Common Law and Civil Law

Because of Louisiana's unique legal system, Loyola Law offers two distinct tracks of study, Common Law and Civil Law. Irrespective of the chosen track, graduates of the College of Law earn a Juris Doctor degree, the educational credential needed to qualify for the bar in any state. 

Dual Curriculum

Louisiana is the only mixed jurisdiction in the United States. This means that Louisiana utilizes both English Common Law and European Civil Law. Under Civil Law, disputes in the private sector (e.g. property issues) are resolved primarily through codified statutes, such as the Louisiana Civil Code or Revised Statutes. Under Common Law, disputes in the public sector (e.g. criminal law) are resolved primarily through legal precedents created by judicial decisions over time. All federal courts and the other 49 states follow the English Common Law legal system. 

At Loyola students can choose to focus their studies on a Civil Law curriculum or a Common Law curriculum, depending on where they intend to practice. Typically, students that plan on remaining in Louisiana or moving abroad to Civil Law countries choose the Civil Law track; students that plan to practice outside of Louisiana, but remain within the United States, choose the Common Law track.  

There are five distinct divisions you may choose from:

1. Civil law full time day - 12 or more credit hours each semester, 3 year degree.
2. Civil law part time day - 12 or fewer credit hours each semester, 4 year degree.
3. Civil law part time evening - 12 or fewer credit hours each semester, evening courses, 4 year degree.
4. Common law full time day - 12 or more credit hours each semester, 3 year degree.
5. Common law part time day - 12 or fewer credit hours each semester, 4 year degree.

Certificate in Common Law and Civil Law

Should a student wish to develop competency for both kinds of jurisdictions, the student may focus their core curriculum in Civil Law and obtain a Common Law certificate, or focus on the Common Law and receive a Civil Law certificate.

To earn a Civil Law certificate, Common Law students must take Civil Law Property I, Conventional Obligations, and one of the Civil Law "Pool" Courses: Successions, Sales and Leases, Civil Law of Persons, Louisiana Donations and Trusts, Community Property, or Security Rights.

To earn the Common Law certificate, Civil Law students must take Common Law Property I, Commercial Transactions, and one of the following courses: Real Estate Transactions, Contracts II, Trusts and Estates, or Secured Transactions.

Both certificates require students to satisfy the Perspective Course requirement by taking either Western Legal tradition or Comparative Law.