(Photo by Brian Baiamonte)
Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch
Professional experience: Melissa Landry serves as executive director of Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch. Since Landry took over the grassroots legal watchdog group in 2009, LLAW has grown to represent more than 6,000 supporters across the state and successfully implemented numerous campaigns to raise awareness about the costs and consequences of lawsuit abuse. Prior to joining LLAW, Landry served as press secretary for the Louisiana Recovery Authority, where she worked to help the state rebuild in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
In the news: Working with a broad coalition of business and legal reform groups, LLAW played a key role in passing legislation this year to improve the state’s process of awarding outside legal contracts. By placing safeguards on the hiring, oversight and payment of outside attorneys representing the state’s interest in litigation, this reform legislation will help eliminate any appearance of impropriety and foster public confidence in Louisiana’s legal system.
“The best advice I’ve ever received was from my mentor, Dan Borné, who I first met as a student at LSU. At the time I had no idea he was such a legend in Louisiana politics or that he was ‘the voice of Tiger Stadium.’ I knew him only as my professor, and I often relied on him for advice. On the verge of graduation, as I was contemplating my next step out into the ‘real world,’ Dan told me, ‘Do something you love, or you will never be good at it.’ These simple yet profound words of wisdom have always stuck with me. They’ve helped me avoid some major mistakes, and they’ve allowed me to have a successful career working on important projects about which I am truly passionate. What more could you ask for than that?”