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

2013-2014 Diversity and Outreach Report Cards Released
Interested in what your Member Outreach and Diversity Department is doing?  Check it out in our latest Report Card!  For your convenience we have combined the Diversity and  Member Outreach Report Cards into one document. Click here to see it in a printable format. 

If you have any questions or comments,  let us know!  Contact Outreach Coordinator, Michelle Neal at (504) 619-0151 or michelle.neal@lsba.org.

Local Attorney is Named to National "Lawyers of Color's Hot List"
Congratulations to Daisy Gurdián Kane, President Elect, of the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Louisiana!  She has been named to the Lawyers of Color's Annual Hot List, which recognizes early-to mid-career attorneys excelling in the legal profession.  She will be feted at a reception for the Southwest Region on July 16th at Jones Day's Dallas Office.  The Honorable Diana Saldaña, US District Judge for the Southern District of Texas, has been invited to offer remarks. 

Ms. Kane will be profiled in the Hot List 2014 publication, scheduled for release on July 28, 2014.

Minority Involvement Section Hosts Professional Development Symposium
The Louisiana State Bar Association’s (LSBA) Minority Involvement Section is celebrating its 26th annual Job Fair by renewing the event’s purpose and making it more meaningful for employers and law students within today’s economic reality. The Section has re-designed the event to increase focus on professional development of the students, rather than job placement. This year’s event, is scheduled for Saturday, August 16, 2014 from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Southern University Law Center, Baton Rouge, LA.

Save the Date - GNO Martinet Scholarship Jazz Brunch!
What:          The Greater New Orleans Louis A. Martinet Legal Society's Scholarship Jazz Brunch
When:         September 13, 2014.  11:00 a.m.
Where:        Hyatt Regency, New Orleans

Details will soon follow.  For more information, please contact the GNO Martinet at www.gnomartinet.com

Save the Date - NAPABA Conference August 14-15, 2014
The Tennessee Asian Pacific American Bar Association (TAPABA) is hosting the 2014 National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) Southeast Regional Conference in Nashville, Tennessee on August 14-15, 2014.

The Southeast Regional Conference will bring together members of the legal profession and law students from throughout the Southeast for a day of discussion focusing on issues that impact Asian Pacific Americans in the law. 

The conference begins with a welcoming reception on Thursday, August 14.  On Friday, August 15, there will be a full day of CLE presentations followed by a dinner reception. 

Registration information and program details will be announced soon.  For more information, go to the Tennessee Asian Pacific American Bar Association website at www.tapaba.org.

2015 Diversity Conclave Date is announced!
SAVE THE DATE!  The 2015 Diversity Conclave is scheduled for Friday, March 6, 2015.  It will be held at the New Orleans Marriott, located at 555 Canal Street, New Orleans.

Details will follow as we begin to secure sponsors, speakers and workshops.  Keep posted!

National Bar Association Convention - July 26 - August 1
The 2014 89th Annual National Bar Association Convention is scheduled for Saturday, July 26 to Friday, August 1.  This year the convention will be held at the Atlanta Mariott Marquis, located at 265 Peachtree Center Avenue in Atlanta, Georgia. 

The Convention features 68 CLEs in the areas of Client Advocacy, Professional Responsibility, Civil Litigation, the Legal Environment of Business, Hot Topics and Community Outreach. 

Click here for more information.  To register, go to the NBA website at www.nationalbar.org/

"Suit Up for the Future" High School Summer Legal Institute and Internship Program

Last Day - Suit Up for the Future Program!
The Louisiana State Bar Association -  in partnership with the Just the Beginning Foundation and the Louisiana Bar Foundation - is presenting "Suit Up for the Future" High School Summer Legal Institute and Internship Program. 

The students made their oral and memorandum presentations to a panel of judges today.  The judges' panel consisted of Judge Karen Wells Roby, Judge Stanwood Duval, Jr., Judge Susie Morgan, Judge Jane Triche-Milazzo, Judge Roland L. Belsome and Civil Judge Tiffany Gauthier Chase.  Students were divided into teams (FOR/AGAINST) on a venue issue, but presented an individual oral argument to the esteemed panel. Each student also prepared a memorandum in support of his/her position.
        The winner of The Best Oralist award was Miles Edwin Ballard, along with runners-up Carine Mary Lama, Evan Vedros
         and Cassidy Marie Wells. 

        The award for Best Writer went to Morgan-Me'Lyn Grant, with runners-up awards going to Hannah Marie Lampo, Sara         DeRouen, and Miles Edwin Ballard. 

Congratulations to all the Suit Up for the Future students!  Everywhere they went, they impressed professors, attorneys and judges with the questions they asked and the enthusiasm for the law they exhibited.  
This concluded a one week legal institute, during which the 17 students attended an abridged law school session and a two week internship consisting of shadowing at area law offices and courts.  The students also attended field trips to Federal and State Courts, law schools and museums.  The final week ended with students' working on their oral arguments and finalizing a memorandum to support their position. 

Diverse CLE Speakers Needed!
The LSBA is committed to recruiting women and minority instructors for its many continuing legal education programs to promote equal participation of minorities and women in the legal profession.
The advantages of serving as a CLE speaker include:
  • Involvement in today's most important legal issues
  • Interaction with other expert faculty
  • Valuable networking opportunities
  • Visibility as a speaker
  • CLE teaching credit

If you are interested in participating, please complete the attached form and then fax or email it to Tricia Pierre (fax 504-566-0930; Tricia.Pierre@lsba.org). You also are encouraged to register with the ABA Minority and Women Speakers Bureau.

Download speaker form

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 10th 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 
Check out the National Directory of Women Lawyers and Women-Owned Law Firms!!

National Bar Association Launches Its Speaker's Bureau
The National Bar Association has unveiled the NBA's Speaker's Bureau, an additional membership benefit for NBA members. The NBASB is an online tool that readily identifies a pool of NBA members who are available to speak publicly or conduct continuing legal education courses. Members are encouraged to register with the NBASB in order to advance the NBA's efforts to create a diverse pool of presenters for continuing legal education opportunities and discussion panels across the country. There are many benefits to members such as networking opportunities; professional development; enhancement of diversity in addressing important legal topics; and opportunities to highlight a specific practice area and your level of expertise.
For more information please contact Vice President of Membership Twanda Turner-Hawkins at tturnerhawkins@yahoo.com by Nov. 15th.

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."


LSBA Hosted a Successful Setting the Bar: LSBA Pre-Law Conference for College Students
The LSBA Diversity Committee and the Tulane and Loyola Black Law Student Associations hosted its second annual Setting the Bar Pre-Law Conference on February 1st and 15th at the Loyola University New Orleans College of Law for approximately 35 college students around the state who are interested in pursuing a legal career. 

The workshop enlightened college students on the law school admissions process and provided helpful tips to effectively navigate that process and tackle the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT). The first day of the program consisted of a series of information sessions from key admissions personnel from area law schools, who shared essential information on applications, resumes, personal statements, and financial aid. A representative from Kaplan shared tips on preparing for and taking the LSAT. Finally, students were exposed to a mock law school class. Day two of the workshop gave students the opportunity to take the LSAT under normal testing conditions/times. Students who attend both days of the program were entered into a raffle for a $1,600 tuition scholarship from Kaplan.

View the 2014 Program Agenda.

Record Attendance at Seventh Annual Conclave
The 2014 Diversity Conclave, the Seventh Annual Conclave on Diversity in the Legal Profession surpassed all goals for attendance this year.  This year's event, located in New Orleans at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hotel, included four breakout sessions, Dr, Arin Reeves as luncheon keynote speaker,  the return of Verna Myers, following up on her workshop at the Conclave last year and two afternoon sessions packed with judges, attorneys and diversity experts from across the state.

The day was bittersweet as it was  the last Conclave with Kelly McNeil Legier at the helm as Outreach Director, before she went on to her new position as an administrative law judge.  Tricia Pierre, a former public defender and family law attorney, stepped into the position and promised to keep inclusion in the forefront at the LSBA. 

Volunteers Needed -- Become an LSBA Student Ambassador Outreach Volunteer
Remember when you were a kid and aspired to be a lawyer? Remember the people along the way who helped inspire and shape your career decisions? You too can be a source of inspiration for students in Louisiana.

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

Louisiana Diversity Council Membership and Partnership
The Louisiana Diversity Council seeks memberships and partnership from people and entities that consider diversity and inclusion priorities. The membership and sponsorship applications are at the links below.
LADC Membership Application
LADC Levels of Partnership

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

Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession Urges Diversity as Ethical Obligation
IILP thinks that it is necessary not to lose sight of the most important: Diversity is the right thing to do. With that in mind, on September 14, 2012 IILP Chair Marc Firestone and ABA Illinois State Delegate Robert A.

SUPERWOMEN…Female Attorneys CLE in Shreveport; April 2, 2013
The LSBA, in partnership with local and specialty bar associations, hosted for about 30 attorneys a CLE for female attorneys on April 2, 2013, in Shreveport, Louisiana.  The co-hosts included the Women’s Section of the Shreveport Bar Association.  This seminar addressed the unique challenges women face in the legal profession.  A networking reception followed the program and attendees received free chances for a drawing to win several door prizes, including spa treatments and gift certificates to area businesses.  

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!

SUPERWOMEN…Female Attorneys CLE in New Orleans; May 2, 2013
The LSBA, in partnership with local and specialty bar associations, hosted for nearly 100 attorneys a CLE for female attorneys on May 2, 2013, in New Orleans, Louisiana. The co-hosts included the New Orleans Chapter of the Association for Women Attorneys, the Louisiana Association of Black Women Attorneys, and the New Orleans Bar Association Women's Committee. This seminar, titled "SUPERWOMEN: Female Attorneys Can Run the World," addressed the unique challenges women face when seeking leadership positions in the legal profession.  A networking reception with complimentary hand and neck massages followed the program and attendees had the opportunity to participate in a drawing to win several door prizes, including Jazz Fest tickets, spa treatments and gift certificates to area businesses.

LSBA Institute of Inclusion Roundtable Discussion -- "The Awful D-Word"
The LSBA Institute of Inclusion partnered with Carver, Darden, Koretzky, Tessier, Finn, Blossman & Areaux, LLC to host for about 10 attorneys a Roundtable Discussion on "The Awful D-Word" on SEPTEMBER 18, 2012, from 12 noon - 1:00 p.m., at the Entergy Center Building.

LSBA Institute of Inclusion Roundtable Discussion -- "Chess vs. Checkers: Developing Strategies for Effective Work/Life Balance and Service to the Community"
The LSBA hosted for about 18 attorneys on November 28th 2012 at the Louisiana Bar Center a roundtable discussion that focused on the professional development of less-seasoned and new attorneys.  Jade Russell provided advice on developing a professional strategic goal that would allow new attorneys to identify professional development opportunities, cultivate mentoring relationships, and improve work-life balance.

LSBA Institute of Inclusion Roundtable Discussion CLE -- UNMASKING THE TRUTH ABOUT DEPRESSION; Feb. 21st
The LSBA Institute of Inclusion presented a professionalism CLE, titled "UNMASKING THE TRUTH ABOUT DEPRESSION: Breaking Stigma, Being Each Other’s Keepers, Restoring the Profession," on February 21, 2013, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Louisiana Bar Center (601 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA).  J.E. “BUDDY” STOCKWELL, III (Executive Director, Lawyers Assistance Program, Inc.) provided general facts/statistics about depression in the legal profession. He facilitated an interactive discussion regarding the impact of depression on a lawyer’s practice and on the members of the firm/office; signs and behaviors that can alert family, friends, and co-workers that a lawyer is struggling with depression; what policies can be implemented to keep attorneys from falling to the point of no return; and what we can do to safeguard ourselves from depression.  The program was approved for 1.5 CLE hours. 

Newly-Appointed Chief Judge Carl E. Stewart Presented with Red Robe Before Packed Audience
On January 9, 2013, the new Chief Judge of the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Honorable Carl E. Stewart, was presented with the traditional Chief Judge's “Red Robe” to a packed courthouse in the federal court building in Shreveport. Several Fifth Circuit judges as well as district, magistrate, and bankruptcy judges from the Western, Eastern, and Middle District of Louisiana were present to congratulate Judge Stewart and share in the historic moment. Judge Stewart is the first African American judge to serve as chief judge for the Fifth Circuit. After an invocation by Dr. Donald R. Avery (Shreveport Superintendent, United Methodist Church) and remarks from Master of Ceremony William F. Kendig (president of the Shreveport Bar Association), Circuit Executive Gregory A. Nussel provided the history of the Fifth Circuit chief judges. Hon. Tom Stagg (U.S. Senior District Judge, Western District of Louisiana) shared the history of how the Red Robe tradition began and presented Judge Stewart with the Robe, which has been passed down to every Chief Judge since Judge Charles Clark. Judge Jacques L. Wiener, Jr. (U.S. Fifth Circuit) also provided remarks, and Mrs. Jo Ann Stewart honored her husband with a song, “Ordinary People.” In true Judge Stewart fashion, he addressed the audience with many remarks that opened with a warning that he would not be brief. Not only was the en banc courtroom near capacity, two overflow court rooms were filled with family, friends, and colleagues who were eager to share in the momentous occasion. A reception at the Shreveport Convention Center immediately followed the Ceremony.

Share Your Experiences Anonymously For Use In Future Professionalism CLE Discussions
The Louisiana State Bar Association (LSBA) is developing a bank of hypotheticals/vignettes for use in future CLE discussions. The LSBA will facilitate interactive workshops and discussions that will evaluate actual race, age, ethnic, cultural, gender, sexual orientation, generational, and disability experiences of attorneys and judges. The LSBA hopes to generate frank discussion of the issues and delve into the hard, not-so-politically-correct conversations that we all must have to advance cultural competency and become more inclusive and professional. If you have experienced a cultural competency misstep or witnessed one, please consider submitting the scenarios to the LSBA for incorporation (anonymously) into future CLE discussions. You may submit your stories on the expandable form available at the link below. For more information, please contact Tricia Pierre (504-619-0129; Tricia.Pierre@lsba.org).

Institute of Inclusion Experiences Form

LSBA Institute of Inclusion's "Waking the Sleeping Giants: Strategies for Managing Unconscious Bias " ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION CLE
The LSBA Institute for Inclusion hosted for approximately 30 participants a "Waking the Sleeping Giants: Strategies for Managing Unconscious Bias " ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION CLE on December 19, 2012 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., at the Louisiana Bar Center.  For more information on future Roundtable discussions, contact Kelly McNeil Legier at kelly.legier@lsba.org.

The discussion focused on the impact that unconscious bias has on the administration of justice and the legal workplace, how actions, fact-finding, allocation of resources, and decision-making are affected by perceptions, assumptions, biases, values and stereotypes, and how conscious and unconscious actions affect co-workers and clients. Participants were exposed to modules to help them identify, share, and elicit in a non-threatening environment diversity of experiences. Further, participants received the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the mental models/frames of reference that cause prejudice. Participants also developed communication skills to minimize the effects of frames of reference on prejudice.

LSBA Institute of Inclusion's "What's Your --- ISM?" Roundtable Discussion CLE
The LSBA presented for twelve (12) attorneys the "What's Your --- ISM?" Roundtable Discussion CLE on SEPTMEBER 26, 2012 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., featuring Franklin D. Beahm (Owner, Beahm & Green) and Ranie T. Thompson (Attorney, Southeast Louisiana Legal Services in New Orleans, Louisiana). This session explored obstacles that arise from communicating without a common language and experience. The goals were (1) to help participants become more aware of the pervasiveness of prejudice/bias/isms in society; and (2) to distinguish between conscious prejudice and the unaware/subconscious prejudice that impacts judgement. For more information on future Roundtable discussions, contact Kelly McNeil Legier at kelly.legier@lsba.org.

Successful 24th Annual Minority Job Fair at LSU in Baton Rouge
LSBA Minority Involvement Section hosted a successful 24th annual Minority Job Fair on August 18th at the Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center in Baton Rouge from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

LSBA Partnered with MCCA and Entergy Corporation to host the first Academy for Leadership & Inclusion in the New Orleans area
The Minority Corporate Counsel Association has hosted the Academy for Leadership & Inclusion in various cities since 2012. For the first time, the diversity academy was hosted in New Orleans on November 13, 2013, from 12:30 pm – 5:00 pm at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Joseph K. West (President & CEO of MCCA) explained the purpose behind the Academy: “_We created this training program to help organizations go beyond diversity as merely a numbers game and to focus on inclusion in order to create workplaces where all of an organization’s talent are valued, developed and have opportunities to thrive and to succeed. This not only benefits the talent, but the organizations as well”. Approximately 50 attorneys were inspired by co-facilitator Arin N. Reeves Ph.D. of Nextions, Inc. who explained the research underlying diversity and inclusion obstacles. The program provided practical information regarding how to shape new diversity and inclusion conversations, policies, and organizational systems to promote more inclusive environments within law firms. It also highlighted the role of bias, power, and privilege on diversity and inclusion as well as the legal system. Attendees gained an opportunity to leave the Academy with tools to realistically and practically make adjustments within their offices to promote more inclusiveness. A reception immediately followed at Phelps Dunbar in New Orleans.

LSBA Institute of Inclusion Hosted Free Midyear Meeting CLE
The LSBA Institute of Inclusion hosted for nearly 50 attorneys from across the state a FREE professionalism CLE during the LSBA Midyear Meeting on January 17, 2013, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the New Orleans Marriott by the Convention Center.  Speakers Dominic Gianna and Lisa Marcy educated and entertained the audience with "Advocacy for the Ages -- Cicero Speaks to the Genders and Generations."  The program was approved for 2.5 CLE hours.

View Program Description

Record-Setting Fifth Annual Diversity Conclave Occurred March 2, 2012
The LSBA hosted for 275 attorneys and judges its successful fifth annual Diversity Conclave on March 2, 2012, at the New Orleans Marriott on Canal Street.

LSBA Hosted a Successful 2012 Disabilities Summit in Baton Rouge!!
The LSBA hosted for nearly 30 attorneys and judges its Second Annual LSBA Disabilities Summit, titled "Dawn of An Enabled Era: Unraveling the Myths of Attorneys with Disabilities," from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on October 11, 2012, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Baton Rouge.

Disabilities Summit Purpose Statement
Disabilities Summit Agenda

Huge Successes and Historic Firsts at the LSBA Sixth Annual Conclave on Diversity in the Legal Profession
The LSBA hosted its Sixth Annual Conclave on Diversity in the Legal Profession on March 8, 2013, at the Renaissance Hotel in Baton Rouge for a packed audience of approximately 250 people.  This was the first time that the program was held outside of New Orleans.  Although the venue changed, the great attendance and participation demonstrates that interest and energy surrounding this statewide diversity conversation did not.  Also for the first time in LSBA history, the Conclave could be viewed by members of the LSBA via live stream, provided courtesy of the Southern University Law Center.  This year's theme was "Leveraging Diversity Through Inclusion: Insights for Action."  The luncheon keynote speaker, Morris Dees, who is the founder and chief trial attorney of the Southern Poverty Law Center, inspired the audience with his riveting accounts of many past and current civil rights cases.  Renowned diversity expert, Verna Myers (Verna Myers Consulting Group, LLC), enlightened participants in an interactive workshop on inclusion and strategies for being more inclusive within their respective organizations. 


LSBA Diversity Conclave Breakout Session -- Specialized Professionalism Facilitator Training Workshop; May 22nd

The LSBA Institute of Inclusion presented for 20 attorneys a Specialized Professionalism Facilitator Training Workshop on May 22, 2013, at the Red Cross Board Room (2640 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA) from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Cathy Harris (C. Harris Companies, Inc.) and Theodore A. Quant (Director, Twomey Center for Peace through Justice, Loyola University New Orleans) delivered a full-day workshop, "Train the LSBA Diversity Facilitator."


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