Walter J. Welch practiced personal injury law in Minneapolis from 1926, when he was admitted to the bar, to death in 1953. He was a renowned specialist in one particular area of tort law: the Federal Employers' Liability Act. In memorial proceedings after his death his colleagues recalled:
"Walter J. Welch was known by all of his close associates as "The Judge." They all referred to him as "The Judge" because of his scholarly opinions and the fact that he had a better knowledge of the Federal Employers' Liability Act than probably any other lawyer in the United States. He was able to cite practically every leading case under this Federal law from memory and give the facts."