Lawyer Monthly - Legal Awards 2021

24 Further, WWL radio talk show host Garland Robinette – famous for championing the recovery from Hurricane Katrina – said: “I’ve interviewed multiple Presidents, Mother Teresa, have known Popes ... but I don’t think I’ve met anyone as extraordinary as Walter Leger.” (Editor’s Note: Leger thinks that quote is somewhat exaggerated). The Path to Maritime Law Walter Leger, Jr’s path to maritime law is not surprising. His grandfather, Captain Mitchell Leger, was a troop and cargo ship captain during World War II. He sailed primarily in the European theater. His other grandfather was a sailor in United States Navy in the Pacific theater. Walter’s father, inspired by his dad, became a mariner as well. He attended the Maritime College of New York. He was a member of the Navy reserve and sailed the high seas in the Merchant Marine working his way up from Ordinary Seaman to ship’s Mate and eventually obtaining a Ship Master’s License like his father before him. After marriage, he wanted to stay closer to home to raise his family. In those days mariners were gone for many months at a time with no communication back home. After several attempts, the senior Walter Leger entered the apprentice program to become a Mississippi River Bar Pilot. These pilots direct the operation of large seagoing ships from the Gulf of Mexico through the shallow waters of the mouth of the Mississippi River on the way upriver to various ports in New Orleans and beyond. The junior Leger had a youthful interest in public service and politics. But the “salt in his blood”, and his dad, directed him toward maritime law. After graduating from high school with honors and receiving numerous honors while pursuing a degree from Louisiana State University, he graduated from Tulane University School of Law with a concentration in Maritime Law. There he was Managing Editor of the Tulane Maritime Law Journal and received the American Admiralty Law Institute Award for highest grades. Upon graduation and interviewing with major maritime law firms, he joined the Phelps Dunbar law firm in New Orleans, one of the most prominent and oldest maritime law firms in the United States. The focus of his early practice involved the representation of large oceangoing ships, tugboats and barges on the Mississippi River and the thriving offshore oil exploration industry in the coastal marsh waters of Louisiana and the deep waters offshore. He worked with what he considered to be some of the top maritime lawyers in the United States, and perhaps the world. He later left to form his own firm joining up with one of his former classmates, who had been at another highly regarded maritime law firm. In the years that followed, Leger was involved in nearly every major maritime litigation in Louisiana and the United States. LAWYER MONTHLY LEGAL AWARDS 2021 USA

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