Rooted in Community
As a student at Tulane University’s School of Law, Lesli honed her legal skills in the Juvenile Law Clinic representing children in need of care and those charged with delinquency. She purchased her first home in 2004 on Amelia Street in District B, renovated by the Preservation Resource Center. She now lives in Central City, in a tight-knit, diverse community that truly reflects New Orleans.
Lesli is a board member for YAYA (“Young Artists Young Aspirations”), on the Industrial Development Board, and volunteers at her local church, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, where she serves on the Building Committee.
A Lawyer Fighting for Equal Rights & Our City's Culture
Lesli first practiced law at Stone Pigman for 16 years and became the second Black woman law partner. She focused her practice on entertainment and intellectual property law, representing clients like the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans. She has also argued for equal rights for everyone, representing the Forum for Equality and couples seeking to strike down Louisiana’s anti-gay marriage laws. The case was pending at the 5th Circuit Court of Appeal when the U.S. Supreme Court declared in Oberfeld v. Hodges that marriage is a fundamental right accessible to all.
Lesli's skills and service have been recognized by New Orleans City Business, where she received the Leadership in Law Award (2013, 2017, 2021) and by the National Bar Association as Entertainment Lawyer of the Year (2018).
A Problem Solver and Consensus Builder
For the last few years, Lesli has served as Chief of Staff to Loyola University’s first woman president, where she played an instrumental role in getting the university back on solid financial footing. And when COVID hit, President Tetlow asked her to lead Loyola’s COVID response. Lesli wrote Loyola’s COVID policies, listened to everyone in the Loyola community, and protected the safety of Loyola students, professors, and staff. Her proven success in these experiences will be essential as this City Council seeks to balance its Covid-hit budget and lead us safely through the pandemic.
A Servant Leader
Lesli's been active in our community for decades. She is currently on the board of the YAYA (Young Artists Young Aspirations) in Central City, and a member of the Independent Women’s Organization “IWO”, the New Orleans Bar Association, the New Orleans NAACP, the Industrial Development Board of the City of New Orleans, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Man & Women of the Year Committee.