Caddo commissioners push for Southern University Law Center satellite campus

Southern University Law Center could open satellite campus in Shreveport

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - A proposal to have Southern University Law Center open a satellite campus in Caddo Parish is getting a lot of support.

Caddo commissioners this week will introduce two measures toward that effort.

One would support legislation a bill by Rep. Cedric Glover to support the establishment of a satellite campus in Shreveport.

The other measure on the commission’s agenda would set aside $100,000 in parish funds for a state Board of Regents feasibility study.

A study would cost $200,000. The rest of the money would come from private donations.

Commissioners say they’ve had positive discussions with Southern University and the American Bar Association and are serious about the push.

“What we want to be able to do when he goes to the table to present his concurrent resolution is be able to say we have money at the table," Commissioner Steven Jackson said of Glover. "We have money set aside. As opposed to what are you going to do, we’ve already done it.”

The proposed campus hopefully would serve not just North Louisiana but also East Texas, Arkansas and Mississippi, officials said.

Supporters say it would keep talent here in the parish and help build the local economy.

“When companies come to town, they want to know: What professional degrees do you have? How many individuals do you have with a professional degree? This is one of those professional degrees,” Jackson said.

Shreveport attorney Curtis Joseph Jr. spoke in favor of the measure Monday.

“I think it’s a fabulous idea. I think it’s long overdue, and I’m happy to see it getting off the ground and gaining some momentum at this point.”

Shonda Stone, a Southern University alumna and judge on the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal, also was among those to express excitement about the idea.

“It’s not really about more lawyers. It’s about more access to legal education.”

Jackson said some existing buildings already have been identified as a potential campus.

He hopes a decision can be made within a year about whether the law center will open a satellite.

The idea also seems to have the support of the full commission.

During Monday’s work session, commissioners passed the items to Thursday’s agenda for introduction. They’ll cast a final vote in two weeks.

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