11.29.2008

200 Years of Civil Codes in Louisiana














Last week, Tulane Law hosted an international colloquium in celebration of the bicentennial of the first civil code in Louisiana.  I happened to catch the opening speech on divergent legal conceptions of property as various comparative law experts from around the world arrived.

Uniquely among the American states, Louisiana's law developed beginning in 1808 along the lines of Continental code-style law with Roman, French, and Spanish influences, as opposed to the English Common Law heritage that holds sway in the rest of the states.  

It gives students at Tulane Law an interesting option: in their first year, students can choose whether to pursue a Common Law track or a Civil Law track, depending on where they plan to practice.  Interestingly, a sizable majority of students select Common Law, although it seems a noticeable number of students drift toward Civil Law as their attachment to New Orleans grows over the course of three years.