Nancy M. Marsiglia Institute of Justice


Nancy Meyers Marsiglia - “A Legacy of Service” devoted her entire life to social and political justice. Whether advocating for better educational opportunities for children or equal rights for women, Nancy passionately threw herself behind every effort to make “equality under the law” a reality. To Nancy, uplifting the entire community was more than a vague societal goal it was a personal calling, a moral imperative incumbent on every individual.

A native of Richmond, Virginia, Nancy came to New Orleans to attend Newcomb College in 1971. Born to parents who gave household items to people struggling to make ends meet, Nancy learned from an early age the importance of volunteerism and giving back.

Nancy’s approach to social and political activism was simple and straightforward. She led by example. Always generous with her time and her money up front, she was equally generous with her advice and criticism on the back end. She combined a rapier wit with a warm heart, and it proved an unstoppable combination.

A tireless community activist, Nancy was courageous, outspoken and fiercely independent, yet also generous, empathetic and intensely loyal. Had she chosen the law rather than her family as a career, she probably would have been Chief Justice of the United States – yet she still found a way to leave her mark as an advocate for the liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. Friend and Mayor Mitch Landrieu said of her, “Some people are involved in politics because they like politics, Nancy participated in politics because she had a purpose.”

Truly Nancy led a purposeful life. She was a founding member of United Way’s Women United, formerly the Women’s Leadership Initiative. She was an enthusiastic participant in the pilot program that led to the Institute at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. Among her many other civic endeavors were her leadership roles at the Louisiana Children’s Museum, the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children, Agenda for Children, the Audubon Nature Institute, Metairie Country Day School, Jewish Children’s Regional Service, the drive to build the Aquarium of the Americas and Women of the Storm.

Nancy’s friends and family can think of no better way to honor her legacy of service than for the Loyola University New Orleans College of Law and United Way of Southeast Louisiana to promote a more respectful civil discourse, engage a more informed public in our community, and attempt to inspire civic engagement in the future. It is for these reasons the Institute of Justice bears Nancy M. Marsiglia’s name.


The Institute’s principal mission is to educate members of our community about the founding principles of our government and foster civil discourse regarding the American Experiment – the Constitution and Bill of Rights


The Institute is designed to give our fellow citizens an understanding of the background, creation and subsequent history of the unique system of government brought into being by our Constitution and it perpetual interpretation.


Twelve two-hour sessions to be held on Thursday evenings from 6:00 to 8:00 at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, Room 342, 526 Pine Street, New Orleans, LA 70118.

2018 Fall Semester Course Dates

September 6, September 13, September 20, September 27, October 4, October 11, October 18, October 25, November 1, November 8, November 15, November 29

2019 Spring Semester Course Dates

January 17, January 24, January 31, February 7, February 14, February 21, March 14, March 21, March 28, April 4, April 11, April 25

The curriculum has been designed and prepared by Martha Lemoine Palmer, Mentor Teacher and National Judge for the Center For Civic Education’s “We The People” program. Expert guest lecturers will be invited to weigh in on important topics. At the end of the course, students will participate in oral hearings based on the 2018 national questions from the “We The People Competition.”

Each participant will receive a copy of the text “We The People, The Citizen & The Constitution.” Students will also have access to the “Interactive Constitution App” provided by the National Constitution Center.

Upon completion of the course participants will receive formal certificates titled “Distinguished Fellow of the Nancy M. Marsiglia Institute of Justice.”


Tuition for each student accepted will be assessed at $750. Up to two scholarships will be awarded each semester.


Applications are available and are due July 4, 2018, for the fall semester and November 21, 2018, for the spring semester. Independent representatives of Loyola University New Orleans College of Law and United Way of Southeast Louisiana will review applications. The process will guarantee full diversity and participation from throughout the seven-parish region. Up to 20 participants will be selected per semester.

2018 Fall Semester

• Application process opens May 30, 2018

• Applications due July 4, 2018

• Letters of Acceptance mailed July 17, 2018

• Classes Start September 6, 2018 and End November 29, 2018

2019 Spring Semester

• Application process opens October 17, 2018

• Applications due November 21, 2018

• Letters of Acceptance mailed December 4, 2018

• Classes Start January 17 and End April 25, 2019

Please refer all inquiries to:

Sheneta Johnson (504) 861-5847