He's spent more than two decades fighting for employment and labor law rights all over the state. Now one local attorney is about to tackle a position never held before by an African American in the city of Baton Rouge. This Baton Rouge lawyer is raising the bar.
It's nothing new for employment and labor law attorney Leo Hamilton to work a 12-hour day. Even though he has a secretary, he still pounds away on his computer, typing many of his own letters. A single fan blows in his stuffy office. But, there's nothing stuffy about this Breazeale, Sachse and Wilson law firm partner.
" He is a talented person and he's got to be recognized for who he is", says Gordon Pugh, attorney. Who he is is the new 2002 bar association president. A position never held before by an African American in this state.
His colleagues are quick to tell you that race played no part in Hamilton securing his position. But, they do admit that the fact that he's African American can bring about change. "I think Leo can do a great deal from the podium of the Baton Rouge bar association to advance race relations in this community", says Pugh.
Hamilton has already done a great deal professionally. One of his biggest accomplishments came in 1997 when he defeated an oil refinery tax before the Supreme Court. But, if you ask this south Baton Rouge native, who still lives three blocks away from where he grew up, what his biggest achievement is, it's not his new title, job or accolades. "The most satisfying time for me was...and my wife and I talked about this...was the point at which we realized that our kids still liked being with us", he says.
Some feel his biggest accomplishment is yet to come. "One day I hope in Baton Rouge we don't refer to our black community and our white community, but our community. Leo can bring us towards that goal", says Pugh.