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In August 2012, the LSU Law Center, with the approval of the LSU Board of Supervisors and the Louisiana Board of Regents, created an academic center for comprehensive instruction and research in energy law. The LSU John P. Laborde Energy Law Center, the first such center in Louisiana, prepares lawyers to address the full range of 21st century issues in the complex energy sector and to assume leadership roles in industry, government, nonprofits, and the academy.

John P. Laborde Endowed Chairs in Energy Law and the Laborde Energy Law Support Fund

John P. Laborde (’49), a well-known New Orleans civic leader and a leader of Louisiana’s energy sector, made an historic $2M+ gift to the Law Center to endow the program and to ensure its continuation for years to come. Mr. Laborde’s gift provided for a double-endowed chair and a programmatic support fund. For 40 years, Mr. Laborde led Tidewater Marine, an international marine service company that he co-founded. After retiring from Tidewater in 1994, he served as Chairman of the Board for numerous Laborde family businesses until his passing in fall of 2021.

The Energy Law Center:

  • Developed a graduate certificate program in Energy Law to allow students to gain in-depth understanding and experience in the field.
  • Procures internship and field placement opportunities for LSU Law students.
  • Hosts an annual Liskow & Lewis Visiting Professorship in Energy Law and a related yearly speaker series.
  • Hosts a yearly symposium in conjunction with the Journal of Energy Law & Resources.
  • Facilitates student experiential learning opportunities by taking field trips to energy production and related facilities and interacting with regulatory or other personnel regarding energy and environmental law related issues.
  • Serves as a “go to” resource for companies, policymakers, non-governmental organizations, and other interested stakeholders focused on legal and policy issues affecting the energy sector.

In the future, the Energy Law Center aims to:

  • Develop other certificates of specialization and joint degree programs to provide students the opportunity to combine an in-depth understanding of energy law with the study of science, economics, engineering, business, and other disciplines as they relate to twenty-first century energy issues.
  • Develop service and education-related inter-institutional and international relationships with organizations and schools both domestically and abroad.
  • Develop collaborative and cross-enrollment opportunities for courses with the LSU A & M campus in content areas that will enhance student knowledge in the area of energy law.  Examples of potential programs with courses for cross enrollment include Geology, Petroleum Engineering, Nuclear Sciences, Coastal Sciences, Environmental Science, Business, Renewable Natural Resources, and Chemical Engineering.

J. Bennett Johnston Energy Law Endowment Fund

In June 2014, the J. Bennett Johnston Science Foundation, through the Greater New Orleans Foundation, pledged an $800,000 gift to the Laborde Energy Law Center to establish the J. Bennett Johnston Energy Law Endowment Fund. The Fund honors Senator Johnston and will support student internships and field placements in energy law and policy. The fund will also serve as a challenge fund for the Law Center’s $20 million Energy Law Center fundraising campaign.