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LSU Law establishes Chair in Maritime Law thanks to Dodson & Hooks gift

The LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center announces the establishment of the Endowed Chair in Maritime Law thanks to a gift made by the Dodson & Hooks, APLC law firm.

Three men wearing suits and ties hold a wooden plaque and smile for a photo

LSU Law dean Tom Galligan and Dodson & Hooks partners Richard “Jerry” Dodson and Kenny Hooks pose for a photo holding a plaque commemorating the creation of the Dodson & Hooks Endowed Chair in Maritime Law at a lunch April 26 at the Renaissance Hotel.

“The appointment to an academic chair is among the most prestigious of university honors. The Dodson & Hooks Endowed Chair in Maritime Law will support the academic endeavors of a maritime law scholar and teacher,” LSU Law Dean Tom Galligan said. “In addition, we hope that the gift will inspire students to pursue this exciting and challenging area of law – the field that Jerry and Kenny, and I, hold dear.”

The more than $600,000 gift from Dodson & Hooks was matched with $400,000 through the Louisiana Board of Regents competitive matching grants program. The $1 million endowment will be held in perpetuity by the LSU Foundation and will provide annual financial support to a Law Center Maritime Law academic scholar.

“Kenny Hooks and I both very sincerely appreciate the LSU Law School establishing the Endowed Chair in Maritime Law. It was our goal to ensure that Maritime Law is taught on a regular basis at the LSU Law School,” Dodson & Hooks partner Richard “Jerry” Dodson said. “A recent study found that one out of every five jobs in Louisiana is in some way related to maritime commerce, and we believe it is essential that Maritime Law be part of the curriculum at the LSU Law School. None of this would have been possible without the hard work of Dean Galligan and (LSU Law director of External Relations) Karen Soniat.”

Dodson & Hooks brings a unique approach to personal injury law, maritime law and medical malpractice. Its principal partners —Dodson and Kenny Hooks — work with clients to develop interpersonal relationships, which is a key foundation of the firm.

While the firm is located in Baton Rouge and has handled cases throughout the Louisiana, the firm has also represented individuals, companies, unions, and conglomerates across the world, including Russia, China, Japan, Philippines, Poland, India, Chile, Ukraine and many others.

Dodson is a 1966 graduate of LSU Law, and Hooks graduated from the Law Center in 1997. Firm associates Michael Colomb (LSU Law Class of 1982) and H. Price Mounger (LSU Law Class of 1988) are also integral to the firm’s success, along with a talented and dedicated support staff.

Dodson also donated a significant maritime art collection to the Law Center earlier this year. The collection includes ships’ passports and sea letters signed by the first 21 presidents of the United States, along with various ship artifacts. The Richard J. “Jerry” Dodson Maritime Art Collection, located in the first-floor lobby of the LSU Law Center, was officially dedicated in a ceremony March 8.