Newman’s 2017 Distinguished Alumnus: Jack Weiss ’64


Newman’s Alumni Association is pleased to announce that the 2017 recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award is Mr. Jack Weiss ’64. A prominent attorney and legal scholar, Weiss is a nationally known expert on First Amendment law, has served as Chancellor and Professor of Law at the Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center, and most recently joined the law firm of Liskow & Lewis in New Orleans. He accepted the award at an evening reception on Thursday, April 6 in Newman’s Reynolds Ryan Art Gallery.

“We are deeply proud of Jack’s connection to our School as an engaged alumnus, former Newman parent, and former Member of Newman’s Board of Governors,” said Newman Alumni Association President J.T. Nesser ’92. “A true leader in the legal profession, Jack’s positive impact on Newman and the local, state, and national legal communities has been immeasurable. As a fellow Newman alumnus, LSU Law School graduate, and attorney, I could not be more thrilled to present Jack with this year’s Distinguished Alumnus Award.”

Nesser presented the award at a reception attended by Weiss’s family, friends, former classmates, faculty, staff, alumni, and administrators. Head of School Dale M. Smith welcomed guests and shared a brief history of Weiss’s impressive career. Richard Stone ’60, a close friend of Weiss since their Newman days, shared stories from high school to their early careers which tracked remarkably similar paths. As Stone recounted, both attended Harvard Law School and both worked at the U.S. Supreme Court in the early 1970s, Jack as a law clerk for Justice Warren Berger and Richard as an attorney arguing cases before the court. Both remain closely connected to Newman and now share the honor of being recipients of the Distinguished Alumnus Award.

In his acceptance remarks, Jack acknowledged the many teachers from Newman who shaped his life, including Mrs. Grout, Mrs. Schultz, and Mr. Soyka. He remarked that his “generation” at Newman – graduates of the 1960s – are among the most impressive people he has ever known, and that many are still dear friends. Finally, he credited Newman for introducing him to his wife, Candy, to whom he has been married for 47 years.

A Leader in Law
Weiss has represented clients in challenging media and business matters for more than 40 years. Before joining the firm of Liskow & Lewis in September 2016, Weiss served as Chancellor and Professor of Law at the Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center for eight years. Under Weiss’s leadership, the Law Center modernized its educational policies and curriculum, substantially increased the diversity of its student body, inaugurated new energy law and clinical legal education programs, and reintegrated with LSU’s main campus after nearly four decades as a separate campus of the LSU System.

Prior to his tenure at LSU, Weiss was a partner for nine years in the New York office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP. Weiss was principal outside publication counsel to Dow Jones & Company, Inc., the publisher of The Wall Street Journal. From 1975 to 1998, Weiss practiced law in New Orleans. He was lead counsel to the Times-Picayune for more than twenty years and represented numerous other major publishing and broadcast clients. For many years, Weiss was listed in The Best Lawyers in America for First Amendment law and was ranked by Chambers USA as one of the top lawyers in the New York media and entertainment bar.

Weiss served as law clerk to Chief Justice Warren E. Burger of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1972 to 1973, and as law clerk to the Honorable John Minor Wisdom of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit from 1971 to 1972. From 1973 to 1975, He served as a legislative assistant to Senator J. Bennett Johnston of Louisiana.

Weiss is a member of the Louisiana, New York, and District of Columbia bars. He is a lifetime member of the American Law Institute.

In 2006, Harvard Law School honored Weiss as a Traphagen Distinguished Alumnus. In 2010, Weiss received the 100 Black Men/Forum 35 Baton Rouge Brotherhood & Sisterhood Award, given to community members who have “worked to break down the barriers that divide our community and prevent us from working and living together in harmony.”

“Jack Weiss is known nationwide as one of our most brilliant legal minds, but he has always remained meaningfully engaged in improving our city, state, and region,” said Head of School Dale M. Smith. “We are proud to call him our Distinguished Alumnus and are grateful for his support of Newman.”

At Newman, which he attended from kindergarten through his graduation in 1964, Weiss was named the First Honor Student and served as President of the Student Council in his senior year. He was a member of the school’s Board of Governors from 1983 to 1998, and served during many of those years as Secretary of the Board and Chair of the Educational Policies Committee.

Weiss and his wife, the former Ann Robinson, have three children – David, Eli, and Anne Weiss Delaporte – and five grandchildren. David attended Newman through ninth grade; Eli was a student at Newman for thirteen years and graduated with the Class of 1998.
1903 Jefferson Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70115
Phone: 504.899.5641
Fax: 504.896.8597
Open 7:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Monday through Friday
An independent,
non-denominational day
school in New Orleans for
early childhood through 12th grade