Judge Freddie Pitcher, Jr.
“My early involvement with CLEO provided me with a significant career boost. Not only did I gain an introduction to the law through the experience, but it also increased my confidence in my ability to actually achieve my dream – a dream that led to my election to the judiciary.”
Judge Freddie Pitcher, Jr. (ret.) was appointed Chancellor of the Southern University Law Center in November 2002. With his appointment, he was also given the rank of full professor of law.
Chancellor Pitcher, who earned his bachelor’s and juris doctor degrees from Southern, came to the chancellorship from the position of partner with Baton Rouge office of Phelps Dunbar LLP, an international law firm. He was named a partner in that firm upon his retirement from the bench in May 1997. While with Phelps Dunbar, his practice focus was in the areas of commercial, casualty, and employment law litigation. He was also a member of the firm’s appellate practice group.
Pitcher, a longtime adjunct law professor, has a career of many firsts. He became the first African-American elected to a judgeship in Baton Rouge with his election to the City Court in a citywide election in April 1983. He was the first African-American elected to the 19th Judicial District in a parishwide election in 1987, and achieved another first with his election to the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal, without opposition. While serving on the First Circuit, he participated in more than 1,000 judicial opinions, authoring well over 200. Pitcher has also served as an Associate Justice Ad Hoc on the Louisiana Supreme Court.
Prior to his election to the bench, Judge Pitcher was the principal partner in the firm Pitcher, Tyson, Avery, and Cunningham. He has also served as a special counsel in the Office of the Attorney General for the State of Louisiana, and as an assistant district attorney for East Baton Rouge Parish.
Chancellor Pitcher is a member of the American Bar Association, National Bar Association, Louisiana State Bar Association, and the Baton Rouge Bar Association. He is admitted to practice before the United States Eastern, Middle, and Western District Courts of Louisiana and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Among his many recognitions, Chancellor Pitcher was inducted into the 2014 National Bar Association (NBA) Hall of Fame, was presented a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Louis A. Martinet Legal Society Foundation, and was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Law from Siirt University, Siirt, Turkey. He was named one of the top 100 most influential black lawyers in the United States – dean’s category, by On Being a Black Lawyer (OBABL) Magazine in 2011; and was recognized as a Distinguished Professor by the Louisiana Bar Foundation in 2005. The Baton Rouge Chapter of the National Conference of Community and Justice honored Chancellor Pitcher as one of two recipients of its 2004 Brotherhood Award. He was inducted into the SU Law Center Alumni Hall of Fame in 2003.
Chancellor Pitcher serves on the American Bar Association Committee on Bar Admission and was appointed to a three-year term on the American Bar Association Law School Legal Education Section’s Committee on Professionalism and was named to the ABA Site Evaluation Team for Reaccrediting Law Schools, both in 2004. In 2009, Chancellor Pitcher was appointed to serve on the Board of Directors for the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana (PAR). He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Baton Rouge Recreation Commission Foundation, Baton Rouge Area Foundation, Woman’s Hospital Development Committee, Our Lady of the Lake College, and Young Leaders Academy of Baton Rouge. He is a member of Omega Psi Phi and Sigma Pi Phi fraternities.
Chancellor Pitcher is married to Dr. Harriet Anderson Pitcher, and they have one daughter, Dr. Kyla Dean Pitcher.