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

Diversity Committee's Integration Subcommittee Participates in Call to Service CLE

LSBA Diversity and Inclusion Facilitators will participate in the Legal Services of North Louisiana (LSNL) Call to Service CLE. The seminar will be held on December 3, 2015 at Sam’s Town Hotel and Casino in Shreveport, LA.  The seminar is designed to equip attorneys with the tools necessary to represent clients in non-complex family law matters.  LSBA Diversity and Inclusion Facilitator Monique M. Edwards will moderate the session titled “Beyond Lip Service: An Honest Conversation Toward Open Access to Justice.” Panelists include Bennett L. Politz, LSNL Board Chairperson and Frederick D. Jones, Jones Law Group, LLC.

The training is provided free of charge for attorneys who agree to volunteer with LSNL outreach activities or undertake limited scope representation in a pro bono family law case for LSNL clients.  Attorneys not interested in volunteering will be charged a nominal fee for the three hour training.   For more information or the registration form, contact Legal Services of North Louisiana at (318) 221-1901 or email rfazio2359@gmail.com

Photo ID:  LSBA Diversity and Inclusion Facilitator Monique M. Edwards will moderate the Diversity, Inclusion and Professionalism panel.  

Diversity Career Panel to be Held at Loyola College of Law
Orleans Public Defenders (OPD), Loyola College of Law School’s Black Law Students Association (BLSA), Tulane Law School’s BLSA, the LSBA, and the Gillis Long Poverty Center at Loyola are jointly sponsoring and hosting a Diversity Career Panel on November 5, 2015 from 6 – 8 pm at Loyola College of Law.   Other on-campus law students of color organizations are also helping to organize and plan for the event, including encouraging their membership to attend.   A similar event was held at Tulane Law School last year and was a huge success.

Francophone Section Hosts Symposium Commemorating Civil Rights Voting Act

On November 19, 2015 the Francophone Section of the Louisiana State Bar Association will be presenting the Judge Allen M. Babineaux International Civil Law Symposium Commemorating the Civil Rights Voting Act of 1965.  Speakers will include Gregor Trumel, the Consul General of France; Ron Wilson, attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund; Sharonda R. Williams, the city attorney for the City of New Orleans; and Marjorie Esman, executive director of the ACLU of Louisiana.  Professor Maria Pabon Lopez of Loyola University New Orleans College of Law will be discusssing ethics.  The Symposium will take place at The Old U.S. Mint, 400 Esplanade Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana 70116.

2016 Conclave on Diversity in the Legal Profession - Online Registration is Open

The Ninth Annual Conclave on Diversity in the Legal Profession is scheduled for March 4, 2016.  This year's theme, "Diversity and Inclusion: Moving From 'A Foot in the Door' to 'A Voice at the Table,'" promises to provide information for taking your diversity and inclusion programs to the next level. 

Speakers include keynote speaker Roderick A. "Rick" Palmore, a nationally recognized advocate for diversity in the legal profession and Facilitator Kimberly Papillon, Esq., a nationally recognized expert on medical, legal and judicial decision-making.  The Conclave will also facilitate three breakout sessions:  Immigration Law, LGBT Issues, and Criminal Law.  Online registration is available now. 

Date:  Friday, March 4, 2016
Location: Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center, 201 Lafayette Street, Baton Rouge
Early Registration Fee: $65 (until February 12, 2016)
Regular Registration Fee: $90 (AFTER February 12, 2016)

Click here for more information or to register onine.

LSBA Member Outreach Hosts Annual New Orleans Area New Admittee Reception

The LSBA Diversity and Member Outreach Department hosted the Annual New Orleans Area New Admittee Reception on Thursday, November 12 from 5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.  New Orleans Area attorneys and judges attended the cocktail reception and welcomed the area's newest members to the profession.  The event was held at the Louisiana Bar Center at 601 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans. 

Photo ID (l to r)  I. Rene DeRojas, Hispanic Lawyers of Louisiana; Robert A. Kutcher, treasurer LSBA Board of Governors; Rev. Lawrence W. Moore, Interim Dean, Loyola University New Orleans College of Law; new admittee Floyd A. Buras, III; and S. Guy deLaup, Connick and Connick, L.L.C.

Civil Right Activist Bryan Stevenson to Deliver Justice Revius O. Ortique, Jr. Lecture - November 23

On Monday, November 23, 2015, attorney and civil rights activist Bryan Stevenson will deliver the next Justice Revius O. Ortique Jr. Lecture on Law and Society in the Georges Auditorium at 7 p.m. on Dillard University's campus. He is the recent author of the critically acclaimed New York Times best seller, Just Mercy, which was named by Time Magazine as one of the 10 Best Books of Nonfiction for 2014. The event is free and open to the public with a book signing following the lecture.

Seats are on a first come basis. For more information go to @DUBrainFood, visit www.dillard.edu or call 504.816.4800. 

ABA President Presides over December 2 seminar - "Slavery v. Liberty: The History and Relevance of the 13th Amendment @ 150"

The American Bar Association and Howard University School of Law present "Slavery v. Liberty: The History and Relevance of the Thirteenth Amendment @ 150" on December 2,  2015, from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM, at Howard University School of Law, Moot Court Room, 2900 Van Ness Street, NW, Washington, DC.  American Bar Association President, Paulette Brown, will be presiding. Click here for registration information.         

Shreveport Bar Memorializes and Welcomes Attorneys at Annual Court Opening

The Shreveport Bar Association memorialized eleven of its members - including three judges - at the Bar's annual Court Opening/ Memorial and Recognition Ceremony on November 5, 2015 at the First United Methodist Church in downtown Shreveport.   U.S District Judge of the Western District, the Honorable Tom Stagg died in June, 2015.  He was eulogized by U.S. District Judge, the Honorable Donald E. Walter.  After the eulogies were completed, Ryan Gooding, president of the Young Lawyers Section, welcomed Shreveport's twelve newest members up to the Bar.  Representing the LSBA, John M. Frazier, At-large member of the Board of Governors and Co-Chair of the Outreach Subcommittee, concluded the ceremony with brief remarks about the goals of the LSBA in the upcoming Bar year.  Attendees then walked across the street to the Shreveport Bar Center for a reception. 

Photo ID: (back to front) Robert G. Pugh, Jr.; his son and new admittee, Robert G. "Gahagan" Pugh, III; Judge Jay Caraway (Second Circuit Court of Appeals); new admittee Nathan M. Telep; and Judge D. Milton Moore, III (Second Circuit Court of Appeals).

Lafayette Martinet CLE Features US Attorney Stephanie Finley

The Greater Lafayette Chapter of the Louis A. Martinet Legal Society hosted a Halloween CLE and social titled “Eat Drink and Be Scary.”  Presenters included Stephanie Finley, US Attorney of the Western District; Dr. Quentin Brisco, a chiropractic specialist;  27th Judicial Court Hearing Officer Josie Frank; 16th JDC District Judge, the Honorable Lori Landry; and AFLAC presenter Isaiah Edwards.

Photo ID: (l to r) US Attorney of the Western District, Stephanie Finley and 27rh JDC Hearing Officer Josie Frank.

LSBA Co-hosts Reception to Honor ABA President

The LSBA, the Association of Women Attorneys (AWA), the National Bar Association (NBA) and the Greater Baton Rouge and Greater New Orleans chapters of the Louis A. Martinet Legal Society hosted a reception in honor of American Bar Association’s president, Paulette Brown.  The reception was held on November 6, 2015 at the Louisiana Supreme Court.  Ms. Brown is the first woman of color to serve as ABA president. 

Photo ID (l to r):  The Honorable Bernette Joshua Johnson, Chief Justice, Louisiana State Supreme Court; The Honorable Karen Wells Roby, Magistrate Judge, US District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana;  American Bar Association president Paulette Brown; LSBA president Mark A. Cunningham. 

Integration Subcommittee Facilitates December Diversity CLEs

Two Diversity Committee's Diversity Integration Subcommittee speakers will be facilitating upcoming diversity CLEs.  I.J. Clark-Sam,  member of the Diversity Integration Subcommittee, is facilitating a CLE for the 4th JDC Young Lawyers Division on December 4 as part of the local bar association's year end CLE program. 

Longtime diversity presenter Lynn Luker will facilitate a CLE titled "Generational Differences" for the Baton Rouge Bar Association on December 9, 2015.  This seminar is in conjunction with the BRBA's year-end CLE by the Hour program.

Second in a 3-Part Disability-Related CLE Series: "Fit to Practice"- January 21, 2016
The second in a disability-related three-part CLE series, titled "Fit to Practice," is scheduled for January 21, 2016 at the Louisiana Bar Center in New Orleans, LA.  The two hour seminar will focus 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. CLE credit for this seminar includes 1.00 hour of Professionalism and 1.00 hour of Ethics.

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.

Click here for more information and online registration.

New Specialty Bars Subcommittee Meets with LSBA President

Members of the newly established Specialty Bars Subcommittee, a subcommittee of the LSBA's Diversity Committee, met for the first time on October 3, 2015, to discuss their programs, to share ideas about improving services to their members, and to offer support to one another.  LSBA president Mark A. Cunningham hosted the two hour dinner meeting in Baton Rouge. He offered suggestions and pledged LSBA support.  The meeting was well-attended by specialty bar representatives from across the state. 

Photo ID: (L to R) Specialty Bars Subcommittee
Eve Goudeau, LSBA staff; Demarcus J. Gordon, chair, LSBA Minority Involvement Section; Mark A. Cunningham, LSBA president; April D. Davenport, secretary of the Greater New Orleans Louis A. Martinet Legal Society; Patsy A. Randall, president, Greater Lafayette Louis A. Martinet Society; Mary L. Jackson, president, Shreveport-Bossier Black Lawyers Association; Rene De Rojas, treasurer, Hispanic Lawyers of Louisiana; George W. Britton, III, president, Northeast Louisiana Louis A. Martinet Legal Society; Christine T. Bruneau, president, Louisiana Asian Pacific American Bar Association; Derrick D. Kee, president, Lake Charles Louis A. Martinet Legal Society

Interested in Diversity? Join the LSBA Diversity Signatories

The LSBA recognizes that achieving diversity in the legal profession is an effort that requires the Association's continued effort and commitment.  Statewide judges, attorneys, firms, and organizations have joined the LSBA by signing the Statement of Diversity Principles, a commitment to foster diversity.  If you, your firm or organization are interested in furthering diversity in the legal profession, we encourage you to become a Diversity Signatory!  Simply sign the LSBA Statement of Diversity Principles and either email it (tricia.pierre@lsba.org) or fax it (504-566-0930) back to the Diversity Department. 

In the first quarter of 2015, four more members joined the LSBA in this effort, bringing the total of Diversity Signatories to 355!  The 2015 Signatories are:

  • Jules D. Edwards, III, Attorney at Law
  • Louisiana District Judges Association
  • Evans & Clesi, PLC
  • Louis J. Leo, Attorney at Law, APLC

To read the LSBA Diversity Statement, approved by the LSBA Board of Governors and House of Delegates on January 12, 2008, please click here

Call for Volunteers: Southern Region of the Black Law Students Association Annual Moot Court Competition
The Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition (“FDMCC”) for the Southern Region of the Black Law Students Association will be hosted in Baton Rouge on January 19-24, 2016.  The organization will need volunteer assistance from local lawyers willing to serve as judges in competition rounds.  The success of the program depends, in large part, on attorneys from Baton Rouge and surrounding areas being willing to donate their time. 

The FDMCC is one of the largest and most prestigious moot court competitions in the country, and typically draws between 100 and 150 teams. This region is known to send some of the best teams to the national competition. 

If you are interested in volunteering or have questions, please contact competition organizer, Maria Lungu at (706) 461-4126. 

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