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.

Keep posted - online registration will begin soon!  Click here for more event information.

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

Second in a Three Part Disability-Related CLE Series: "Fit to Practice"
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.

Two FREE CLE Seminars to be Held at 2015 Midyear Meeting 2015
TWO FREE HOURS of CLE credit are being offered through two one-hour diversity seminars at the LSBA's 2015 Midyear Meeting on Thursday, January 15, 2015.  This year's Midyear Meeting is being hosted at the Intercontinental Hotel New Orleans at 444 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans.   

The first seminar, "Diversity Matters in the Legal Profession: Practicing Professionally in a Globalized World," will be facilitated by local attorneys and diversity speakers Cherrilynne Washington Thomas and Scott J. Spivey.  This seminar will offer 1.0 hour of Professionalism credit.

The second seminar, "Reflections on Bias, Partiality, and Assumptions in Hiring and Firing," hosted by T. Scott Smith, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Louisiana Lafayette and expert on disabilities and bias, is good for 1.0 hour of CLE credit. 

For more information on the Midyear Meeting events - or to register for the FREE Diversity CLEs, please 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 Diveristy Speaking Engagements
The members of the Social Integration Subcommittee of the Diversity Committee filling their calendars with speaking engagements!

Upcoming events include:
  • I. J. Clark-Sam is presenting at the Baton Rouge Bar Association's CLE by the Hour on December 19.
  • Judge Lynn Luker presents "Professionalism: Unconscious Bias" at the Baton Rouge Bar Association's CLE by the Hour on December 30.
  • 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 Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Gregory G. Guidry are presenting "Professionalism 2015" at the LSBA's Dazzling Disney CLE on February 17, 2015.

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 Assocation 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 January 15, 2015; the Human Rights Award and Trailblazer Award deadline is January 30, 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

Upcoming Dates for Free LSBA Photo Bar ID Cards
No, the LSBA Photo Bar IDs are not a requirement, but many courthouses and jails are currently requiring attorneys to show photo IDs.  As a service of the LSBA, the Outreach Department is traveling to local and specialty bar events and  printing  photo bar ID cards for local attorneys - at no cost!  If your bar is hosting an event or gathering, you may want to offer this service to your members.  Contact Michelle Neal (michelle.neal@lsba.org) to schedule a visit or for more information.  

Dates Currently Scheduled:

Thursday, December 11, 2014 -
11:30 am - 5:30 pm (New Orleans) Hyatt Regency Hotel, 601 Loyola Avenue - Last Chance CLE Conference" Louisiana Association for Justice

Friday, December 12, 2014 -
8:00 am - 5:00 pm (New Orleans) Roosevelt Hotel, 130 Roosevelt Way - "Last Chance Seminar" LACDL CLE

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 -
8:00 am - 12:00 pm (New Orleans) Sheraton New Orleans, 500 Canal Street - "Trial Practice" LSBA CLE.

Monday, December 29, 2014
- 11:00 am - 5:30 pm (New Orleans) - Tulane Law School, John Giffen Weinmann Hall, 6329 Freret Street  - Tulane Law School's "CLE by the Hour"

Friday, January 9, 2015
- 2:00 pm - 5:00pm, (Lafayette) 15th Judicial Courthouse, Lafayette Bar Association Court Opening and New Admittee Reception

Thursday, January 15 and Friday, January 16, 2015 - 9:00 am - 4:30 pm- (New Orleans) InterContinental New Orleans Hotel, 444 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans, LSBA's Midyear Meeting

Thursday, January 22, 2015 -
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm (Lake Charles) 14th Judicial District Courthouse, Southwest Louisiana Bar Association New Admittee Reception

Wednesday, January 29, 2015 - 8:30 am - 10:30 am - (Baton Rouge) 19th Judicial District Courthouse, Baton Rouge Bar Association New Admittee Reception

National Directory of Women Lawyers and Women-Owned Law Firms
The National Association of Women Lawyers is inviting all female attorneys (regardless of AWA membership) to list themselves or their women-owned firms in the NAWL's Edition of the National Women's Directory of Women Lawyers and Women-Owned Law Firms. The directory is a national publication which focuses on marketing and connecting women lawyers and women-owned law firms with legal departments and fellow women lawyers in a cost effective way.

This publication is distributed to over 500 legal departments, all NAWL programming, and many more. For more details and pricing go to: www.nawl.org 

National Asian Pacific American Bar Association Selects New Orleans for 2015 Conference!
WASHINGTON, DC - The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) has selected its annual convention host cities for 2014-2016. The Annual NAPABA Convention will be held in:
• 2014: Scottsdale, Arizona
• 2015: New Orleans, Louisiana
• 2016: San Diego, California

"We are pleased to announce the host cities for the 2014-2016 Annual Conventions," said Wendy Shiba, president of NAPABA. "We look forward to expanding NAPABA's presence, engaging membership, and working with NAPABA's affiliates and the local communities in these host cities."


Directory of LGBT Law Partners and LGBT-Owned Firms
The National LGBT Bar Association has compiled a directory of LGBT law partners and LGBT-owned law firms. Some of the most successful companies in the world understand the simple premise: employees with a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, contacts and sensitivities are better positioned to meet corporate America's increasingly diverse needs. The inclusion of LGBT attorneys at the partner level can be a huge benefit in the eyes of diversity minded clients.
Go to the directory

Participate in a new 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 new 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. To complete an interest form, please click here. For more information, please contact Cie Armstead (312-988-6086; cie.armstead@americanbar.org).

View Brochure

Road to Independence is published!
The American Bar Association's book, The Road to Independence: 101 Women's Journeys to Starting Their Own Law Firms, has just published and is now available for purchase online at http://www.ambar.org/RoadToIndependence.
Thank you for your interest in the ABA's book!

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