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March 2021

DEAN'S COUNCIL MEMBERSHIP REPORT

Between the end of the calendar year and our March 10 Giving Day campaign, Law Dean’s Council has seen wonderful responses from our alumni and friends. Thanks to each and every one of you!

Welcome to our new members: Merritt B. Chastain, Jr. ’67; J. Mark Chevallier ’88; G. Blane Clark ’84; Michael S. Coyle ’76; Michael A. Crawford ’93; Rebecca Bellows Crawford ’93; Tom S. Easterly ’06; W. Craig Henry ’73; Deborah E. Lamb ’88; Rick J. Norman; Luke Piontek ’89; Ken Privat ’70; and R. Benn Vincent ’03.

Renewing memberships: Mathile W. Abramson ’88; W. Michael Adams ’73; Ricardo A. Aguilar ’86; Jennifer L. Anderson ’95; Peter W. Arbour ’74; Thomas A. “Tim” Barfield ’89; Robert W. Barton; W. Brad Bickham ’94; John C. Blackman ’69; Gregory E. Bodin ’88; Kathleen Gendusa Bodin ’03; Katherine C. Bodron ’91; Mark A. Bodron ’90;  John A. Braymer ’88;  Paul A. Broman ’93;  Honorable Eugene W. Bryson ’69; David F. Butterfield ’83;  James C. Carver ’89; William M. Comegys ’74; William B. Conway ’82; Paul M. Cooke ’72; William R. Corbett; John T. Cox ’68;  Michael A. Crawford ’93; Rebecca Bellows Crawford ’93; Daniel A. Cavell ’80; Anne J. Crochet ’83; Vicki M. Crochet ’80; Timothy F. Daniels ’85; M. Taylor Darden ’77; Honorable John W. deGravelles ’74; Guy deLaup ’81; Nancy C. Dougherty ’79; Larry Feldman ’74; John M. Frazier ’76; Brett P. Furr ’86; Michael R. Fontham; Honorable Marvin F. Gahagan ’55; Michael A. Golemi ’99; Gary P. Graphia ’91; G. Gregory Green ’86; Isaac M. Gregorie ’82; Eugene R. Groves ’70; Philip T. Hackney ’01;  Ann M. Halphen ’86; Joseph L. Hargrove ’75; Jan M. Hayden ’79; Honorable John S. Hodge ’88; Walter J. Hryszko ’81; Allison A. Jones ’85; Jennifer A. Jones ’81; Kirk Jones ’74;  Patrick A. Juneau ’65; Leonard L. Kilgore ’76; Katherine W. King ’81; Robert E. Kleinpeter ’76; Elizabeth C. Kraft ’75; Ralph E. Kraft ’75; Cliffe F. Laborde ’76; Stephen A. Lafleur ’03;  Deborah E. Lamb ’88; Amy E. Collier Lambert ’96; Pete Lewis ’77; Howard S. Linzy ’71;  Christine Lipsey ’82; Winfield E. Little ’74; Lee Ann Wheelis Lockridge; R. Kay Long ’87;  Lloyd J. Lunceford ’83; John W. Luster ’77;  James R. Madison ’74; John M. Madison ’69; Kathleen A. Manning ’77; Justin T. Mannino ’13; Katherine L. Mannino ’13; Angela J. Mayeux ’06; Christopher C. McCall ’95; Andrew McCollam ’83; Charles S. McCowan ’67; Mary H. McCowan; John F. McDermott ’78; Jack E. McElligott ’76; Patrick S. McGoey ’96; W. Shelby McKenzie ’64;  T. Coulter McMahen ’17; Lawrence A. Melsheimer ’02;  Mark W. Menezes ’81; Jennifer E. Michel ’87; Henry J. Miltenberger ’77; Barrye K. Miyagi ’92; Armin J. Moeller ’72; Honorable Susie Morgan ’80; Patrick C. Morrow ’72;  John T. Nesser IV ’99; David M. Oliver ’98; Harry J. “Skip” Philips ’83; E. Fred Preis ’74; Denise Puente ’87; Justin P. Ransome ’91; Robert K. Reeves ’82; Mike J. Remondet ’91;  P. Ragan Richard ‘93’ Michael H. Rubin ’75; Alan J. Schwartzberg ’76; John E. Simmons ’13; Paul A. Strickland ’80; Dean A. Sutherland ’75;  Robert G. Szabo ’72; Cecil W. Talley ’76; Angela S. Teer ’02; Robin P. Toups ’06; J. Antonio Tramontana ’91;  Quentin F. Urquhart ’84; R. Patrick Vance ’75; Michael S. Walsh ’83; Edward J. Walters ’76; Charles S. Weems ’69; Conlee S. Whiteley ’93; Frank R. Whiteley ’90; David S. Willenzik ’71;  John Morgan Wilson ’67; Stephen R. Yancey ’73; J. Randy Young ’92 and Constance G. Young ’92.

If you would like to become a member of the Law Dean’s Council, you can make your gift online here. If you have questions, contact Bobbi Zaunbrecher at 225-578-8705 or bobbiz@lsu.edu.

DEAN'S COUNCIL SPOTLIGHT

Jennifer Anderson | Class of 1995 | Baker Donelson | Baton Rouge, La.

Photograph of Jennifer Anderson

You're an employment litigator and a member of your firm's Labor and Employment Group, working primarily with employers. COVID-19 has redefined the workplace, at least temporarily, and you have written and presented extensively on the topic of the pandemic. When it’s behind us, what changes in workplace culture and practice do you think will remain?

Without a doubt, the pandemic has been a defining event in the realm of employment law and in the American workplace. If the results of recent employer surveys are any indication, some of the more impactful long-term changes will be in the form of regular remote positions and redesigned workplace settings with flexibility, technology, and safety top of mind. The extent of these changes remains to be seen, as many jobs can’t be performed remotely and workplace redesign may not be feasible for many employers due to cost and building restrictions. But I think some of the temporary remote and flexible work arrangements necessitated by the pandemic will outlive it as employers and employees adapt and find ways to be productive, collaborative, and profitable from a distance. Also, I think the pandemic did more to advance the technology skills of tech-averse employees (and lawyers, especially) than any conscious training efforts, with much-needed comic relief in the process (i.e., the face-filtered kitten lawyer who famously proclaimed during a Zoom court hearing that “I am not a cat”).

You graduated from LSU Law in 1995, when the “culture of attrition” was still prevalent. How did that affect your approach to law school and was there anyone who made a special impact on your experience?

We were made aware of the statistics from day one, and while it was certainly a source of concern, I can’t say it affected my approach. I was eager for legal work experience while attending school. With guidance from Career Services at the law school, I was able to find work as a Westlaw student representative, a year-round law clerk in a firm, and a law clerk in the Louisiana Sea Grant Law and Policy Program. I had terrific support from the leadership of the sea grant legal program, James Wilkins and Mike Wascom, who oversaw my work on a paper that won an environmental law award. These opportunities helped me figure out what I wanted to do and kept me focused on the future.

You serve on the board of Cat Haven, which is a no-kill shelter in Baton Rouge. Tell us a little more about the organization, what inspires you to volunteer, and something about your pets.

I have always been passionate about animal welfare, so when a fellow attorney invited me to serve on the Board ten years ago, it was a no-brainer. Since its founding in 1999, Cat Haven has become a leader in Baton Rouge’s no-kill movement and now has a state-of-the-art adoption center, six staff, and hundreds of volunteers. Cat Haven has found homes for more than 15,000 cats and kittens since inception and has averaged approximately 1,200 adoptions annually in recent years. Right now, a reformed (sort of) feral New Orleans street cat is part of my household. She sometimes acts like a honey badger, if you know what I mean.

You also served for many years on the Board of Governors to Magnolia Community Services in Jefferson, which started in the 1930s as a school for children with developmental disabilities and exists today to support adults. One of their services is a day program, which provides participants with meaningful activity and social interaction, and gives family caregivers respite. The program has been suspended during the pandemic. How important is it to reinstate the program? Do you think that its absence creates other pressure points? 

The day program is a vital part of Magnolia Community Services, so resuming operations when it is safe will be greatly welcomed by the staff and the clients. Magnolia has done a remarkable job maintaining more than 20 group homes and other essential services for adults with disabilities, a vulnerable population, during the pandemic. However, Magnolia and other nonprofit organizations that provide for the welfare of others (including animals) depend on financial support from private donors, which is needed now more than ever as the demand for their services remains great and in-person volunteer opportunities are limited for safety reasons. This is a great time to support organizations like Magnolia and Cat Haven financially.

We are very grateful and proud that you've been a member of the LSU Law Dean’s Council since 2015. Why is the Law Center among your philanthropic priorities?

I am grateful for my legal education and the career it set in motion. It just feels right to give back and contribute to the continuation and enhancement of the law school’s programs and services.

You made a firm change after 20 years of practicing. Not everyone is brave enough to do that, even if it makes sense for your practice. The first concern of a graduating student is to get a job and do well. Do you have any advice for students about maintaining flexibility and assessing your career path once you’re on it?

The best way I can answer that is to think of advice I wish I had been given when entering the legal profession. That advice is to view the end of law school as the beginning of your education. Make learning a lifelong habit and invest time and money in your personal and professional growth. Most importantly, make it a point to routinely examine your career, wherever you are on your journey. You may have dedicated yourself to a path and believe that it is the right path for you. But it’s worthwhile to periodically reconsider your choices, whether you are passionate about what you are doing, whether it is fulfilling, and what you envision for your future—without fear of change. You will either find comfort in consciously reaffirming that you’ve made the right decision or be prepared to explore a new direction if you find that time has come. Professional change can be reinvigorating. It certainly was for me.

Quick picks:

Football or basketball Football
Soup or salad Salad
Gold or silver Gold
Shrimp or crawfish Neither, I’m vegan
Wine or beer Wine
Powerball or Megamillions I don’t buy lottery tickets–nothing against them, I just never think about it!
Drive or fly Fly (except during the pandemic)
Facebook or Instagram IG!
Joe or Mika I had to look this up. I prefer reading over TV, and collect my news from a variety of sources online, none of which are very satisfactory in my opinion!