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Civil Law

Explore the nuances of civil law, with a particular focus on the complexities of Louisiana civil law.

Hands-on Legal Training in Louisiana Civil Law.

MC Law offers a unique opportunity for students who plan to practice in Louisiana to obtain real world experience in Louisiana while pursuing the J.D. degree at MC Law.

Louisiana Civil Law is Unique Among the rest of the U.S. States

Unlike most other states, which follow the common law tradition, Louisiana's civil law system is based on the Napoleonic Code and relies on comprehensive, codified laws and regulations to govern civil matters. This system is characterized by a focus on written statutes and a more inquisitorial approach, where judges play a more active role in investigating cases and interpreting the law, setting it apart from the adversarial common law system found in the rest of the country. 

Because of our proximity to Louisiana, MC developed the Center for Civil Law Studies to provide an opportunity to focus legal training on the unique legal system within Louisiana. The Center for Civil Law Studies works closely with the Civil Law Society, an organization of MC Law students who plan to practice in Louisiana. Established in 2015, the Center offers a Certificate Program in Civil Law, organizes the Civil Law curricular offerings, sponsors an annual scholarly symposium,  and supports other events designed to promote the academic and professional development of students pursuing studies in civil law and who plan to practice law in Louisiana.

students talking outside

Real World Experience with Louisiana Civil Law

Students may elect to do externships in Louisiana in a governmental or non-profit law office for 3 or 6 credits. The externships are available in all parts of the state, giving students opportunities to gain real world experience, network, and earn academic credit in the community in which they intend to practice following graduation. In addition, students may take courses at MC Law by synchronous distance learning during the term or terms in which they are externing in Louisiana, enhancing the opportunities to spend a summer term or regular semester (or both a summer term and a regular semester) in Louisiana while pursuing the J.D. degree at MC Law.

Center for Civil Law Studies Staff


Associate Dean for Civil Law and Foreign Studies and Professor of Law

Dean McIntosh joined the MC Law faculty in 1991 from private practice in Monroe, Louisiana. He received his B.S. degree, magna cum laude, and his J.D. degree (Order of the Coif and Louisiana Law Review) from LSU. He received the LL.M. from New York University School of Law in 1981. Dean McIntosh established the Civil Law curriculum at MC Law in 1991 and has guided its growth during the intervening years from three courses (for a total of 9 credit hours) to a nine course curriculum (for a total of 27 credit hours). After serving as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for thirteen years, Dean McIntosh was named as the Associate Dean for Civil Law and Foreign programs in 2015. He is the founding director of MC Law’s Center of Civil Law Studies and the founding director of the law school’s summer study abroad program in France, now known as the Transatlantic Summer School, operated in partnership with Catholique Université de Lille. Dean McIntosh teaches Civil Law Obligations, Civil Law Property, Civil Law Successions and Donations, Civil Law of Sales and Leases, Comparative Law, International and Comparative Sales Law, Products Liability and Advanced Torts.


Adjunct Professor of Law

Judge Gill-Jefferson was elected to the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans, Division “A” on March 5, 1994. She served as Chief Judge of the Civil District Court from January 2003-December 2004.  On September 1, 2006 she retired from the bench.  Judge Jefferson received a B.A. degree from Tougaloo College, and her J.D. in 1978 from Loyola University School of Law in New Orleans. She currently practices law in New Orleans. Professor Jefferson teaches Civil Law of Persons and Family and Civil Law Matrimonial Regimes.


Visiting Professor of Law

Mr. Vetter recently retired from Loyola University College of Law in New Orleans. Prior to joining the faculty at Loyola, Professor Vetter served as Acting Chief Trial Attorney for the United States Department of Defense, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Washington, D.C. Professor Vetter earned a  LL.M. from George Washington University Graduate School of Public Law, 1965; the LL.B., Louisiana State University, 1964; and a B.A., Louisiana State University, 1962. He has a distinguished career as a law teacher and scholar in Civil Law. Professor Vetter teaches Louisiana Security Devices.