Constance A. "Connie" Koury
Constance A. “Connie” Koury began a private practice in Lafayette in 1980, working in her uncle's law firm for two years before becoming a sole practitioner. During the 12 years of her general civil litigation practice, which had an emphasis on personal injury cases, she was named Outstanding Businesswoman of Lafayette and served on numerous professional and civic boards, including an appointment to the mayor’s Vision Lafayette health-care committee.
In 1992, Koury was nominated as and chosen to serve as special counsel to the governor, and in 1994 she became the state’s first female executive counsel to the governor. While in those capacities, she coordinated the governor’s legislative packages, advised the governor and state agencies on legal matters and served on various boards and commissions, including the State Bond Commission. The governor assigned her to represent the Board of Regents and the state during the United States vs. Louisiana litigation involving higher education. She became the chief negotiator for the state parties in the litigation, which resulted in a 1994 settlement of the by then decades-old desegregation litigation. (In 2006, three years after becoming general counsel to the Board of Regents, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana determined that the state had fully complied with the terms of the settlement and dismissed the lawsuit.)
Koury returned to private practice in 1996 and in1997 she was appointed the first female first assistant attorney general for the state of Louisiana. Her duties included supervising the operations of an office of over 500 employees (188 of whom were attorneys), supervising the issuance of legal opinions and handling the attorney general’s legislative activities. In 1999, she was inducted into the Louisiana Hall of Fame for Women in Government. As first assistant she again served as the state’s chief negotiator in complicated litigation requiring coordination of state agencies and intense negotiations with the United States Department of Justice. Settlements were reached in 1999 and 2000, which led to juvenile justice reform of the state’s juvenile detention centers and the ultimate dismissal of the litigation.
Koury returned to private practice in 2000 until December 2003, when she became general counsel to the Louisiana Board of Regents. In addition to advising and representing the board and its staff on legal issues, she led the agency’s legislative efforts, participated in policy decisions and co-advised the Council of Student Body Presidents.
She joined Louisiana Association for Justice as its executive director in 2011.
Koury earned a baccalaureate degree from the College of Education at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 1975. She taught high school and coached debate at Teurlings Catholic High School in Lafayette for two years and was named Louisiana’s Outstanding Debate Coach for 1977 before attending Louisiana State University Law Center and earning a Juris Doctorate degree in 1980.