Walt Leger III

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Walter “Walt” J. Leger III (surname pronounced leh-ZHAY) is Speaker Pro Tempore of the Louisiana House of Representatives and the representative for New Orleans’ District 91, which includes Central City, Uptown, the Lower Garden District, the Irish Channel, parts of Broadmoor, Gert Town, and Hollygrove.[1] Leger is a member of the Democratic Party (United States).

Personal Life and Education[edit]

Walt Leger, the oldest of three siblings, was born on June 22, 1978 to Walter Jr. and Cathy Leger. He is married to the former Danielle Marie Doiron of Houma, Louisiana. A New Orleans native, he graduated from Jesuit High School (New Orleans) in 1996 and went on to receive his B.A. in political science from Louisiana State University in 2000. During his time at LSU, his passion for public service was ignited while working for U.S. Senator John Breaux in Washington D.C. After graduating with many honors, he returned to New Orleans and attended Tulane University Law School, where he earned his Juris Doctor with a certificate of specialization in Admiralty & Maritime Law in 2003. Additionally, he served as a Judicial Intern for the Honorable Judge Morey Leonard Sear, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Since completing his education, Walt Leger has been regularly called upon to lecture at Continuing Legal Education programs for lawyers and has also lectured at Tulane University Law School, Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, Tulane University, and the Loyola University New Orleans Institute of Politics.

Career[edit]

Law[edit]

Beginning his career as an Assistant District Attorney in New Orleans, Walt Leger tried countless jury and judge trials. He has prosecuted violent offenders and drug traffickers, maintaining a conviction rate of over 90%. He has held leadership roles in the Louisiana State and New Orleans Bar Associations and is now an attorney at the law firm of Leger & Shaw, where he has a litigation practice focusing on admiralty & maritime law and commercial, insurance, and complex civil litigation.

Politics[edit]

In 2007, Walt Leger was elected state representative for Louisiana House District 91 and went on to become the youngest member to ever serve as Speaker Pro Tempore of the Louisiana House of Representatives in January 2011. As Speaker, Walt Leger moderates debate, makes rulings on procedure, announces the results of votes, etc. and is the in the second highest position of the House. In Legislature, he has served on the powerful Appropriations Committee, the Criminal Justice Committee, the Education Committee, the Judiciary Committee, the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget, the House Executive Committee, the Juvenile Justice Implementation Commission, the House Committee on Homeland Security, and the Technology Sub-Committee of the House Executive Committee. Additionally, in October 2012, he was elected to the Chairmanship of the Southern Rail Commission (formerly known as the Southern High Speed Rail Commission),[2] which is made up of representatives of the States of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.

Today, Walt Leger continues to strive for excellence in doing what’s right for the people of Louisiana. His priorities include being tough on crime, creating jobs, fighting for fairness, improving education, protecting New Orleans’ coast, and making smart investments.[3] One recent example of proactive legislature includes his 2013 bill to allow the governing boards of all four public college systems of New Orleans to increase tuition and fees under a uniform policy that would be determined by the Louisiana Board of Regents, which oversees higher education in the state. Walt Leger’s goal was to guarantee a more reliable revenue stream for the institutions, whose state share of funding has been declining in recent years. The bill was approved 13-4 in the House Education Committee. He has widespread recognition for his commitment to the people of Louisiana and his awards [4] include:

•2013 Inaugural Film and Entertainment Advocacy Award from the Louisiana Film and Entertainment Association
•2013 Champion of Small Business Award from the National Coalition for Capital
•2012 Elected as Speaker Pro Tempore of the Louisiana House of Representatives
•2012 Louey Award for Legislative Leadership from the Louisiana Tourism Industry and the Louisiana Travel Promotion Association
•2012 Outstanding Legislator Award from Victims & Citizens Against Crime, Inc. 
•2012 Elected as Chairman of the Southern Rail Commission
•2012 Advocate of the Year from the Louisiana Restaurant Association 
•2012 Business Champion Award from the Chamber of Southwest Louisiana
•2011 Legislator of the Year by the Alliance for Good Government
•2011 Business Champion Award from the Chamber of Southwest Louisiana
•2011 Crimestoppers Champion Award
•2010 Legislative Champion Award by the Louisiana Council of YMCAs
•2010 National Award for Leadership in Juvenile Justice Reform from the National Juvenile Justice Network 
•2010 Nurse-Family Partnership Champions Award
•2010 Business Champion Award from the Chamber of Southwest Louisiana
•2009 Legislator of the Year Award by the Louisiana Partnership for Children and Families

Public Service[edit]

Walt Leger has continued to exhibit his devotion to public service by serving on the board of directors for the St. Bernard Parish Chapter of the American Red Cross, as well as for the Louisiana not for profit DesireNOLA. Currently, he serves on the Board of Directors for Total Community Action, Inc.

Notes[edit]

Louisiana House of Representatives
Preceded by
Jalila Jefferson-Bullock (D)
Louisiana Legislature House District 91
(Orleans Parish)

2007–present
Succeeded by
Incumbent