Skip to main content
LSU Law Logo

Richard Pittman joins LSU Law faculty as Professor of Professional Practice, Director of Field Placement and Pro Bono Programs

Richard Pittman has joined the LSU Law faculty as Professor of Professional Practice, effective June 1. He also serves as Director of Field Placement and Pro Bono Programs.

After serving as Deputy Public Defender-Director of Juvenile Defender Services for the Office of the State Public Defender (formerly known as the Louisiana Public Defender Board) for the past 11 years, Richard Pittman has joined the LSU Law faculty as a Professor of Professional Practice and Director of Field Placement and Pro Bono Programs, effective June 1.

Prior to his time with the Office of the State Public Defender, Pittman was an attorney with Downs & Associates LLC in Tuscaloosa, Alabama for nearly seven years, with his practice heavily focused on public and juvenile defense. He served as Interim State Public Defender in 2019-20 and was honored with the Catherine LaFleur Legal Advocacy for Children Award in 2018 and the Juvenile Justice Award in 2023 in recognition of his work on behalf of juvenile justice. He has demonstrated a commitment to helping young attorneys and law students expand their skills and develop client-centered practice habits, regardless of their chosen field.

“As someone who is passionate about helping students make the transition from law school to meaningful legal careers, I couldn’t be more excited to join the world-class faculty at the LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center,” Pittman said. “My work in public defense and juvenile law has shown me what young lawyers need to be most effective, and I look forward to sharing what I’ve learned throughout my career with our outstanding students at LSU Law.”

Along with teaching field placement courses at LSU Law, Pittman will be responsible for administration of the Field Placement and Pro Bono Programs at the Law Center. Each year, nearly 100 LSU Law students participate in field placements, which are voluntary legal internships with a government agency, non-profit organization, or judge or attorney, that also encompass coursework. Many LSU Law students do pro bono work through their membership in the Public Interest Law Society student organization, for which Pittman will also serve as faculty advisor.

“Richard has devoted his career to advocating for juveniles and the most underserved groups within Louisiana’s legal system. His extensive experience and expertise will bring immediate benefits to our students,” said LSU Law Dean Alena Allen. “As Louisiana’s flagship law school, it is essential to our mission to offer students valuable opportunities to develop legal skills through field placements and pro bono work. We are delighted that Richard will be administering these crucial programs.”

As an administrator at the Office of the State Public Defender, Pittman secured numerous federal and private grants and assisted with drafting, introducing, and successfully promoting passage of several bills aimed at improving juvenile justice and child welfare issues in Louisiana, including the elimination of indiscriminate shackling of children. In 2019, he served as chair of the Child Protection Act Advisory Commission, which was formed by the Louisiana Legislature, and participated in the state’s 2019 Performance Improvement Plan for improving foster care service, court practices, and agency protocols for child abuse and neglect investigations.

Pittman received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from LSU, his master’s degree from the University of Delaware, and his J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law.