Louisiana House Speaker Mike Johnson had grand plans for a Christian law school in his state. The school, Louisiana College School of Law, was proposed to open for the 2021 fall semester and be the first evangelical Christian law school in the country. Unfortunately, Speaker Johnson’s plans for the school have unraveled over the past year.
One of the first issues for the Louisiana College School was start-up money. Initially, Johnson was set to have the school funded in part by a $2 million startup loan, but this loan eventually fell through due to opposition from Democratic lawmakers. With no start-up funds, the law school was unable to proceed.
The second issue facing Speaker Johnson was accreditation. He applied to the American Bar Association (ABA) but was denied. The ABA cited worries that the school was not committed to diversity and would not be able to provide qualified legal education. Without accreditation, Louisiana College School of Law wouldn’t be viable as a degree-granting institution.
In addition, there was more opposition from state lawmakers. Democratic (and some Republican) legislators argued that the school wasn’t necessary since there were already established law schools in the state. Some questioned whether the money from the failed start-up loan would be put to better use elsewhere.
Finally, there was the added problem of the COVID-19 pandemic. During a time of economic uncertainty and budget cuts, there didn’t seem to be the room for another law school.
Ultimately, Speaker Johnson’s grand plans for a Christian law school in Louisiana unraveled. With no start-up money, lack of accreditation, and opposition from legislators, his vision was never realized.