Presidents' Award

2019 Presidents' Award

The Presidents' Award recognizes New Orleans lawyers for a lifelong commitment to community service in the highest ideals of citizenship.
We are currently accepting nominations for the 2020 Presidents' Award.

Max Nathan, Jr.
2019 Presidents' Award Recipient

The New Orleans Bar Association bestowed the prestigious Presidents’ Award to Max Nathan, Jr. at a ceremony held on August 28, 2019, at the Windsor Court Hotel. The Presidents’ Award recognizes professional excellence, integrity and dedication to service in the highest ideals of citizenship.

“Max [Nathan] is a lawyer par excellence, a scholar, a teacher, and advocate for those in need...” wrote his daughter Dr. Kathy Nathan. Retired from prestigious New Orleans law firm Sessions Fishman Nathan & Israel, Nathan spend his life dedicated to the practice of law. He was president and chairman of the Louisiana Law Institute and a long-time member of its council. He served as chairman of the Mandatory Louisiana Continuing Education Committee of the State of Louisiana and was instrumental in implementing continuing legal education in Louisiana. Max was also, a faculty member and then adjunct faculty at his alma mater, Tulane Law School where he inspired countless law students. 

When presenting the award, Jason Waguespack, New Orleans Bar Association’s President and previous student of Nathan’s praised Nathan. “What made Professor Nathan’s class popular was Max Nathan…He was brilliant and tough, but he was also funny, with a smile and a joke ever at the ready. Most importantly, it was evident to me that here was a professor who loved what he was doing, and who loved being a lawyer,” Waguespack said.

The award is the highest level of recognition from the Association and is named the “Presidents’ Award” out of respect to the high ideals of community service and leadership displayed by all of the Presidents of the New Orleans Bar Association. 


To Submit a Nomination

Use the Online Nomination Form

Or email Helena Henderson



  • active commitment to community
  • service high moral and spiritual standards
  • concern for the social and cultural well-being of all citizens of New Orleans


  • membership in New Orleans Bar Association
  • lawyers holding or seeking elective office are ineligible
  • previous recipients are ineligible

Award Presentation


Previous Recipients

  • Max Nathan, Jr., 2019
  • Marcus V. Brown, 2018
  • Judy Perry Martinez, 2017
  • R. Patrick Vance, 2016
  • Phillip A. Wittmann, 2015
  • Russ M. Herman, 2014
  • Harry Rosenberg, 2013
  • Leon J. Reymond, Jr., 2012
  • Harry S. Hardin, III, 2011
  • Mark C. Surprenant, 2010
  • Walter J. Leger, Jr., 2009
  • Kim M. Boyle, 2007
  • Evangeline M. Vavrick, 2006
  • Philip deV. Claverie, Sr., 2005
  • Donna D. Fraiche, 2004
  • Wayne J. Lee, 2003
  • Robert B. Acomb, Jr., 2002
  • Gene W. Lafitte, 2001
  • Herschel L. Abbott, Jr., 2000
  • George Denegre, 1999
  • David Conroy, 1998
  • Donald W. Doyle, 1997
  • Jack C. Benjamin, Sr., 1996
  • Arthur J. Waechter, Jr., 1995
  • Moise S. Steeg, Jr., 1994
  • Harry B. Kelleher, 1993
  • Walter M. Barnett, 1992
  • Moise W. Dennery, 1991


The New Orleans Bar Association is currently accepting nominations for the Presidents' Award. This award honors New Orleans lawyers for a lifelong commitment to community service in the highest ideals of citizenship.  
{Nominations must be submitted by April 30, 2019}


Nominations Deadline

April 30th of each year. Nominations received after the deadline will be considered for the following year’s award.


Submit a nomination

Please provide your information below, in addition to nomination details in the comments field.