%

A list of those who passed the bar exam is posted on the Louisiana Supreme Court website. Individual scores will be forwarded by mail in about two months. Fictitious names chosen by all applicants will be used to identify non-passers. You’ll be notified of the location and time off your swearing in. Congratulations! You passed the bar exam.