Join NOBA for our Annual Big Easy Bootcamp

October 5 2020 | Committees

NOBA’s Young Lawyers Section presents its annual “Big Easy Bootcamp” CLE, an all-day seminar, to be held on October 8, 2020 beginning at 9:30 a.m. Consistent with the socially distant times, the CLE will be held virtually this year via the Zoom platform. The lineup features five panels of speakers and highlights notable figures in the New Orleans’ legal community from judges to practitioners with a wide variety of experiences and expertise. As new attorneys enter a legal field riddled with a lot of uncertainty, “Big Easy” promises to alleviate some concerns by educating attendees on key issues every new attorney should know when first starting out.

At its core, Big Easy aims to highlight subject areas that a new attorney requires when first starting out in their legal career. That will be no different this year, as the program will highlight some longtime favorites as well as some new faces. A hallmark of the CLE each year is the presentation by Harry Rosenberg, a former U.S. District Attorney, who provides his signature tips on “Mastering Cocktail Conversation.” Specifically, how to respond to the inevitable questions you will receive as an attorney at a cocktail party from friends and relatives. The hard-hitting questions such as, “What do you do when you get the call that your best friend is behind bars?” This year, Harry is joined by Hannah Adams from Southeast Louisiana Legal Services who will provide valuable insight as to the current status of evictions in Louisiana during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

Judge Kern Reese and Magistrate Judge Dana Douglas will counsel young attorneys on their first courtroom experiences and the proper demeanor in the courtroom, whether it be in a federal or state courthouse. This talk pairs nicely with a presentation by associates Chloe Chetta, of Barasso Usdin, and Rebekka Veith, of Fishman Haygood, who will discuss some of the practical differences between practicing in state vs. federal court. 

The Big Easy program would not be complete without the advice of experienced attorneys Nan Alessandra, Tom Cortazzo, and Jason Waguespack, on the “Dos and Dont’s of Being a New Associate.”  Each of these three panelists provide invaluable guidance on being a top-notch associate no matter what type of firm you begin your career. Nan Alessandra has had a successful, expansive career, specializing in employment related disputes, at Phelps Dunbar. Jason Waguespack is the current managing partner of Galloway Johnson and former NOBA President. Tom Cortazzo practices at Lewis, Brisbois Melissa Lessell, who often practices in the area of ethics and malpractice. Each of these speakers will present on what it means to be “competent” as a young attorney. 

Big Easy is open to all attorneys but specifically welcomes the newest 2020 admittees to the Louisiana bar. Admission is free for those new admittees who sign up to become a member of NOBA.   

For any questions or further information about “Big Easy Bootcamp,” contact Briana Nelms at


Margaret Viator
Phelps Dunbar LLP
Co-Chair of the YLS Big Easy Bootcamp Committee

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