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“The Pursuit Of Justice Is My Passion.”

André Bélanger

André Bélanger

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It never fails to catch me off guard when somebody tells me I was destined to be a lawyer, because it had never been my intention to go to law school in the first place. While I was studying Economics at Knox College, I was dead-set on matriculating into the MBA program at Tulane. I realized during this time that I was not talented enough in math to pursue a Ph.D, and I would not be satisfied in New Orleans with the (albeit high-paying) bartending careers that were available. The day of my interview at Tulane did not go well: I got into a heated argument with the counselor, and given what was said and the tone on which we parted, I knew that that door had been thoroughly shut.

As I said, it never fails to catch me off guard when somebody tells me I was destined to be a lawyer. I can, however, understand where they are coming from: I like to talk, and I like to debate. After that fateful interview, I decided on a whim to walk down St. Charles Ave. and check out Loyola’s Law School. It turned out that Loyola operated on a rolling deadline, which meant that I was able to apply over the Christmas break. I gained acceptance, and at that point at least, the fact that I was to be a lawyer did seem, at least one some level, destined.

As a law student, I was once again dead-set on my goal, this time, to be a trial lawyer. I worked hard, soaking in everything that I could with regards to evidentiary and procedural rules, and I took every advocacy course that the school offered. On my free time, I volunteered at the New Orleans DA’s office, taking on my first cases as a student practitioner in conjunction with Loyola’s legal clinic. My time at Loyola was rewarding, and for the first time, I was not only dead-set on my goal, I was inseparable from it. All my energy, all my thoughts, they went to the law and trial advocacy, to taking in what I could and trying to make myself into what I knew I needed to be.

After obtained my J.D., I got a job at the New Orleans DA’s office, which was run by Harry Connick, Sr. This experience too was immensely fulfilling, affording me the opportunity to bring around 130 cases to trial and eventually reaching the position of special prosecutor assigned to domestic violence homicides and sex crimes. My career at this office ended on the day that my boss retired, and immediately afterward, I became a part of the largest criminal defense firm in New Orleans. Again, I took in everything that I could, honing my skills and preparing myself for whatever came next, which, ultimately, turned out to be another job at a criminal defense firm, this time in Baton Rouge, after Katrina destroyed New Orleans.

Since then, I have become a partner at what is now one of the largest criminal defense firms in the entire state of Louisiana and one of the 25 largest legal firms in Baton Rouge. I specialize in complex federal criminal defense, homicide defense and drug crimes defense throughout Baton Rouge, Ascension Parish, and Mississippi. I love what I do, plain and simple. Recently, I’ve teamed up with my law partner Jim Knipe so I can devote my courtroom skills to helping our clients get paid for the damages they incurred during an auto accident. I am fortunate to be surrounded by bright, dedicated individuals.

I am proud that our firm takes such vested interest in our clients.

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