Robert L. Wollfarth Jr., Shareholder, Baker Donelson:

robert wollfarthRobert Wollfarth can’t help but be proud of how New Orleans has grown into a destination city for business.

He immerses himself in that culture every day as a shareholder at the New Orleans law office of Baker Donelson. Wollfarth earned both his J.D. and Master of Laws in taxation at New York University in 1997, but he says he had no intention to practice law anywhere but New Orleans.

“There’s a tremendous startup culture and an invigorating migration of talent to the city, so my decision has paid off,” says Wollfarth, a New Orleans native. “The thing I want people to understand is that you can do business here and succeed. Why wouldn’t you want to have your business, be successful at it, and not have to kill yourself at it? That’s the icing on the cake, and that’s possible in New Orleans.”

Wollfarth says the instant appeal of the city often starts the conversation for businesses to establish in New Orleans.

“People like to marry social interaction with business opportunity a lot more here, and that is attracting businesses from outside Louisiana,” he says. “Being from New Orleans gives you a leg up to start a relationship, and then you can attract them with your expertise. It facilitates relationships in business.”

Wollfarth joined Baker Donelson in 2011 and said the networking opportunities in New Orleans have served him well throughout his career.

“In New Orleans it’s easier to get to the centers of influence,” he says. “Imagine being in New York and trying to make connections. Here, those important connections are much more within your reach, and that’s just generally the benefit of a small city. And here, when you get to that person you need, they’re more welcoming, more willing to help than in many places.”