When he’s not teaching criminal litigation at the Paul M. Hebert Law Center or working on his own cases, Franz Borghardt can be found providing legal analysis on his weekly “Fridays with Franz” segment on Court TV or hosting his “Legally Unfiltered” podcast with fellow attorney Richard Sprinkle.
“My weekly segment on Court TV is a lot of fun because I talk about cases I have nothing to do with and would never get to comment on otherwise, like the Alec Baldwin case, Gwyneth Paltrow’s ski accident, and the Depp-Heard trial,” said Borghardt, who earned his degree from LSU Law in 2006. “I’ve also gotten to meet great attorneys from around the country and chat with them, so it’s improved my attorney game, too.”
After hearing the excitement and passion with which Borghardt speaks about criminal law as a teacher and media analyst, it’s surprising to learn that as a student at the Paul M. Hebert Law Center he once vowed to never have anything to do with criminal law.
“I remember telling all my classmates, ‘I can’t believe criminal law is my lowest grade, and the bar exam will be the last time I touch it,’” Borghardt recalled, adding his aversion stemmed from a poor grade he earned in the late Professor Cheney Joseph’s class. “But low and behold, I’ve been practicing criminal law since 2006. Some of my best experiences at LSU Law were trying to figure out what I wanted to practice and watching later how life puts you where you need to be.”
He launched the Borghardt Law Firm in 2017, after previously working as a felony assistant in the East Baton Rouge Office of Public Defender and the East Baton Rouge District Attorney’s Office, and as an attorney for the Steven J. Moore law firm in Baton Rouge. His practice focuses on general criminal law, with an emphasis on federal and state litigation.
A Baton Rouge native, Borghardt earned his bachelor’s degree in Latin and English literature at LSU in 2002 with aspirations to become a teacher. When his career goals shifted and he decided to attend law school, he never imagined he would return to LSU Law as a professor. But Borghardt fulfilled his early dream of teaching for the first time this spring semester, teaching criminal litigation as an adjunct professor.
“I love making criminal law interesting to students who don’t necessarily love it as much as I do,” he said. “I’ve really gotten to reinforce an area of law that I love and talk about it twice a week to LSU students who are the best and brightest of law students around the state, so I’m very grateful for the opportunity.”
When he’s not working, Borghardt enjoys taking his mind off law by “celebrating the best things about Baton Rouge” in his radio show “Geaux Rouge,” collecting octopus art, and spending time with his 7-year-old son, Fisher. Though he isn’t sure where the future will take him, Borghardt said he’s enjoying the journey.
“I’m one of the lucky ones,” he said. “I fell in love with this process and found an area of law I love doing. I now have the opportunity to practice it and teach it, so I’m very grateful.”