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Education & Social Science Graduates

Judge Frances Pitman

What I do now:
I am a Judge on Louisiana Second Circuit Court of Appeal. We are one of five appellate courts in the state. Our court hears cases from the judicial districts in North Louisiana.

My work/job consists of:
Our job is to determine if the trial courts in our jurisdiction were correct in their rulings. I read briefs from all sides of issues, listen to oral arguments and write opinions about our decisions.

Path to my current career position (how I got from the past to the present):
I received a wonderful education at LSUS and was admitted to graduate school at LSUHSC-S. I obtained a Master of Communication Disorders in Speech Pathology from a new program offered by the School Of Allied Health Professions at the medical school. I was a speech pathologist in public schools for several years before I became a member of the multidisciplinary evaluation team at the Children's Center, also a part of the School of Allied Health.
I decided I needed an advanced degree, and I went to law school because it increased my professional opportunities. After graduation, I clerked for a judge at the First Judicial District Court in Caddo Parish. From there I became a Louisiana Assistant Attorney General and remained there for 17 years. I was elected to The First Judicial District Court in 2008 and to the Second Circuit Court of Appeal in 2012.

How I got to LSUS (or why I chose LSUS):
I chose LSUS because it had an outstanding reputation and offered the curriculum I wanted to study.

Fond memories of LSUS:
I remember the old bookstore/snack shop/student union which was just a "temporary" building. I also remember parking in the field by the tennis courts if we didn't get to campus early enough.

LSUS faculty who helped me:
I thank Joan Harrington, Alan Thompson, Jim Miller, Jim Sabin, Loretta Lampkin, and many others for making sure I received an excellent education!

How LSUS helped me succeed:
It was a school that did not compromise and expected the best from its students.

Advice to college-bound students:
Keep signing up and attending classes. Graduation will be there before you know it! Perseverance is an important quality to possess.

Advice to someone who wants to enter my field:
Study hard. Work hard. Don't give up.

Tips on choosing a major or career:
Find an area you love, and go for it!

My toughest professional challenge:
Seeking elected office.

My toughest personal challenge:
I always try to have a plan A, B, and C. You never know what challenges and gifts will come your way.

Successes (honors, awards, etc.) in my life:
I was elected to Louisiana Second Circuit Court of Appeal in 2012. In 2010, I received the Circle of Excellence Award from LSUS. In 2009, I was an Athena Award nominee.

I've learned this from life:
1) Having a wonderful family and loyal friends is the greatest gift a person can receive.
2) Nothing stays the same. Expect the unexpected.
3) Education is the one thing that is yours and yours alone.

What I'd be doing if I had all the time in the world:
I would be doing just what I am doing now. I have a great life and look forward to each day.