Louisiana State Bar Association Diversity Statement

Louisiana State Bar Association Diversity Statement

The Louisiana State Bar Association (LSBA) recognizes that achieving diversity in the legal profession is an evolutionary process that requires the Association's continued effort and commitment.

The LSBA is committed to diversity in its membership, Board of Governors, staff, House of Delegates, committees and all leadership positions. Diversity is an inclusive concept that encompasses race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation and disability.

The LSBA is a richer and more effective Association because of diversity, as it increases our strengths, capabilities and adaptability. In addition, a diverse group of talented legal professionals is important to the success of law firms, law departments, public service organizations and other organizations that include attorneys.

Through increased diversity, the LSBA and its members can bring more varied perspectives, experiences, backgrounds, talents and interests to the practice of law and the administration of justice.

Diversity — Inclusion — Professionalism

Latest Diversity News and Events

2015 Diversity Conclave Highlights Include Freedom Riders Exhibit
The 2015 Eighth Annual Conclave on Diversity in the Legal Profession is scheduled for Friday, March 6, 2015.  It will be held at the New Orleans Marriott, located at 555 Canal Street, New Orleans.  This year's theme is "Celebrating 50 Years of Civil Rights: Moving the Pendulum Forward."

Highlights of the 2015 Conclave will include:

Kim M. Keenan, President and CEO of MMTC (Minority Media & Telecom Council)

Freedom Riders,
a traveling exhibition developed by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, in partnership with American Experience; funded through the National Endowment for Humanities.

CLE Sessions on the following topics:

  • Criminal Law Panel Discussion: Police Violence Against Minorities - moderated by the Honorable Kern A. Reese, the Chief Judge of the Orleans Parish Civil Court;
  • LGBT same sex marriage issues;
  • Immigration;
  • Civil Rights Panel Discussion, moderated by the Honorable Roland L. Belsome, Jr., of the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.  This panel also features Hank Thomas, one of the thirteen original Freedom Riders, and A.P. Tureaud, Jr., the first African-American to enroll as an undergraduate student at LSU.

Click here for more event information and on-line registration.

Do you or your organization want to show support of the Conclave?  SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES AT ALL LEVELS ARE AVAILABLE!  Click here for sponsorship information. 

Job Opportunities - Curry & Friend
Curry & Friend, P.L.C., a growing New Orleans CBD and Northshore law firm, is seeking qualified candidates for five positions. The firm offers competitive salary and benefits and an excellent work environment. 

1) Healthcare/medical malpractice research and writing associate attorney — Three-plus years’ medical malpractice defense experience; must have excellent research and writing skills; judicial clerkship experience preferred.

2) Healthcare/medical malpractice litigation attorney — Three-plus years’ litigation experience; must have excellent organizational, case management and deposition skills; A/V rating and medical malpractice defense experience preferred.

3) Environmental litigation attorney — Minimum five-plus years’ civil litigation experience with emphasis on complex litigation; A/V rating preferred; environmental, oil and gas and/or toxic tort experience preferred.

4) Environmental litigation research and writing attorney — Three-plus years’ environmental experience; must have excellent research and writing skills; judicial clerkship experience preferred.

5) First-chair attorney/environmental law — Minimum eight-plus years’ defense experience in first-chair civil jury trials, complex litigation and primary case management; A/V rating required; environmental, oil and gas and/or toxic tort experience preferred. Those interested in these positions should visit the Curry & Friend, P.L.C., website at: www.curryandfriend.com/careers.

FREE CLE Seminar: "Inspiring a New Generation of Civil Rights Leaders"
In honor of Black History Month, the LSBA Diversity Committee and Young Lawyers Division's Diversity Committee will host a CLE seminar titled "Inspiring a New Generation of Civil Rights Leaders." The seminar will be held on Thursday, February 19, 2015 at Adam and Reese LLP, Baton Rouge, LA. from 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm.  Speakers include United States Attorneys, J. Walter Green of the Middle District of Louisiana; Stephanie A. Finley of the Western District of Louisiana; and Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Eastern District of Louisiana.

Join the United States Attorney J. Walter Green and his colleagues United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley and United States Attorney Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. as they engage young lawyers in a thoughtful discussion involving their role in civil rights cases.

All attendees are invited to attend the  networking reception immediately following the seminar.

Click here for registration and more seminar information...

LJC-NBA 17th Annual Meeting to be in Bossier City
On February 19, 2015 – February 22, 2015 the 17th Annual Meeting and Continuing Legal Education Seminar of the Louisiana Judicial Council of the National Bar Association will be held. This year's meeting is scheduled to be at the Hilton Garden Inn/ Homewood Suites,  2015 Old Minden Road, Bossier City, Louisiana 71111.  For more information about this event, go to the LJC website.

Firms, Individuals, and Organizations to be Nominated for LSBA Diversity Awards
The deadline for nominations for the 2015 Louisiana State Bar Association (LSBA) Guardian of Diversity Award is February 6, 2015; the Human Rights Award and Trailblazer Award deadline is March 10, 2015.

The Human Rights Award recognizes outstanding efforts made by a bar association, a law firm or law department, an individual attorney or judge, a court or a community organization or individual in promoting diversity in the legal profession, in particular, to recognize efforts ensuring the full and equal opportunity of all persons for entry and advancement in Louisiana’s legal profession. One individual and one organization will be presented the Human Rights Award.

The Trailblazer Award will recognize a person from a group underrepresented within the Louisiana legal profession who has demonstrated excellence or accomplished greatness in the face of great adversity.

The Guardian of Diversity Award recognizes non-profit groups, local and specialty bar associations, and public interest organizations that implement and advance diversity programs to promote and support diversity in the legal community.

The Guardian of Diversity Award is presented at the Diversity Conclave, which will be held on March 6, 2015 at the New Orleans Marriott. The Human Rights and Trailblazer Awards will be presented at the Annual Meeting in Destin, Florida in June 2015.

For more information, contact LSBA Member Outreach and Diversity Director Tricia R. Pierre at tricia.pierre@lsba.org.  Click on the following links to access the Diversity Award Guidelines and/or nomination forms:

Diversity Award Guidelines

Nomination Form - 2015 Human Rights Award

Nomination Form - 2015 Trailblazer Award

Nomination Form - 2015 Guardian of Diversity Award

2nd in a 3-Part Disability-Related CLE Series: "Fit to Practice" - January 29
In partnership with the Baton Rouge Bar Association, the second in a disability-related three-part CLE series, titled "Fit to Practice," focuses on liability and ethics issues in the event an attorney experiences a short or long-term disability. This session is especially relevant to solo and small firm attorneys.

Substance abuse, physical and mental health disability issues affect people of all professions - and lawyers are no exception. In addition to the personal challenges of those suffering from these issues, this brings potential risk to the attorneys as they handle important matters and continue to work in the profession. This session will discuss the risks and ethics/liability issues that attorneys with disabilities face. In addition, it will offer resources available in Louisiana to help practitioners, and give practical advice on avoiding personal and vicarious liability during this process.

For details and/or registration information, click here.

Suit Up for the Future - High School Legal Institute and Internship Program
The Louisiana State Bar Association in partnership with the Just the Beginning Foundation and the Louisiana Bar Foundation hosts an annual internship program. This program is available to incoming high school juniors, seniors, and recent graduates who are interested in the legal profession. Students participate in a three-week legal institute, during which they attend an abridged law school session, field trips to law schools and courts, and an internship consisting of shadowing at area law offices and courts. Students provide their own transportation and housing. This year's program was held from June 9-27, 2014. Please click here if you would like to see the 2014 program booklet.

The 2015 session will be held June 15-26 and July 6-10. Eligible students (students entering the 11th or 12th Grade in the Fall of 2015---or entering their first year of college) interested in attending the 2015 session should watch this site for registration information. There is an online application process and the deadline is April 13, 2015. Student interns will receive notification of class acceptance by May 15, 2015.

If your school would like to have an LSBA speaker come in-person to make a presentation about the Suit Up for the Future internship program to the students, please contact the Director of Member Outreach and Diversity, Louisiana State Bar Association (tricia.pierre@lsba.org)

Upcoming Diversity Speaking Engagements
The members of the Social Integration Subcommittee of the Diversity Committee are filling their calendars with speaking engagements!

Upcoming events include:

  • Scott Spivey and Cherrilynne W. Thomas will be presenting a FREE one hour CLE at the LSBA's Midyear Meeting on January 15, 2015,  titled "Diversity Matters in the Legal Profession: Practicing Professionally in a Globalized World".

  • Monique M. Edwards and Justice Gregory G. Guidry are presenting "Professionalism 2015" at the LSBA's Dazzling Disney CLE on February 17, 2015.

Participate in ABA complimentary service: The ABA Legal Expert Author Pool (LEAP)
The American Bar Association Center for Racial and Ethnic Diversity invites you to participate in a complimentary service: The ABA Legal Expert Author Pool (LEAP). LEAP establishes and maintains a pool of diverse authors who have expertise in a wide range of legal topics. The LEAP project facilitates connections between these authors who have a willingness to write for periodicals and the publishing entities that have committed to the LEAP project.  For more information, please click here.

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