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Diversity News and Announcements News Archive

Nomination Deadline for the 2014 LSBA Human Rights and Trailblazer Awards

Human Rights Award

This award is designed to recognize outstanding efforts— made by individuals, firms, associations or organizations in the legal field— that promote diversity in the legal profession. These efforts should help to ensure full and equal opportunity for persons entering or working toward advancement in Louisiana's legal community.

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

The award winners will be honored at the yearly meeting in San Destin, Florida in June 2014.

Nominations for both awards should be submitted no later than January 31, 2014. All nominations will be considered.

For more information on the 2014 Award Submission and Nomination Process, please contact Kelly McNeil Legier at Kelly.Legier@lsba.org.

2014 Human Rights Award Nomination Guidelines

2014 Trailblazer Award Nomination Guidelines

2014 LSBA Human Rights Award Nomination Form

2014 LSBA Trailblazer Award Nomination Form

First 100 Women Lawyers in New Orleans Honored in Inaugural Barristers for Brunch Program
NOBA Honors the First 100 Women Lawyers in New Orleans
The Women in the Profession Committee of the New Orleans Bar Association is hosting the INAUGURAL BARRISTERS FOR BRUNCH

Date: Thursday, March 20, 2014
Time: 11 am - 12:30 pm
Location: Sheraton Hotel, Gallery Ballroom,
1st Floor, 500 Canal Street, New Orleans

More...

2015 Diversity Conclave
The 2015 Eighth Annual Conclave on Diversity in the Legal Profession was held on Friday, March 6, 2015 at the New Orleans Marriott, located at 555 Canal Street. This year's theme was "Celebrating 50 Years of Civil Rights: Moving the Pendulum Forward."

Please click here to download the materials from the program.

Photo ID: Joseph L. "Larry" Shea, Jr., LSBA president, welcomes the 2015 Conclave attendees.
Photo credit:  Matthew Hinton

AWA, LABWA, Martinets and Young Lawyers Get Together on July 3
Please join the Association for Women Attorneys, the Louisiana Association for Black Women Attorneys, The Greater New Orleans and the Baton Rouge Louis A. Martinet Legal Societies and the Young Lawyers Division of the Louisiana State Bar Association for:

Cocktails and Hors d'oeuvres

Thursday, July 3, 2014

5:00 - 7:00 p.m.

Ruth's Chris Steak House
525 Fulton St., New Orleans, LA 70130



Alumni Reception to be Held in Lafayette - August 29
A reception for Southern University Law Center Alumni will be held on Friday August 29 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM at the Lafayette Petroleum Club.  The Petroleum Club is located at 111 Heymann Blvd, Lafayette, LA 70503.


More...

Diversity LGBT Subcommittee hosts CLE "Recent Developments: Same Sex Marriage Issues"
Join the Diversity LGBT Subcommittee on Thursday, October 16, for the presentation of a FREE CLE (2.0 hours): Recent Developments: Same Sex Marriage Issues. This CLE, presented by Professor Todd Brower, the Judicial Education Director of the Williams Institute at UCLA Law School, and local employee benefits expert, Maria Cangemi, of Robein, Urann, Spencer, Picard & Cangemi will highlight updates regarding recent court challenges to same sex marriage bans, as well as Windsor's effects on Pension and Heath/Welfare Funds for LGBT employees. CLE begins at 9:00 a.m. and ends at 11:30 a.m. at the Louisiana Bar Center, 601 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans, LA  70130.

  Click here for details and registration.


November 12 - New Orleans New Admittee Reception
Click here for a copy of the invitation to the LSBA's New Orleans area New Admittee Reception!  The event is scheduled for Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at the Louisiana Bar Center (601 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans) from 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm.  The reception is an excellent opportunity for new attorneys to meet and network with local and state bar leaders, as well as judges and more experienced attorneys. All local area attorneys and judges, whether new or seasoned, are welcome to attend.  Please RSVP to Eve Goudeau, either by calling at (504) 619-0115, or emailing her at eve.goudeau@lsba.org.


Help Defend Voting Rights: Volunteer for the Asian American Election Poll Monitoring Project
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! Asian American Election Protection and Poll Monitoring and Defending Asian American Voting Rights
The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) seeks volunteers to monitor the November 4th elections for compliance with the federal Voting rights Act and to document instances of anti-Asian voter disenfranchisement. Our Asian American Election Protection and Poll Monitoring Project will be conducted in Massachusetts, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

In past elections, Asian Americans have faced a series of barriers in exercising their right to vote. For example, poll workers were hostile and made racist remarks, poll sites had too few interpreters to assist Asian American voters, translated voting materials were missing or hidden from voters, and ballots were mistranslated listing Democratic candidates as Republicans, and vice versa. When the news media reported on election results and the vote by specific groups, Asian Americans were often overlooked.

On November 4, 2014, AALDEF, along with other Asian American groups and bar associations, will be monitoring the elections and conducting non-partisan voter surveys at poll sites in Asian American neighborhoods.

Advanced registration required. Signup at http://www.aaldef.net/volunteer_monitor_form.aspx.
Polling sites in Louisiana include New Orleans and East Bank.

Trainings Sessions are on Thursday, October 23 (Light lunch/dinner will be provided)
2 p.m. – Cotten, Schmidt & Abbott, 650 Poydras St, Suite 2810, New Orleans, LA 70130
6 p.m. – VAYLA, 13235 Chef Menteur Hwy, New Orleans, LA 70129

This 90-minute training session is required for all volunteers. (Attorneys can receive 1.5 CLE credits including 0.5 ethics credit.) All volunteers must be non-partisan and work a 3-hour shift.

For more information, contact AALDEF Staff Attorney Jerry Vattamala or Voting Rights Organizer Judy Lei at 800-966-5946 or votingrights@aaldef.org.


GNO Martinet is Calling for Volunteers for Get Out the Vote
On Saturday, November 1, 2014, from 10am-2pm, the Greater New Orleans Martinet Society will be co-sponsoring (with several other organizations) a strictly non-partisan voter education Get Out The Vote (GOTV) canvass in New Orleans. They will meet at 3052 General Collins Avenue, New Orleans 70114 (on the west bank). This area was chosen to target due to past low voter turnout in statewide elections. All volunteers are welcome (kids, parents, spouses, etc.). This is an important election. We, as the legal arm of the community, need to speak out and encourage the community to vote.


If you are interested and able to attend, please contact Ethan Ashley via email at ecashley@gmail.com or via phone at (504) 345-9952 or April Brumfield via email at abrumfieldlaw@gmail.com or via phone at (225) 938-3734.


Suit Up for the Future
2015 Suit Up for the Future Session:  June 15-26 and July 6-10.

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.  

The 2015 session will be held June 15-26 and July 6-10.  The online deadline: May 8, 2015 has passed.   Students who applied have received notification of class acceptance.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES FOR ATTORNEYS: 
If you are an attorney who is interested in volunteering some time to talk to this year's Suit Up students - or you and/or your firm are willing to provide a shadowing opportunity for a student, please click here You can also contact us via email at diversity@lsba.org. 

If you have additional questions regarding the program, please send an email to diversity@lsba.org.

More Suit Up Information

GNO Martinet Meeting and Panel Discussion - January 6, 2015
Tuesday, January 6, 2015 at 6 p.m.
Phelps Dunbar, LLC
365 Canal St., Suite 2000
Reception to Follow

In conjunction with a series of events that the National Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division is facilitating across the country, the January meeting will feature a short panel discussion on the role of young lawyers in today's civil rights movement. Several prominent civil rights attorneys will talk about the ways that Martinet members and supporters can use their legal backgrounds to continue to impact the push for equality. Here is a list of confirmed panelists:

 John Adcock
Staff Attorney, Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center, and Attorney, Law Office of John N. Adcock

Marjorie Esman
Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana

Tracey Knight
Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana
Ron Wilson
Attorney at Law

For more information, click here.


Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday - 2015
According to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change,  Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, "... is a time when the nation pauses to remember Dr. King’s life and work, but also to honor his legacy by making the holiday a day of community service, 'a day on, not a day off.' "   In many places  King Day is marked by youth programs, educational seminars, community dialogues and service projects. 

Click here to read the moving words of Mrs. Coretta Scott King, as she described what this day truly commemorates. 

"Inspiring a New Generation of Civil Rights Leaders" CLE
In honor of Black History Month, the LSBA Diversity Committee and Young Lawyers Division's Diversity Committee hosted a free CLE seminar titled "Inspiring a New Generation of Civil Rights Leaders." The seminar was held on Thursday, February 19, 2015 at Adams and Reese LLP, Baton Rouge, LA. from 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm.  A reception immediately followed the seminar. 

Seminar speakers included 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. The  US Attorneys engaged young lawyers in a thoughtful discussion involving their role in civil rights cases.

Photo ID:  (L to R) US Attorneys J. Walter Green, Stephanie A. Finley and Kenneth A. Polite, Jr.


Honorable Carl E. Stewart Presents Civil Rights Lecture at LSU
The Honorable Carl E. Stewart, Chief Judge of the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, will present the Judge Alvin B. and Janice G. Rubin Visiting Professor of Law Lecture on February 4 at the LSU Law Center. The lecture, “A Dream Realized or a Dream Deferred: 50 Years After the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” will take place at 5:30 p.m. in the McKernan Auditorium. For more information, call (225)578-5722.

In addition, The Office of the Chancellor is offering LSU Law students the opportunity to have "A Conversation with Chief Judge Carl E. Stewart, U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals" during the 12:40 lunch hour in the McKernan Auditorium on February 4.   Students are encouraged to contact jennifer.roche@law.lsu.edu with any questions.

GNO Martinet 2015 Legislative Breakfast - March 5, 2015
The Louis A. Martinet, Greater New Orleans Chapter announces its 2015 Legislative Breakfast

Date:  Thursday, March 5th
Time:  8:00 am to 10:00 am
Location:  The Munch Factory, 6325 Elysian Fields Ave., New Orleans, LA 70122

Local legislators will present their agendas for the upcoming legislative session, as well as discuss issues that may benefit, concern, or interest Martinet members.

Please RSVP to April Davenport at april.d.davenport@gmail.com. The breakfast is free for paid Martinet members and $25 for non-members.


2015 Guardian of Diversity Award Winner - Baton Rouge Martinet
The Baton Rouge Louis A. Martinet Legal Society was awarded the LSBA's 2015 Guardian of Diversity Award.  The award was presented to Martinet president Rolando Urbina at the Conclave on Diversity in the Legal Profession's luncheon on Friday, March 6. 

The Baton Rouge Martinet has a history of promoting diversity.  In 2011 and 2012, the National Bar Association (NBA) awarded Louis A. Martinet Society with the Affiliate Chapter of the Year Award. This award is presented to NBA affiliates who champion diversity and scholarship in their local community.

The Guardian of Diversity Award is granted annually to an organization for:
  • creating and implementing innovative strategies to promote and advance the concept and spirit of diversity and inclusion in society;
  • making a significant impact on diversity issues in the community; enhancing access and equality in employment, economic, and educational opportunities;
  • advocating and promoting an understanding and awareness of diversity;
  • dedication to improving and bridging the relationship between diverse groups; and
  • a proven commitment to creating a culture of diversity and inclusion.

Photo ID:  Left - Martinet president, Rolando R. Urbina; Right - LSBA Diversity Conclave Committee co-chair Luis A. Leitzelar
Photo credit:  Matthew Hinton

Conclave Speaker Reception
Diversity Conclave Speakers, Co-hosts and Sponsors were invited to attend a March 5  reception hosted by the LSBA Diversity Committee and Subcommittee members.  Co-hosts, Sponsors and Committee members were given the opportunity to personally meet and thank the speakers for their service at the Eighth Annual Conclave on Diversity in the Legal Profession, which was to be held the following day at the New Orleans Marriott. 

Photo ID: ( L to R) Demarcus J. Gordon, Diversity Committee member; Andrew P. Burnside, representing Gold Sponsor Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart; Joseph L. "Larry" Shea, Jr., LSBA president

Martinet Day on the Capitol - May 21, 2015
Martinet members from across the state descended on the Capitol Thursday, May 21, 2015 for their annual Martinet Day on the Capitol.  Events of the day included:

  •   9:00 a.m. - House convenes; Recognition on House Floor
  • 10:00 a.m. - Meet in Senate Chambers and Recognition on Senate Floor
  • 10:45 a.m. - Capitol tour for Martinet members
  • 11:50 a.m - Group picture on Capitol Step
  • 12:00 p.m. - Lunch in the Members' Lounge
  •   5:00 p.m. - Mixer at Roux House, 143 Third Street, Downtown Baton Rouge

Back row (l to r)
Deidre D. Robert, Cordelia D. Tullous, Ne’Shira D. Millender, Claire McDaniel-Ojeh, Hon. Quintillis Kenyatta Lawrence, Justin I. Woods, Laurie Ann Lucas (law student), Camille Wilson (med student), Sanettria G. Pleasant, Rep. Marcus L. Hunter (District 17), Rep. Edward C. "Ted" James II (District 101)

Front Row (l to r)
Jasmine Brown (law student), J. Ashley Mitchell-Carter, Ashley J. Greenhouse, Rachael D. Johnson, Gavin M. Richard, Cashauna M. Hill, Rolando R. Urbina, Chantell M. Boutte, Krystal Wilson (law student), Tricia R. Pierre, Tracie L. Washington, Christopher B. Hebert

Diversity Committee Co-Chair Selected to Receive President's Award
Luis (Lou) A. Leitzelar, Co-Chair of the 2014-15 Diversity Committee, has been selected to receive the 2014-2015 Louisiana State Bar Association President’s Award. Mr. Leitzelar is being recognized for his exemplary assistance to the Committee on Diversity in the Legal Profession. The award will be presented on June 11, 2015 at the LSBA General Assembly during the Combined Annual Meeting/Summer School in Sandestin, Florida. 

Mr. Leitzelar is a partner at Jones Walker LLP where he practices in the Business and Commercial Litigation Group in Baton Rouge. He is a member of the Firm’s Diversity Committee. Since 2011, he is also a member of the Diversity Committees of the Louisiana State Bar Association and the Defense Research Institute. Mr. Leitzelar is Co-Chair of the LSBA Committee on Diversity as well as its Conclave on Diversity in the Legal Profession Subcommittee. Mr. Leitzelar previously served as Chair of the Minority Involvement Section of the LSBA, which sponsors minority career job fairs and mentorship programs for minority law students.

SULC Honors Martinet Past President as 2015 Alumni of the Year
Martinet Past President and an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Louisiana, Christopher B. Hebert, will be honored as the Southern University Law Center 2015 Alumni of the Year. Hebert is a 2003 graduate of the Law Center. He is an active member and past president of the Louis A. Martinet Legal Society Greater Baton Rouge Chapter and serves as the Region V Director of the National Bar Association. He is also a member of the American Bar Association, a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association and the Baton Rouge Bar Association, where he currently serves on the Membership Committee.

Hebert will be honored at the SULC Alumni Breakfast on July 22, 2015, in Los Angeles, CA, which is held in conjunction with the 90th Annual National Bar Association Convention, July 19-23, 2015.


SULC Chancellor Honored by National Bar Association
National Bar Association’s Region V director Chris Hebert, '03, presented Southern University Law Center Chancellor Freddie Pitcher, Jr., '73, an award in recognition of his 12 1/2 years of dedication and service as head of the Law Center. The presentation was made Sunday, July 19. Chancellor Pitcher is a member of the LSBA Committee on Diversity.


Armistad Research Center Celebrates 1965 Voting Rights Act at August 6 Luncheon
The Board of Directors of the Amistad Research Center invites Martinet members to attend its August 6th luncheon celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. This historical statute has led to millions of Americans being able to exercise their constitutional right to vote, and therefore, changed the fabric of our nation for the better.

At this luncheon, Amistad will also present New Orleans' own, St. Augustine High School, one of the premier high schools in the country, with the Amistad Heritage Award for its legacy and commitment to voting rights, social justice and the civil rights movement.
For more information, contact the Martinet Greater New Orleans Chapter by clicking here:  http://gnomartinet.com/contact-us/.


Get Involved! The LSBA Committee on Diversity in the Profession Needs You...
The mission of this committee is to assess the level of racial, ethnic, national origin, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation and disability diversity within all components of the legal profession in Louisiana; to identify barriers to the attainment of full and meaningful representation and participation in the legal profession by persons of diverse backgrounds; and to propose programs and methods by which the LSBA can most effectively work to remove those barriers and achieve greater diversity.

If you are interested in joining us in our efforts to ensure that all voices in our profession are heard, please consider working with us on LSBA’s Diversity LSBA Committee on Diversity in the Profession in the upcoming bar year. Click here to download the LSBA Committee Preference Form.  The deadline for the form to be returned is Thursday, April 30, 2015.


Third Circuit Court of Appeal Judges Serve on Panel at Alexandria Bench Bar
The Alexandria Bar Association’s Bench Bar Conference was held on Friday, May 15, 2015 at the Alexandria Golf and Country Club. Speakers included a panel of Third Circuit Court of Appeal judges and Assistant US Attorney (Western District of Louisiana) Joseph P. Landreneau.

Photo ID (left to right) –  Hon. John E. Conery, Hon. Phyllis M. Keaty, Hon. Shannon J. Gremillion, Hon. Billy H. Ezell,  and Hon. James T. Genovese



Lynn Luker Discussed Diversity with the Florida Parishes Inns of Court
Lynn Luker, a frequent LSBA Diversity facilitator, met with the Florida Parishes Inns of Court at the Jacmel Inn in Hammond on June 17, 2015.  The topic of the discussion was "Generational Differences" outlining the differences in work styles, attitudes and values of Baby Boomers, Generation Xers and Millenials.    The evening began with a cocktail reception and was followed by the presentation.

Photo ID:  Lynn Luker, Law Office of Lynn Luker, LLC

2015 Human Rights Award Granted to Elia Diaz-Yaeger
Elia Diaz-Yaeger been selected to receive the 2014-2015 Louisiana State Bar Association Human Rghts Award. The Human Rights Award recognizes outstanding efforts made in promoting diversity in the legal profession.  In particular, it recognizes efforts ensuring the full and equal opportunity of all persons for entry and advancement in Louisiana’s legal profession. Nominees of the Human Rights Award  must demonstrate a sustained, long term commitment to encouraging, increasing and/or retaining diversity in the legal profession.

Ms. Diaz-Yaeger is a Shareholder in the law firm of Lugenbuhl, Wheaton, Peck, Rankin and Hubbard, where her primary areas of practice are industrial employment/long-latency lung disease litigation, insurance defense and coverage, environmental law and commercial litigation.

Diaz-Yaeger actively promotes diversity and inclusion of women and Hispanics in the legal professions through various professional organizations. She is President of the Hispanic Lawyers of Louisiana. Diaz-Yaeger is also a member of the Hispanic National Bar Association (“HNBA”), where she currently is one of fifty members selected nationally to participate in the HNBA/Associate of Corporate Counsel Executive Leadership Program. Diaz-Yaeger also monitors legal trends and proposed laws that directly impact or affect the local Hispanic community. 

The Human Rights award will be presented on June 11, 2015 at the LSBA General Assembly during the Combined Annual Meeting/Summer School in Sandestin, Florida. 

2015 Trailblazer Award Granted to J. Dalton Courson
J. Dalton Courson has been selected to receive the 2014-2015 Louisiana State Bar Association Trailblazer Award.  The  Trailblazer Award recognizes members of the Bar from a group underrepresented within the Louisiana legal profession who have demonstrated excellence or accomplished greatness in the face of great adversity.

Mr. Courson is a member of Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann L.L.C. in New Orleans. He maintains a litigation practice focused on business litigation and insurance coverage disputes. Since 2011, he has served as co-chair for the LGBT Litigator Committee of the American Bar Association Section of Litigation, which supports lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender lawyers and offers a forum for discussion on the unique issues LGBT attorneys face in their practices. He recently authored “Reality Check: Combating Implicit Bias,” an article on unconscious bias and its impact on LGBT lawyers, which was published this year in Bar Briefs and by the Section of Litigation in Litigation News. Courson also recently presented a discussion on the issue of schools, bullying, and the law for the New Orleans Bar Association, and he previously co-authored “Title IX Liability for Anti-Gay Bullying,” which appeared in LGBT Litigator. Courson is a former member of the Litigation Section's Diversity Committee.

In 2012, the National LGBT Bar Association named Courson as one of the Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40. From 2006 until 2011, he served on the board of directors for AIDSLaw of Louisiana, Inc., a nonprofit organization formed to meet the legal needs of low-income Louisianans living with HIV. He was selected as AIDSLaw co-chair for 2010-2011. Courson was selected by New Orleans CityBusiness as "One to Watch" in law firm in their June 28, 2013 issue. As part of a panel, he presented "Gay Rights in the Louisiana Workplace" at the 2014 Louisiana State University Current Developments in Labor and Employment Law seminar. Courson is representing the Forum for Equality in a lawsuit challenging Louisiana's constitutional ban on recognizing same-sex marriages legally performed outside of the state.

The Trailblazer Award will be presented on June 11, 2015 at the LSBA General Assembly during the Combined Annual Meeting/Summer School in Sandestin, Florida.

SULC Hosts Annual Gala and Alumni & Friends Round-Up
Southern University Law Center hosted their 2015 Gala at Renaissance Baton Rouge on Saturday April 11, 2015. The gala was the finale in their annual three day Alumni & Friends Round-Up, which also included Alumni Student Professional Workshop and Reception, Judicial Wall of Fame Portraits Unveiling Ceremony, Chancellor’s Golf Scramble, Admitted Students Reception, a Distinguished Alumni and Friends Reception and an SULC Alumni Association Annual Meeting and Mixer.

Photo ID 2015  - 2015 SULC Distinguished Alumni
(left to right) Chancellor Pitcher congratulates William C. Bradford, Jr., ’09, Shreveport City Attorney; Krystal J. Brumfield,’07, VP and COO, DC Chamber of Commerce; Christian N. Elloie,’08, assistant general counsel, Deloitte LLP, New York, New York; Hon. Donald R. Cravins, Jr., ’98, deputy national political director, The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Washington, D.C.; and Hon. Edward “Ted” James, ’06, State Representative, Baton Rouge.

Chief Justice Johnson Receives ABA Diversity Leadership Award
Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson was presented the 2015 Diversity Leadership Award by the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Litigation during the Diversity Leadership & John Minor Wisdom Awards Luncheon held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in New Orleans on April 16, 2015.

“The Diversity Leadership Award recognizes individuals or entities who have demonstrated a commitment to promoting full and equal participation in the legal community through encouragement and inclusion of women, minorities, persons with disabilities, and/or persons of differing sexual orientations and gender identities. Chief Justice Johnson is well-deserving of this recognition,” said Nancy Scott Degan, Chair, ABA Section of Litigation.

A graduate of Spelman College in 1964, Chief Justice Johnson was one of the first African-America women to attend the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University (LSU), where she received her law degree in 1969. Chief Justice Johnson’s judicial career began in 1984 when she became the first woman elected to serve on the Civil District Court in New Orleans. In 1994, she was elected to serve on the Louisiana Supreme Court and was re-elected without opposition in 2000 and 2010. She attained another “first” on February 1, 2013 when she was sworn-in as Chief Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court, making her the first African-American Chief Justice. In May of 2013, Chief Justice Johnson was inducted as an honorary member of LSU Law Center’s local chapter of the Order of the Coif and she delivered the Commencement Address at Southern University as well as her alma mater, LSU Law Center.

Chief Justice Johnson has long been an advocate for social justice and civil rights. She worked as a community organizer with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Legal Defense & Educational Fund, and worked for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. Following law school, she became the Managing Attorney of the New Orleans Legal Assistance Corporation (NOLAC), where she provided legal services to clients in socio-economically disadvantaged neighborhoods. Additionally, she practiced in federal, state and juvenile courts advancing the rights of children, the poor, the elderly and the disenfranchised.


Lafayette Martinet Installs 2015-17 Officers
The Louis A. Martinet Legal Society, Greater Lafayette Chapter  installed their 2015-2017 Officers at a ceremony held on Thursday, May 14, 2015 at the Lafayette Bar Association.  Judge Edward D. Rubin, of the 15th Judicial District Court, swore the new officers in. 

Photo ID:  (top row standing left to right: Franchesca Hamilton-Acker, President Elect, Patsy A. Randall, President, Harold D. Register, III, Chaplain
(Bottom row seated, left): Corrie Journet, secretary, Karnina Dargin, financial secretary.
Not pictured are Shytishia Flugence, Treasurer, Edward Rubin, Jr., Historian, and Robert Moore, Parliamentarian


"Dialogues on Inclusion: Breaking Barriers in the Legal Profession" - June 29 FBA Event
Please join the Hon. Carl E. Stewart, Wayne J. Lee, María Pabón López, and Christopher J. Alfieri for a discussion on breaking the historic barriers of racial, socio-economic, gender, and sexual orientation bias in the legal profession. Panelists will explore their professional experiences with the bench and bar. The Hon. Nannette Jolivette Brown will moderate this discussion which will include a conversation on the current civil rights issues of today.

The program will be held on June 29, 2015 from 3:00 - 5:00 pm.  A reception will follow.  The program is inspired by the achievements of the Hon. Ivan I. R. Lemelle who will assume senior status this month.

For information, please contact the New Orleans Chapter of the Federal Bar Association by phone at 580-7990


Conclave Highlight! Freedom Rider, Henry "Hank" J. Thomas Speaks at Conclave
Former Freedom Rider - and one of the original 13 Freedom Riders - Henry "Hank" Thomas spoke at the 2015 Conclave on Diversity in the Legal Profession.  His words "We've come a long way, but not far enough," resonated with the diverse crowd of 250 attorneys, judges and civil rights advocates.  Mr. Thomas also served on a panel discussing civil rights today titled: "Just How Far has the Pendulum Moved? Striving for Justice."

Photo ID: Henry "Hank" J. Thomas.
Photo Credit: Matthew Hinton

NBA Launches 2015 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drum Major for Justice Advocacy Competition
National Bar Association's Scholarship Competition, sponsored by MetLife, is scheduled for Thursday, July 23, 2015 at the National Bar Association's 90th Annual Convention & Exhibits at the The Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles, CA.

Eligible high schoolers are encouraged to apply. Student essays are due by April 8, 2015 and winners will be announced in July at the National Competition in Los Angeles, CA. Click here for complete competition details.   For the competition packet, please click here.

For the sixth consecutive year, MetLife is a sponsor of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Drum Major for Justice Advocacy Scholarship Competition - an annual program for high school juniors and seniors presented by the National Bar Association (NBA) and supported by the National Bar Institute. The national competition encourages students to express their views on a pre-selected topic and focuses on the ability of the students to communicate both orally and in writing. "The competition is, without question, one of the nation's preeminent programs for young African Americans. It's a truly rare program in that it creates an arena of competition in which young people develop, hone and master various forms of oration, incorporating those skills into outstanding leadership qualities," stated Pamela J. Meanes, President of the National Bar Association.

Since its inception in 2000, the program has awarded nearly $225,000 in scholarships and prizes, supporting the efforts of young African Americans who aspire to lofty educational and career goals.

"MetLife has had a long partnership with the NBA and we're proud to once again serve as the Platinum sponsor for the 2015 event," stated Laurel Daring, assistant vice president of Communications and Diverse Markets Support. "This sponsorship is not only an opportunity to network with members of the NBA, it also allows us to invest in and promote educational excellence among youth." Ms. Laurel Daring.



Standing Room Only for the LGBT Same Sex Marriage Issues CLE
A standing room only crowd attended the October 16 CLE sponsored by the Diversity Committee's LGBT Diversity Subcommittee.  The CLE, facilitated by renowned human rights speaker, Professor Todd Brower, and local benefits expert, Maria Cangemi, was hosted at the LA Bar Center.  Paul Hesse, of Jones Lagarde in Slidell and co-chair of the LGBT Diversity Subcommittee, was in attendance to welcome the attendees and introduce the speakers. 

Beginning promptly at 9:00 a.m. Professor Brower discussed the recent updates surrounding same sex marriage issues, including adoption and legal marriage.   After breakfast and short break, Maria Cangemi, of Robein, Urann, Spencer, Picard and Cangemi, a law firm that represents employees, labor unions and employee benefit funds in all areas of labor and employment law, spoke about the implications that United States v. Webster has had on pension funds and health/welfare funds for LGBT employees and their families. 

The well-attended workshop was also very well received.  One attendee reported, "I really enjoyed the seminar ... The topic could not have been more timely, and professionally presented. Both speakers did a fantastic job of enlightening us on the latest in the world of equal marriage."

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.


Get Involved! The LSBA Committee on Diversity in the Profession Needs You...
If you are interested in joining us in our efforts to ensure that all voices in our profession are heard, please consider working with us on LSBA’s Diversity LSBA Committee on Diversity in the Profession in the upcoming bar year.  Click here to download the LSBA Committee Preference Form.   Deadline for return has been extended to April 30, 2015. 

Conclave Highlight! Immigration Session
The Immigration breakout session, held at 8:15 am, was filled to standing room only.  Titled "Navigating the Troubled Waters of Immigration," speakers addressed the:
  • Challenges of immigration at the national and state level
  • Many problems related to Unaccompanied Alien Children (UACs)
  • Detention of foreign nationals and how to effectively represent foreign nationals, and
  • Intersection of immigration and litigation.

The panel consisted of Graham Bateman, Kathleen Gasparian, Ivan Torres Hidalgo Gato, Professor Hiroko Kusuda and Emily Trostle. The speakers encouraged participants to get involved and volunteer to accept pro bono cases. The response was overwhelming! Several attorneys agreed to volunteer to support the efforts being made by immigration advocates.

Photo (l to r) Graham Bateman, Kathleen Gasparian, Ivan Torres Hidalgo Gato, Professor Hiroko Kusuda and Emily Trostle.           Photo credit: Matthew Hinton 



Conclave Highlight! LGBT Breakout Session
The LGBT Breakout session, was titled “The Changing Landscape and Effects of Marriage Equality.”  Speakers provided a current overview of the evolving law on state and federal recognition of same-sex marriages and implications. Additional topics addressed included:
  • Intra-family adoption in Louisiana and other states,
  • the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)
  • the case of United States v. Windsor
  • the difference between state and federal recognition of same-sex marriages, and
  • the added layer and complexity of the way in which the law regulates a person’s gender identity and/or expression and the complexities that occur with parenting, employment, and employment benefits in the transgender community.

The panel consisted of attorneys that are all engaged in protecting the rights of the LGBT community in their everyday practices. The speakers were Nicholas Hite, Melanie C. Lockett, Scott Jerome Spivey, and Julie Wilensky.

Photo (l to r)  Scott J. Spivey and Julie Wilensky



Conclave Highlight! Criminal Law Session
The criminal law session titled “Moving the Pendulum to Justice, Fairness & Accountability” was the final session of the day.  It highlighted the complexities in the criminal justice system due to ongoing negative views of minorities and prejudgments that lead to bias, as well as the systematic deficiencies due to bias. The panel discussion also emphasized the value of training in order to recognize and address bias.

The panel included Angela A. Allen-Bell, Kevin Boshea, Cathy Harris, Louisiana Senator Edwin R. Murray and Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand. The panel discussion was moderated by Judge Kern A. Reese. The combination of this panel as one participant surveyed remarked “made for an interesting and lively discussion.”

Photo: (l to r)  Kevin Boshea, Senator Edwin R. Murray, Angela A. Allen-Bell, Judge Kern A. Reese, Cathy Harris and Sheriff Newell Norman.  Photo credit:  Matthew Hinton


Conclave Highlight! Civil Rights Discussion
Titled “Just How Far Has the Pendulum Moved? Striving for Justice,”  the civil rights session opened with a slideshow of moving and haunting imagery of the civil rights and voting rights movement. The panel consisted of

The speakers offered a unique and valuable perspective on how the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 changed the moral landscape of the country. These laws forced the country into self-examination and transformed the movement. The panel also addressed the role of the judiciary in shaping the civil rights movement, public education at the height of the civil rights movement and continuing obstacles, the impact of the case Shelby County v. Holder and the obstacles to access to justice.

The knowledge and experiences of this panel was truly inspiring. Members of the panel spoke to their personal experiences and how this altered their lives and world view.

Photo: (l to r) Professor Kareem U. Crayton, Judge Bernice B. Donald, Henry "Hank" James Thomas, Judge Roland L. Belsome, Jr. and Alexander P. Tureaud, Jr.  Photo credit:  Matthew Hinton

Conclave Highlight! Interactive Workshop - "Inclusion 8" and The Privilege Walk
The Diversity Conclave Subcommittee was proud to welcome back Judge Wendell L. Griffen, a previous Conclave facilitator.  This year he facilitated the diversity workshop titled “Inclusion 8.”  Incorporated into his presentation was the interactive and powerful exercise titled the “Privilege Walk.” According to Judge Griffen, the Privilege Walk is designed to help attendees recognize the following:
  • that privilege and the deficits that occur from lack of privilege are unearned
  • how privilege and lack of privilege affect different populations, and
  • that different types of privilege dramatize (through silence, movement, and eye contact)
  • how we can take for granted the benefits received from and the disadvantages suffered as result of privilege, or its absence.

Privilege Line participants were asked to do the following: to silently rise from their seats and stand shoulder to shoulder in a straight line across the room; to remain silent while moving into position and throughout the exercise; to listen carefully and after hearing each sentence stated by Judge Griffen, to take a step forward or backward, if the sentence applied to the participant. If the sentence did not apply to the participant, no step was taken at all and the participant remained in position and silent while other participants move as directed. Upon completion of the exercise, participants were directed to remain in position and requested to remain silent and make eye contact while observing where other participants were standing. Participants then took a “comfort break” where judges and lawyers led individual table discussions to assist participants in processing their experiences.

Judge Griffen completed the diversity workshop by asking questions that allowed participants an opportunity to bring closure to the exercise experience. That discussion allowed participants to ponder together and discuss the questions in depth.  The Privilege Walk served to be a moving and dramatic way of confronting participants about the myth of meritocracy.

Photo:  Privilege Walk participants. Photo credit:  Matthew Hinton

Conclave Highlight! Keynote Speaker - Kim M. Keenan
At the Awards Luncheon, Chief Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson delivered powerful remarks and provided an introduction of the keynote speaker, Kim M. Keenan. Ms. Keenan, CEO and President of Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council, spoke passionately about minorities and the historical impact of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 and its effect on communities then and now. She eloquently addressed evidence of progress in the 21st century and the movement being made to hold on to the strides made. Ms. Keenan discussed the awakening of communities through social media and how televised moments have sparked communities to mobilize and make an impact through movement. Ms. Keenan elaborated on what opportunities exist in the 21st century framework and encouraged participant to think about what aspects of the law are engaged when injustice is immediate and due process digital. In her closing remarks, she referred to her time as past counsel for the NAACP and stated that at the NAACP the belief is “Ever forward, never backwards" and "no permanent enemies, no permanent friends, just permanent issues.”
Photo: (l to r) Chief Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson, Keynote speaker Kim M. Keenan and Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Bernice B. Donald.  Photo credit: Matthew Hinton.

"Magna Carta" is Theme for 2015 Law Day
The American Bar Association announced the 2015 Law Day Theme:  "Magna Carta: Symbol of Freedom Under Law."

Perhaps more than any other document in human history, Magna Carta has come to embody a simple but enduring truth: No one, no matter how powerful, is above the law.

In the eight centuries that have elapsed since Magna Carta was sealed in 1215, it has taken root as an international symbol of the rule of law and as an inspiration for many basic rights Americans hold dear today, including due process, habeas corpus, trial by jury, and the right to travel.

As we mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, join the ABA on Law Day, May 1, 2015, to commemorate this “Great Charter of Liberties,” and rededicate ourselves to advancing the principle of rule of law here and abroad.


Baton Rouge Martinet Grants Scholarships and Awards at Annual Gala
The Baton Rouge Chapter of the Louis A. Martinet Society hosted their annual Scholarship Gala on Friday, April 17, 2015, at Boudreaux's Banquet Hall in Baton Rouge.  

Congratulations to the winners of the Martinet annual scholarships: Andrew Hairston (LSU), Lillian Williams (SULC), and Cameron Murray (Catholic High School).

In addition to the scholarships, the President's Awards were also presented.  They were granted to:
Johnnie A. Jones, Sr. - Lifetime Achievement Award
Kean Miller, LLP - A.P. Tureaud Award
Southeast Louisiana Legal Services - Dutch Morial Award

Photo (Left to right) Baton Rouge civil rights attorney Johnnie A. Jones, Sr. and BR Martinet president, Rolando Urbina.

Chief Justice Johnson to Address Membership at SWLBA
At their Januiary 16 membership meeting, members of the Southwest Lousiana Bar Association will be in for a treat.  Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson has accepted their invitation to briefly address the membership.  The meeting will be held at the Pioneer Club, 127 Broad Street in  Lake Charles. For more information, go to the bar's website at www.swlba.org.

Firms, Individuals, and Organizations to be Nominated for LSBA Diversity Awards
The deadline for nominations for the 2015 Louisiana State Bar Association (LSBA) Human Rights Award and Trailblazer Award 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.

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


AWA's Michaelle Pitard Wynne Professionalism Award Deadline - December 1, 2014
Every year the AWA presents the Michaelle Pitard Wynne Professionalism Award to a member of the greater New Orleans legal community who exemplifies the ideals and professionalism that Magistrate Judge Wynne so capably displayed in her too short career.

Written nominations for the award must be received by email to info@awanola.org no later than December 1, 2014. To nominate someone, you need only write a short letter stating why the nominee exemplifies the ideals and professionalism of Magistrate Judge Wynne. A tribute to Magistrate Wynn was written by Judge Adrian G. Duplantier for the Loyola Law Review (41 Loyola Law Review 399) and can be found here: Wynne Memoriam.

The award will be presented at the Association for Women Attorneys' Annual Dinner at Commander's Palace on January 15, 2015.

Previous recipients include:

Hon. Robin Giarrusso                                  Judy Barrasso                                               Professor Cynthia Samuel
Hon. Ann Murry Keller                                 Professor Jane Johnson                                Carole Neff
Janice Foster                                              Edith Morris                                                 Hon. Laurie White
Kathryn Venturatos Lorio                             Hon. Jay Zainey
Martin Hunley                                             Bernadette D'Souza
Hon. Carolyn Gill-Jefferson                         Justice Catherine "Kitty" Kimball
Judy Perry Martinez                                    Hon.  Fredericka Homberg Wicker
Hon. Madeline Landrieu                              Tania Tetlow


State Farm Welcomes Diversity Presentation
On October 21, 2014, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company's Frederick A. Miller and Associates' Corporate Law Department joined LSBA facilitators Scott J. Spivey and Monique M. Edwards, in a "Diversity in the Legal Profession" discussion and presentation.  Mr. Spivey and Ms. Edwards worked with State Farm's 19 attorneys and 25 support staff to advance State Farm's continued commitment to diversity in the workplace, and in particular, the legal workplace. 

Both facilitators are members of the LSBA's Diversity Committee's Diversity Integration Subcommittee, a subcommittee whose focus is to expand the Diversity Committee's presentation program.  Mr. Spivey and Ms. Edwards are just two of LSBA's more than 60 diversity facilitators.  For more information about scheduling a diversity presentation in your organization, please contact Tricia Pierre at diversity@lsba.org

Attorney for Micheal Brown and Trayvon Martin Families, Benjamin Crump, to Lecture at Dillard
On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump will deliver the next Revius O. Ortique Jr. Lecture on Law and Society in Georges Auditorium at 7 p.m. on Dillard's campus. This year's lecture is sponsored by the Dillard President's Lecture Series, Brain Food. The event is free and open to the public.

Benjamin Crump and his law partner, Daryl Parks have provided legal representation and recovered millions of dollars for their clients in some of the most high profile cases in the country. Crump has represented clients in personal injury, wrongful death and class-action cases in Florida, Mississippi, and North Carolina. A number of these cases received national attention such as the 2006 case of 14-year-old Martin Lee Anderson who died the day after being restrained and suffocated at the Bay County juvenile boot camp. In 2012, Crump led the fight for justice for the family of Trayvon Martin, who was killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida. Crump is currently representing the family of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old who was shot and killed on the street Aug. 9 by Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis.

In addition to  his case work, Crump is also active in a number of professional organizations and champions national causes and charities including the National Football League's Youth Education and Mentorship, the NAACP, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), Legal Services of North Florida, to name a few. As Board Chairman of the Legal Services of North Florida, Crump donated $1 million to the organization's capital campaign to ensure quality legal representation and access for poor people. Crump earned both his undergraduate and Juris Doctor degrees from Florida State University.

Seats are on a first come basis. For more information, click here to visit the Dillard Website or call 504.816.4800. Upcoming lecture: Monday, January 26, 2015 - Jason L. Riley, author of Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals make it Harder for Blacks to Succeed.


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.

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.

GNO Martinet Scholarship Jazz Brunch - September 13!
Join the Greater New Orleans Louis A. Martinet Legal Society and the New Orleans Martinet Legal Foundation (the 501(c)(3) non-profit arm of the Martinet) for their annual Scholarship Gala with a jazz brunch - "Forging Our Future."  

What:          The Greater New Orleans Louis A. Martinet Legal Society's Scholarship Jazz Brunch
When:         Saturday, September 13, 2014.  11:00 a.m.
Where:        Hyatt Regency, 601 Loyola Avenue, New Orleans, 70113


Baton Rouge Bar Association Hosts Annual Fall Expo & Luncheon - September 11, 2014
The Annual Fall Expo and September Bar Luncheon will be held this year at the L'Auberge Casino and Hotel at 777 L'Auberge Avenue in Baton Rouge. 

The Fall Expo includes an exhibitor expo, a combined luncheon-CLE (featuring keynote speaker H. Alston Johnson III), two additional hours of CLE seminars (professionalism and ethics), and a long coffee break for an all-inclusive package price of $75 per BRBA member, and $150 per non-member or guest.  Lunch-only option for members: $60 per person.  Lunch-only option for non-members: $85 per person.

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New Orleans' Chapter of Federal Bar Association Annual Meeting - August 24, 2014
The Federal Bar Association's New Orleans Chapter is hosting its annual meeting and awards luncheon on Thursday, August 28, 2014.  The luncheon will be held at the Westin New Orleans hotel at Canal Place. 

Cocktails begin at 11:00 with a 12:00 starting time for the luncheon.  The keynote speaker, Kathleen Sullivan, is a nationally recognized attorney who served as the Dean of Stanford Law School for five years.  She is currently a partner at Quinn, Emanuel, Urquhart and Sullivan, LLP and was the first female named partner in a national firm of its size and reputation.  Ms. Sullivan has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court and in numerous cases in the U.S. Courts of Appeals involving statutes such as the Alien Tort Statute, National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act. 



Kean Miller Offers 2-Day Law School Prep for College Students
Kean Miller Connection is a 2-day law school prep program for college students. Lawyers from the largest Baton Rouge based law firm, Kean Miller, along with others, provide an intense overview of the law school experience. The goal is to “connect” you with information helpful to your decision to attend law school and become a lawyer.

The program will be held Tuesday, July 15, 2014 - Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at Kean Miller’s New Orleans office, and will include:
• Guidance on law school admission
• Mock law school classes
• Career options overview
• Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) review and materials
• Networking with practicing lawyers
• Tuition is free. Breakfasts and lunches provided at no cost to participants.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
• Members of a group traditionally underrepresented in law school and the law practice
(women and minorities)
• Minimum GPA of 3.0
• Completed at least 45 college credits
• Must be a Louisiana resident



Federal Bar Association, New Orleans Chapter Celebrates Civil Rights Act 50th Anniversary
The New Orleans Chapter of the Federal Bar Association is presenting a panel discussion reviewing the historic content of the Civil Rights Act and the Criminal Justice Act.  On June 5, 2014 from 9:00 am - 12:15 pm at the United States District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, 500 Poydras Street (Fifth Floor) New Orleans, a panel of esteemed professors, attorneys, and authors will discuss the law, where we are today and the future of the two Acts. 

Registration for FBA Members is $35 and Non-members is $50; $25 for Federal Law Clerks/Staff & Agency Attorneys and CJA Panel Attorneys; Free for FBA Student Members; and $10 for all other students and attendees not seeking CLE credit.

Panelists include:
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Alexandria Area Pro Bono Clinic Needs Volunteers for June 5
The Central LA Pro Bono Project will be hosting a free to the public Will, Power of Attorney and Advice Clinic on Thursday, June 5 at the Main Branch of the Rapides Parish Library. Volunteers are needed to prepare simple wills, durable power of attorneys and give general advice on civil matters. The clinic will be divided into shifts from 10:00-12:00 and 12:00-2:00.  Each client will have a scheduled appointment time.

Lunch will be provided for the volunteers!


Lambda Legal Hosts First Annual Crawfish Boil
Lambda Legal New Orleans is hosting their First Annual Crawfish Boil at Phillip's Bar, Sunday, April 6, 2014 from 1-4 pm.

Special guest is John East, Lambda Legal's client in the recent case against Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Mr. East, a low-income Louisiana resident living with HIV, recently won in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana on Lambda Legal's request for a preliminary injunction requiring the insurers to accept federal Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program funds for the duration of the lawsuit. This is an opportunity to celebrate the local legal achievement and learn more about the issues of the ongoing litigation, as well as partake in one of our favorite local delicacies - crawfish!



FBA New Orleans Hosts 22nd Annual Alvin B. Rubin Symposium

The FBA New Orleans is hosting its 22nd Annual Alvin B. Rubin Symposium April 17, 2014 from 2 to 4 p.m.  The symposium is an annual Discussion Held as a Living Memorial to Judge Rubin's Contribution to Federal Jurisprudence and Legal Scholarship.

To Learn More About Judge Rubin Click Here.

Alvin B. Rubin and the Good Judge Ideal  - Jack M. Weiss, Chancellor of the LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center, will discuss several respects in which Judge Rubin embodied the qualities of a “good judge.” He will explain how “good judges” provide a structured and demanding framework within which lawyers may excel. Chancellor Weiss also will discuss Judge Rubin’s approach to constitutional judging and will relate that approach to current debates over interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.

What Are the Ethical Limits of Zealous Advocacy in Preparing and Presenting Witnesses? - The panel members will explore lawyers’ ethical obligations in preparing and presenting witnesses, both for deposition and for trial. Issues to be addressed will include the line between preparing and coaching witnesses; false witness testimony; abusive deposition tactics; speaking objections; paying fact witnesses; 30(b)(6) witnesses; pre-trial disclosures; and witness sequestration. Harold J. Flanagan will moderate a panel comprised of the Honorable Nannette Jolivette Brown, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, Thomas M. Flanagan and C. Lawrence Orlansky, practitioners.


Alexandria's Law Day Scheduled for May 2
When:          May 2, 2014
                    9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 

Where:             Westside Regional Library
                        5416 Provine Place
                        Alexandria, LA 71301

Includes 3.0 CLE CREDITS (Free to Alexandria Bar Members)

The theme of this year’s Law Day is “American Democracy and the Rule of Law: Why Every Vote Matters.”

The schedule for Law Day will be as follows:

9:15 – 10:15 Speaker: Phil Hunter, Attorney at Law
10:15 – 11:15 Speaker: Judge John Davidson, 9th Judicial District Court
11:15 – 11:25 Essay Winner: Presentation of Essay
11:30- 12:30 Speaker: Fred Jones, Attorney at Law & Professor of Criminal Justice


Shreveport Plans Law Week Activities
This year’s Law Day theme is American Democracy and the Rule of Law: Why Every Vote Matters, and it calls on every American to reflect on the importance of a citizen’s right to vote and the challenges we still face in ensuring that all Americans have the opportunity to participate in our democracy. Law Day Co-Chairs Erik Vigen and Marcus Edwards have planned student, member and community events that support the theme of promoting the franchise.
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Outreach to Students
Martinet is currently accepting applications for the summer of 2014 Louisiana Bar Prep Scholarship.  The Bar Exam Preparation Scholarship is a one time award of $500.00.  The purpose of the award is to aid and/or lessen the costs associated with participating in a bar examination review and preparatory course. 

Southwest LA Bar Association Law Day Ceremony and Liberty Bell Award
The Southwest Louisiana Bar Association cordially invites you to attend the annual Law Day Ceremony.  Please join us Friday, May 2, 2014 at 10:00 a.m., Courtroom A in the Calcasieu Parish Courthouse. Keynote Speaker is The Honorable Sharon D. Wilson of
14th Judicial District Court. 

The Mid-Year Buffet Luncheon Meeting follows at the Pioneer Club at 11:30 a.m.  Tickets are $25.00 per member and $40.00 per non-SWLBA member.  Please contact exdir@swlabar.com to purchase tickets.

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National Bar Association Establishes Law Camp for Young Students of Color
Application Deadline - April 30.  Crump Law Camp, ("Law Camp") is a newly established law camp by the National Bar Association ("NBA").  The primary goal  of the Law Camp is to encourage young students of color to improve their grades in high school, attend college, and enter law school.  The application deadline has been extended to April 30, 2014.

Law Camp participants must be at least 14 years of age by the first day of the Law Camp and must not be more than 17 years of age.  Participants must be entering the 9th through 11th grades.  In addition to a completed application, applicants must submit a one page essay explaining why they would like to participate in the Law Camp; one letter of recommendation from a teacher, counselor, minister, or any individual who can attest to the character of the applicant; and copy of the applicant's last report card or progress report.


A. P Tureaud, Jr. is Keynote Speaker At GBR Louis Martinet Scholarship Gala
Saturday, April 26, 2014 the Louis A. Martinet Scholarship Gala hosts Keynote Speaker A.P. Tureaud, Jr., the first African American undergraduate student to attend Louisiana State University.  The Gala will be held from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.  at Juban's  Restaurant, located at 3739 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge.  This year's theme is in honor and celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washngton, and other noteworthy moments of the Civil Rights era.
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DeSoto Parish Bar Association Hosts Law Day Activities
THE DESOTO PARISH BAR ASSOCIATION cordially invites all public officials, the general public and the media to ANNUAL LAW DAY

Speaker: The Honorable Scott J. Crichton Judge, First Judicial District Court, Caddo Parish, Louisiana
Location: DeSoto Parish Courthouse 101 Texas Street,  Mansfield, Louisiana 71052

Date & Time: May 2, 2014 at 10:00 A.M.
For additional information, please contact: Attorney Adrienne D. White, President, DeSoto Parish Bar Association (318) 872-1111

LSBA Minority Involvement Section Hosting Virtual Internship Fair; Deadline March 28th to Register to Receive Resume Books
Louisiana State Bar Association Minority Involvement Section has decided to convert its sixth annual Minority Legal Internship Fair to a "virtual" fair rather than host an "in person" fair.  Although this year's Fair is virtual, no other FREE venue in Louisiana offers employers such a large pool of talented students with diverse backgrounds who are offering themselves for free or modestly paid internships during all or part of the summer.  As a virtual internship fair, there will NOT be any "in person" activities, interviews, or information tables.  Similarly, there will NOT be a diversity networking lunch.

However, the LSBA Minority Involvement Section will actively assist employers in locating students to fill positions within their organizations and will provide resumes to all registered employers.  Employers may interview -- at their convenience -- the students with whom they are interested.  The Minority Involvement  Section is confident that the virtual fair affords the most fiscally responsible and prudent means by which to achieve this year's goals. ALL REGISTERED EMPLOYERS WILL RECIEVE RESUMES.  Additional accommodations can be made for those employers who want an interview list or assistance connecting with students who live in particular areas or have particular experiences.  Interested 1L, 2L, and 3L law students should update their profiles and upload resumes.



Caddo Names New Parish Attorney
The Caddo Parish Commission has appointed Donna Frazier as the new parish attorney. She steps in for the retiring Charles Grubb, who served in that capacity for the past eleven years.

Frazier is the first African-American woman to serve in the post, according to parish Administrator Woody Wilson, himself the first African-American to serve in his post.

Frazier has served as the assistant parish attorney for the past eight years. Prior to joining the Parish Attorney's Office, she was an assistant Caddo district attorney for eight years where Frazier served her last three years there as the drug section chief.

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New Orleans to Host NAPABA Annual Convention in 2015
The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association has announced that their Annual Convention is coming to New Orleans in 2015. The local affiliate, Louisiana Asian Pacific Bar Association is proud to be able to host this convention here at home.  

"On behalf of LAPABA, we are absolutely thrilled to have been chosen to host Convention 2015 in New Orleans! This is an unbelievable opportunity, bringing our entire NAPABA family to our great home city for the first time, ever," said Christine C. Bruneau, president of the Louisiana Asian Pacific American Bar Association. "We look forward to fantastic speakers and programs, seeing old friends and colleagues and meeting new ones, and some truly amazing food, culture, and history!"

September 14th - LSBA Minority Involvement Section’s “Professional Development Symposium: Preparing Practice-Ready Attorneys”
The LSBA’s Minority Involvement Section celebrated its 25th 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, was held at Loyola University College of Law, featured information panels, tables, mock interviews and a networking brunch (including a speed networking activity). The LSBA would like to thank all of the attorneys and judges who participated in this year’s “Professional Development Symposium: Preparing Practice-Ready Attorneys” through helping with the networking activities and conducting mock interviews.

Women With Disabilities Web Cast Series Feb. - Aug, 2013
Magee-Womens Hospital and the UPMC Disabilities Resource Center will be hosting the Women with Disabilities Web Cast Series. The purpose of this series is to promote sensitivity and awareness toward issues that women with disabilities face in dealing with the health care system; and to educate providers, women with disabilities, caregivers, and advocacy groups of available services and resources.
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Save the Date for LAPABA Annual Meeting
Save the Date - LAPABA Annual Meeting and Luncheon

The LAPABA Annual Meeting and Luncheon  will be held on Saturday, May 17th, 2014, at Three Happiness Restaurant, 1900 Lafayette St., in Gretna (on the Westbank).

Save the date!

Record Setting Disabilities Summit - "Building An Enabled Era"
LSBA Hosted Record-Setting Disabilities Summit "Building An Enabled Area" October 24th The LSBA's Committee on Diversity and the Committee for Legal Services for Persons with Disabilities hosted for approximately 110 attorneys and judges its third annual Disabilities Summit on October 24, 2013, titled “Building An Enabled Era." The event, which occurred at the United States Attorney's Office in New Orleans provided information and resources for attorneys who represent people with disabilities. After U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. and LSBA President Richard K. Leefe provided welcome remarks, attendees received practical information to assist them when representing people with disabilities. Additionally, the program addressed challenges and solutions for attorneys with physical and unseen disabilities. The keynote speaker Joseph Giarrusso III’s heart-felt and captivating presentation about depression and suicide among attorneys included an account of the days before and after his father’s suicide. This was the largest audience attracted to the Summit, and -- based upon the feedback received from many -- this may have been the best Summit yet.

Job Opportunities for Diverse Candidates
Workplace Justice Project seeks bilingual attorney.
Loyola's Workplace Justice Project seeks a bilingual lawyer.
For more information, go to "Staff Attorney for Workplace Justice Project-Law Clinic." This position will last three years.

Curry & Friend, PLC seeks diverse candidates
A growing CBD and Northshore law firm is seeking qualified candidates with diverse backgrounds for two (2) positions:
(1) Environmental Law/Toxic Tort Litigation Attorney
Must have seven years civil litigation experience with emphasis on complex litigation. Environmental and/or toxic tort experience preferred.
(2) Environmental Litigation Research & Writing Associate Attorney
3+ years environmental defense experience. Must have excellent research and writing skills. Judicial Clerkship experience preferred.
To apply and for more information please visit the Curry & Friend, PLC, website at:
http://www.curryandfriend.com/careers.html


Martinet Founders Day Luncheon - June 7
On June 7, 2014, the Honorable Marc H. Morial, the President and CEO of the National Urban League and Former Mayor of New Orleans, will deliver the keynote address at a luncheon commemorating the founding of the Louis A. Martinet Legal Society.  The luncheon will take place at Cafe Reconcile at 1631 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard (www.cafereconcile.org) beginning at 11:30.  Tickets to attend the luncheon may be purchased for $45 through the Society's website at www.gnomartinet.comPlease note that tickets will not be sold at the door - so please purchase them in advance.

The luncheon is being co-hosted by the Greater New Orleans and Baton Rouge chapters of the Louis A. Martinet Legal Society and the Amistad Research Center.

Mr. Morial's address will focus on the history of the Society, its important role in the civil rights struggle and its ongoing relevance in combating social injustice.

For more information, please contact Justin Woods at jwoods@wbw-law.com

Diversity In Action Summit Scheduled for June 26
The goal of the Diversity in Action Summit is to create awareness regarding the impact that a non-diverse and/or inclusive environment can have on individuals. The program aims to accomplish this by allowing panelists to share their personal stories and experiences in relation to facing adversity within society.

Date:         Thursday, June 26, 2014

Time:          8:30am – 10:30am

Location:    Manning’s Restaurant
                   519 Fulton St.
                   2nd Floor, Stadium Club
                   New Orleans, LA 70130
*Parking is located at the self-parking garage at 501 Convention Center Blvd.

To register or for more information, go to the Louisiana Diversity Council website at http://www.ladiversitycouncil.org.


NBA Young Lawyers Division Happy Hour - June 26
NBA Young Lawyers Division
National Happy Hour

June 26, 2014
5:00 pm-7:00 pm
Fulton Alley, 600 Fulton Street, NOLA


Join the National Bar Association Young Lawyers Division and the Louis A. Martinet Legal Society in a nationwide Networking Night held in cities across the Country including D.C., NYC, Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, Houston, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, and of course New Orleans!

This event is one of the many vehicles the NBA YLD is using to continue to foster professional relationships amongst young lawyers locally, and nationwide; promote interest in and/or involvement with the NBA YLD; and encourage attendees to join us in Atlanta, GA on July 26th for the National Bar Association Annual Convention.

Please RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/national-bar-association-yld-presents-nationwide-networking-night-new-orleans-edition-tickets-11939498361

National Bar Celebrates its 25th With Regional Issues Symposiums
The National Bar Association’s (NBA) first Annual Wiley A. Branton Awards Luncheon and Issues Symposium was held in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1989. The Symposium, established as a tribute to Wiley A. Branton, a stalwart in the Civil Rights arena, was first held in his hometown. Since 1989, the NBA has used this Symposium as an avenue to discuss pressing social, legal, and political issues affecting our communities.

During the 2014-2015 bar year, the NBA will host the 25th Annual Issues Symposium. In honor of this milestone, four Issues Symposiums will be held from October 10- November 7, 2014:

More...

Board President Larry Shea to Address Southern University Law Students
Joseph L.  "Larry" Shea, Jr., Louisiana State Bar Association president; and Barry H. Grodsky of the LSBA Committee on the Profession, along with Associate Justice John Weimer, III, of the Louisiana Supreme Court, will address the 2014 incoming class during the annual Southern University Law Center Orientation, Thursday, August 14, in the Cotillion Ballroom of the Southern University Smith-Brown Memorial Student Union.


SULC and Kean Miller Host Diversity Forum on October 30
The 25th Annual National Bar Association Wiley A. Branton Award and Issues Symposium hosted by Southern University Law Center, is scheduled for October 29-31. The NBA’s first Annual Wiley A. Branton Awards Luncheon and Issues Symposium was established in 1989 as a tribute to Branton, a stalwart in the civil rights arena.

An integral part of the Branton Award and Issues Symposium lineup includes the Louisiana Diversity Forum, organized by Southern University Law Center and Kean Miller LLP. The forum will begin with a networking breakfast on Thursday, October 30 and will be held from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The Diversity Forum offers a platform for distinguished guest speakers to provide their own insights and ideas on topics relating to diversity and inclusion.

Registration is required for all events, which are free and open to the public. To register for the Diversity Forum, contact Denise Duszynski-Trahan at (225) 389-3753.



Diversity Committee's Pipeline Subcommittee and Legal Services for Persons With Disabilities Committee Launch Three- Part Disability CLE Series
The Diversity Committee's Pipeline Subcommittee and Legal Services for Persons with Disabilities Committee (LSPD) have joined forces and launched a three-part CLE series focusing on disabilities-related legal issues. The first in the series, titled "Long Term Planning for the Special Needs Client,"  is scheduled for November 21 in New Orleans and is for those who are interested in best serving clients with special needs.  Registration for Session I is closed as the session is full.

The second session in the series, titled "Fit to Practice," focuses on attorneys living with disabilities and ways that attorneys can protect themselves in the event they are diagnosed with a short or long term disability.  This session, scheduled for January 29 in Baton Rouge, still has slots available.   Click here for online registration for "Fit to Practice".

Click here for more details on the three-part series

Association for Women Attorneys Hosts October Luncheon
The AWA October luncheon will be held on October 16, 2014, noon, at Tableau (616 St. Peter Street). Speakers will be Chris Ralston,  a partner in Phelps Dunbar LLP's New Orleans, and Laura Tuggle, Executive Director of Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (SLLS), who will speak on: "Louisiana Campaign to Preserve Civil Legal Aid and Why it Matters".

For more information about this event, please click here.

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.


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.

AWA Annual Dinner Meeting - January 15, 2015
The Association for Women Attorneys is back at Commander's Palace for its Annual Dinner Meeting! Join them for a fun night and enjoy a special tasting menu!  Please RSVP no later than Monday, January 12, 2015.

Keynote Speaker: Kenneth Polite, U.S. Attorney, Eastern District of Louisiana

Wynne Professionalism Award recipient: Becki T. Kondkar, Professor of the Practice of and Deputy Director, Tulane Law School Domestic Violence Clinic.

2015 Officers will also be elected.

Click here for more information.

National Bar Announces 2015 Gertrude Rush and Herman Sweatt Awardees
The National Bar Association announced this year's distinguished Gertrude E. Rush and Heman M. Sweatt Awardees. These legal and social activist pioneers will be honored at the National Bar's Midyear Conference and 35th Annual Gertrude E. Rush Awards Dinner, scheduled to be held in St. Louis, MO from March 26-29, 2015. 

The Rush Award stands as an award of merit expressive of Gertrude E. Rush. Recipients must demonstrate leadership in the community, their profession, concern for human and civil rights; and be a model for excellence in legal education and perseverance in the law, public policy and social activism.  The five Rush awardees include:

  • U.S. Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II, is now serving his sixth term representing Missouri’s Fifth Congressional District, the home district of President Harry Truman. He is a member of the exclusive House Financial Services Committee, the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance, and also a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus.
  • The Honorable Ronnie White, a United States District Judge on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri and a former Missouri Supreme Court judge.
  • Barbara Washington, CSEP, a renowned St. Louis public relations professional recognized for compelling corporate partnership building programs and high-profile public relations campaigns and special events that drive mission, raise funds and heighten community awareness.
  • Deborah A. Turner, M.D., considered one of Iowa's finest gynecologic oncologists, Turner is in private practice, in Des Moines.
  • Attorney Bryan A. Stevenson, a 1985 graduate of Harvard, with both a Masters in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government and a J.D. from the School of Law, Bryan Stevenson joined the clinical faculty at New York University School of Law in 1998.
The Sweatt Award celebrates the legacy of Heman M. Sweatt. Award recipients must demonstrate the courageous spirit embodied by Sweatt, leadership in the community/profession, a commitment to human and civil rights; a model of excellence in legal education and perseverance in the law, public policy, and social activism. The two Sweatt awardees are:

  • Representative, Rev. Tommie Pierson, Sr. a Democrat, represents part of St. Louis County (District 66) in the Missouri House of Representatives. He was elected to his first two-year term in November 2010. In addition to his legislative duties, Rep. Pierson is the Pastor at the Greater St. Mark Family Church. He also worked for General Motors as an assembly worker for 32 years.
  • Attorney James M. Williams, a partner in the law firm founded by legendary trial lawyer Wendell Gauthier; Gauthier, Houghtaling & Williams. Mr. Williams practices in the area of civil litigation with a concentration in the areas of catastrophic personal injury and business litigation.
For more information about the awardees or the National Bar Midyear Conference, go to the National Bar Association website at www.nationalbar.org.


Greater BR Martinet Announces Scholarship Gala Date - Volunteers Needed!
The Greater Baton Rouge Chapter of the Louis A. Martinet Legal Society will host its annual scholarship gala Friday, April 17, 2015, from 7:00-10:00 pm at Boudreaux's Banquet Hall, 2647 Government Street.  This is sure to be an evening of dancing and excitement as they present scholarships and awards to deserving students and legal pioneers of the Greater Baton Rouge area. The attire for this event is formal: Ladies - evening gowns; Men - tuxedos.

In addition, Scholarship Committee Volunteers Are Needed
The Scholarship Committee is seeking at least 3 volunteers to assist with grading scholarship applications. Volunteers must have graduated law school prior to 2011. If interested in volunteering, please contact Donna M. Lee.



2015 Three Part Disability-Related CLE Series Ends
The Diversity Committee's Pipeline to Diversity and Outreach Subcommittee joined forces with the Legal Services for Persons with Disabilities in order to launch a three-part CLE series focusing on disability-related legal issues.  Each CLE session dealt with a different aspect of disabilitiy law. 

The first in the series, titled "Long Term Planning for the Special Needs Client," was hosted at the LSBA Bar Center on November 21, 2014.  This session, facilitated by estate planning specialist, Joel A. Mendler, addressed financial and legal planning options for family members of and clients with special needs. 

In partnership with the Baton Rouge Bar Association and hosted at the Baton Rouge Bar Center on January 19, 2015,  the second in the CLE series, titled "Fit to Practice," focused on liability and ethics issues in the event an attorney experiences a short or long-term disability.  Facilitated by a panel of ethics and disability experts that included Bryan Jenkins of Gilsbar; Richard P. Lemmler, Jr., Ethics Counsel of the LSBA; Julie Brown White, partner with Schiff, Scheckman and White; and J.E. "Buddy" Stockwell, III, the executive director of the Lawyers Assistance Program; panelists addressed the risks, and ethics liability issues  that attorneys with disabilities face.  
 
Partnering with Shreveport Bar Associaiton and hosted at the Shreveport Bar Center on April 17, 2015, the final session was titled, "Social Security Disability: Opportunities for Solo and Small Firm Practitioners."  A panel of Shreveport area social security experts included Administrative Law Judge John Antonowicz; Marherita McWilliams of Legal Services of North Louisiana, Inc., and recently retired attorney, John Ratcliff.  Panelists provided an overview of social security appeals and included practical tips for ensuring high-quality representation, as well as soliciting immediate business in the field of social security appeals.  Because demand for counsel in social security appeals has increased dramatically over the years, it was the goal of this session to alleviate some of the backlog in of apeals in the northern region of the state. 

All three sessions were well-received and well attended.  Planning for the 2015 - 2016 Disability Series is underway. 

Masquerade Ball is theme for 11th Annual Scholarship Gala and Silent Auction

The A.P. Tureaud Chapter of the Black Law Students Association is hosting its 11th Annual Scholarship Gala and Silent Auction on Saturday, April 11, 2015.  This year's theme, "Masquerade Ball" will be held at the Danna Center on the Loyola University Main Campus, 7214 St. Charles Avenue.  (Free parking will be available at the St. Charles Garage.)  Sharonda Williams, New Orleans City Attorney, is listed as the Keynote Speaker.  Cocktail hour begins at 6:30 pm in the Pavilion of the St. Charles Room with the event starting at 7:30 pm in the St. Charles Room.  For more information, contact blsateam@gmail.com



Liwen Mah Facilitates Two Diversity Sessions at Solo & Small Firm Conference
At the Friday session of the 2015 Solo and Small Firm Conference, Liwen Mah facilitated two fascinating diversity sessions:  How Race Affects Lawyering (A.M. session) and Sacrifices and Professional Worries: How Lawyers Can Stay Relevant With a Changing Population (P.M. session)

Liwen Mah is an associate with San Francisco firm Fenwick and West, where he focuses his litigation practice on emerging technologies.  He is also committed to professional diversity efforts and has an active pro bono practice, which has included a successful appeal heard by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Photo: (l to r) Shawn L. Holohan, LSBA's Practice Management Counsel and Diversity speaker Liwen Mah

Louisiana Judicial Council Meets in Bossier City
The 17th Annual Louisiana Judicial Council NBA Meeting & CLE Seminar 2015 was held February 19-22, 2015, at the Hilton Garden Inn/Homewood Suites in Bossier City, LA. This year's theme was "BACK TO THE FUTURE" Refocusing on our Journey Toward Justice.

Freedom Riders Exhibit to be Hosted by LSBA
The LSBA is proud to present The 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.  This inspiring exhibit tells the story of the courageous Americans who risked their lives in order to challenge the Jim Crow laws forbidding interracial interstate travel on buses and trains.  The exhibit will be located at the LA Bar Center (601 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans) in the hallway leading to the conference rooms and can be viewed from March 10 to March 27 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

View the online exhibition: www.gilderlehrman.org/sites/default/files/swf/freedomRiders/index.html
Listen to the audio file: www.gilderlehrman.org/freedomriders/audio


May is Mental Health Month
Thanks to the Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN), a resource for employers seeking to recruit, hire, retain and advance qualified employees with disabilities, for the following article and resources!

May is Mental Health Month. And with nearly one in four Americans expected to experience some form of mental health condition each year, it's a fitting time for employers to explore strategies and practices for fostering a mental health-friendly workplace.

The National Employer Policy, Research and Technical Assistance Center for Employers on the Employment of People with Disabilities (Employer TA Center) wants to use this month to remind employers that a truly inclusive workplace means supporting and welcoming all employees, including those with mental health conditions.

To that end, a number of no-cost resources are available to help ensure that your disability-related policies and practices take into consideration the needs of people with mental health conditions-this month, and every month. These include the following:

Clearly, work can be a key contributor to employees' sense of wellbeing. But employees are not the only ones to benefit from a mental health-friendly work culture. Inclusive workplace practices deliver numerous bottom-line advantages, including greater productivity, reduced insurance costs, and improved employee retention and morale. Furthermore, federal contractors covered by Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act may encourage self-identification by sending a clear message about their company's commitment to a workplace inclusive of people with disabilities, whether those disabilities are obvious to the eye or not.

To learn more about effective disability employment policies and practices that can benefit your business, visit AskEARN.org.



Free Inclusive Professionalism CLE
The Greater Baton Rouge Chapter of the Louis A. Martinett Legal Society is hosting a free one and a half hour CLE etitled "Inclusive Professionalism."   Monique Edwards, of The Edwards Law Group, LLC, will be facilitating the discussion about the changing faces within the profession.  Ms. Edwards is a  member of the LSBA's Diversity Committee's Integration Subcommittee and is a frequent presenter of diversity presentations for the committee. 

First in a Three Part Disability-Related CLE Series - "Long Term Planning for the Special Needs Client"
"Long-Term Planning for the Special Needs Client"  - First in a Three-Part Series
The Diversity Committee's Pipeline Subcommittee and Legal Services for Persons with Disabilities Committee (LSPD) have come together to launch a new three-part CLE series focusing on disabilities-related legal issues. The first in the series, titled "Long Term Planning for the Special Needs Client," is for those who are interested in best serving clients with special needs - and their families.  "Long-Term Planning for the Special Needs Client" discussion will include:
• Counseling families on financing long-term care needs, including long-term care insurance and Medicaid eligibility
• Financial and legal planning options for disabled family members - including special needs trusts designed to preserve eligibility for governmental benefits.

Joel A. Mendler, estate planning specialist, will be the featured speaker.

When:  November 21, 2014
Location: Louisiana Bar Center, 601 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA
Cost: $25/attendee
CLE: 1.50 hours

Thank you to the 2014-15 Diversity Committee
The mission of LSBA Committee on Diversity in the Profession is to:
  • assess the level of racial, ethnic, national origin, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation and disability diversity within all components of the legal profession in Louisiana;
  • to identify barriers to the attainment of full and meaningful representation and participation in the legal profession by persons of diverse backgrounds;
  • and to propose programs and methods by which the LSBA can most effectively work to remove those barriers and achieve greater diversity.

On behalf of the LSBA, thank you to the 2014-15 Diversity Committee and Subcommittee members. Your service was greatly appreciated!

Diversity Committee
Co-Chairs

Hon. Roland L. Belsome, Jr.
Luis Arturo Leitzelar
Barbara Bourgeois Ormsby

Members
Jeremy Christopher Lee Babers
Paul Stephen Tuano Balanon
Attorney General James D. Caldwell
Derrick Edwards
Demarcus Johnathan Gordon
Scherri Neewana Guidry
Kandace Runita Hamilton
Joseph Henry Hart, IV
Christopher Bondreak Hebert
Crystal Marie Heine
Paul Damon Hesse
Chauntis Trenelle Jenkins
Chief Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson
Hon. Quintillis Kenyatta Lawrence
Wayne J. Lee
Hon. Kelly McNeil Legier
Prof. Maria Pabón López
Kellen James Mathews
Prof. David D. Meyer
Elena M. Perez
Chancellor Freddie Pitcher, Jr.
Michael Ray Robinson
Ronald Joseph Scalise, Jr.
Chantell Marie Smith
Scott Jerome Spivey
Ranie T. Thompson
Hon. Max N. Tobias, Jr.
Prof. Jack M. Weiss, III


Diversity Committee Subcommittees
Diversity Subcommittees are an integral part of the success of LSBA member outreach and diversity initiatives.  Thank you to the 2014-15 Diversity Subcommittee members for your time, your energy and your ideas. 

Diversity Committee Awards Subcommittee -
This subcommittee creates criteria for diversity awards; coordinates the nomination process for the Human Rights and Trailblazer Awards and other LSBA recognitions; develops other award/recognition incentives; and nominates the LSBA and LSBA members for diversity/inclusion awards offered by other organizations.

Chantell Marie Smith, Chair
Elena M. Perez, Co-Chair
Chauntis T. Jenkins

Diversity Committee Communications Subcommittee coordinates volunteers to submit diversity articles for the Louisiana Bar Journal and other publications; develops and coordinates content for the LSBA Bar Brief’s “Focus on Diversity” electronic newsletter; recommends content that would enhace the LSBA diversity webpage, and develops diversity brochures, bookmarks, and other communications as needed.

Crystal Marie Heine, Chair
Derrick Edwards, Co-Chair
Adrejia L. Boutte
Lauren E. Godshall
Hon. Kelly McNeil Legier
Claire M. Ojeh

Diversity Committee Conclave Subcommittee plans the  Annual Diversity Conclave, statewide mini diversity/inclusion workshops and roundtable discussions for local/specialty bars and organizations.

Hon. Roland L. Belsome, Jr., Co-Chair
Luis A. Leitzelar, Co-Chair
Barbara B. Ormsby, Co-Chair
Denia Aiyegbusi
Nadege A. Assale
Jeremy C. Babers
Troy N. Bell
Micah J. Fincher
Demarcus Johnathan Gordon
Christopher Hebert
Hon. Kelly McNeil Legier
Hon. Quintillis Kenyatta Lawrence
Kellen J. Mathews
Ebony S. Morris
Amani P. Perkins

Diversity Committee Integration Subcommittee recommends diversity programs and initiatives that can be integrated throughout all LSBA programming and continuing legal education seminars and also integrated within programming offered by local and specialty bar associations. Promotes and encourages LSBA members to obtain LSBA-approved diversity/inclusion facilitation training in order to facilitate diversity and inclusion professionalism discussions within LSBA programs and continuing legal educations seminars and programs coordinated by local and specialty bar associations. Coordinates diversity related programming to unite, support, and educate LSBA members on issues and topics of importance to those in the legal profession.

Scott Jerome Spivey, Chair
Joseph Henry Hart IV, Co-Chair
I.J. Clark-Sam
Monique M. Edwards
Jacqueline Epstein
Jeremy S. Epstein
Matthew J. Glodowski
Schalyece M. Harrison
Deborah Love
Michael Ray Robinson
Cherrilynne Washington Thomas

Diversity Committee LGBT Subcommittee - This subcommittee coordinates programs to unite, support, and educate attorneys, judges, professors, law students, paralegals, and other members of the legal profession in Louisiana on issues facing LGBT individuals; promotes the creation of coalitions with other legal bar associations and organizations; encourages the adoption of non-discrimination policies in law firms protecting both sexual orientation and gender identity; and encourages and empowers LGBT individuals to choose law as a career.

Paul D. Hesse, Chair
Tyler J. Douglas, Co-Chair
Paul Stephen Tuano Balanon
Max V. Camp
L. Bianca Chretien
Nicholas Hite
Robert E. Lancaster
Monte Mollere
Angie M. Peraza
Michael Schachtman
Nicholas C. Tomlinson
Emily Trostle
Zachary L. Wool

Diversity Committee Pipeline to Diversity/Outreach Subcommittee This subcommittee is tasked with outreach to two separate populations: 

Law students/students -- 
Coordinate and develop professional development workshops and programs for law students with diverse backgrounds; coordinate and develop programs for middle school, high school, college students; volunteer and identify volunteers for programs to expose children to legal professionals; identify and apply for grants to fund LSBA pipeline initiatives.
Law firms/Judiciary --
Encourage diversity efforts within the judiciary and law firms; assist in providing educational components and training on various diversity issues; assess diversity needs of law firms; recommend programs to assist law firms and courts in developing diversity programs and strategic plans; and plan efforts to encourage courts and law firms to execute the diversity commitment statement.

Scherri N. Guidry, Chair
Kandace R. Hamilton, Co-Chair
Chanelle N. Gaither
Erin Guruli
Tracy O. Joseph
Rhonda M. Mercadel
Charles K. Middleton
Ranie T. Thompson
Hon. Max N. Tobias
Lykisha R. Vaughan
Jack M. Weiss III


Third in the Disability-Related Series: SSI/SSDI Law - April 17, 2015
"Social Security Disability: Opportunities for Solo and Small Firm Practitioners" - Social Security Disability Insurance (SSI or SSDI) is vital to the well-being of disabled individuals who are unable to work. Lawyers play a vital role in this process by advocating for clients’ rights to awards, and ensuring that cases are adjudicated properly. Further, the demand for counsel in this area has risen in recent years, particularly in North Louisiana, as the median age of our state continues to rise.

This session, located at the Shreveport Bar Association,  will provide an overview of social security appeals, and include practical tips for ensuring high-quality representation and soliciting immediate business. The information and resources provided are particularly pertinent to relatively new practitioners and/or those looking to expand their practice into this area which, perhaps surprisingly, can be quite rewarding financially. 


LSBA Presidents Join in Honoring ABA's President-Elect
An invitation-only reception hosted by Chancellor Freddie Pitcher, Jr., and the Southern University Law Center Faculty and Staff and  honored ABA President-elect Paulette Brown on her visit to Baton Rouge.  Ms. Brown was in Louisiana to make the opening address for the 2014 NBA Wiley A. Branton Awards and Issues Symposium for the Southern Region.  The three day seminar, presented in conjunction with the Louisiana Diversity Forum, was held on Southern University's campus from October 29 - 31.   

Click here to see the full-size photo:  Seated from left: Joseph L. "Larry" Shea, president of the Louisiana State Bar Association (LSBA); ABA President-elect Paulette Brown, and NBA President Pamela J. Meanes; standing from left, Southern University System President Ronald Mason, Jr.; SULC Chancellor Freddie Pitcher, Jr.; Judge Yvette Mansfield Alexander, chair of the Wiley A. Branton Awards Committee; Darrel Papillion, president of the Baton Rouge Bar Association; Cynthia Reed, SULC director of CLE and alumni affairs; Christopher Hebert, NBA Region 6 chair; SU System General Counsel and SULC Prof. Tracie Woods, host chair; Richard Leefe, immediate past president of the LSBA; Ruth Bailey Wesley, SULC executive assistant to the Chancellor; and Preston Castille, partner at Taylor, Porter, Brooks, and Phillips, LLP, and president of the Southern University Alumni Federation.

Photo is courtesy of Southern University Law Center.

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.

LSBA's 2014 Conclave on Diversity Realized Record Attendance!!
The LSBA hosted, in partnership with several local and specialty bar associations, its Seventh Annual Conclave on Diversity in the Legal Profession on March 21, 2014, at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hotel (2 Poydras Street, New Orleans, LA 70140).  This year's theme was "Inclusive Professionalism: Harnessing the Power of Our Differences." 

The program agenda highlighted for the first time four morning breakout sessions, one of which is an invitation-only session for managing partners and another is specifically designed for criminal practitioners.  The workshop also featured nationally-recognized diversity expert Verna Myers (Verna Myers Consulting Group L.L.C.), who provided an interactive workshop regarding "What if I say the Wrong Thing."  Dr. Arin Reeves (Nextions) served as the keynote speaker at lunch.  Several panel discussions with highly acclaimed attorneys, corporate counsel, and judges help provided participants with riveting information on the impact of diversity, inclusion, and bias on the legal profession and the administration of justice.

Special thanks to the following sponsors who are helping make this event possible:

Platinum Plus
Jones Walker LLP
Kean Miller LLP

Platinum
Adams and Reese LLP

Gold
Barrasso Usdin Kupperman Freeman & Sarver, L.L.C.
Blue Williams, L.L.P.
Curry & Friend PLC
Entergy
Galloway, Johnson, Tompkins, Burr & Smith, A PLC
Gordon, Arata, McCollam, Duplantis & Eagan, LLC
Irwin Fritchie Urquhart & Moore LLC
King, Krebs & Jurgens, PLLC
Liskow & Lewis, A PLC
LSBA Civil Law and Litigation Section
McCranie Sistrunk Anzelmo Hardy McDaniel & Welch LLC
Montgomery Barnett, L.L.P.
New Orleans Chapter Federal Bar Association
Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.
Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann L.L.C.

Silver
Blanchard, Walker O’Quin & Roberts
Forman Perry Watkins Krutz & Tardy, LLP
Phelps Dunbar, LLP
Taylor Porter, LLP

Bronze
Chopin, Wagar, Richard and Kutcher, LLP
Christovich & Kearney, L.L.P.
Committee to Re-elect Attorney General Buddy Caldwell
Hammonds, Sills, Adkins & Guice, LLP
Krebs, Farley & Pelleteri, PLLC
Minority Corporate Counsel Association
Neuner Pate
Whitehead Law Firm

Coffee Service Sponsor
Louisiana District Judges Association
Northwestern State University

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.


First Annual Diversity Bar Spring Social is Success
The Louisiana State Bar Association Young Lawyers Division - Diversity Committee, the Greater New Orleans Louis A. Martinet Legal Society, the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Louisiana, the Louisiana Asian Pacific American Bar Association and the Vietnamese American Bar Association hosted the First Annual Diversity Bar Spring Social on Thursday, May 8, 2014.  Held at the trendy Warehouse District Apres Lounge at 608 Fulton Street, this event brought members of speciality bars together to celebrate diversity in the legal profession.   (Photo:  Members of the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Louisiana. Left to Right - Ira Gonzales, Vice President; Daniel Estrada, President; and Rene De Rojas, Treasurer)

First Annual Diversity Bar Spring Social is a Hit!
The Louisiana State Bar Association Young Lawyers Division - Diversity Committee, the Greater New Orleans Louis A. Martinet Legal Society, the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Louisiana, the Louisiana Asian Pacific American Bar Association and the Vietnamese American Bar Association hosted the First Annual Diversity Bar Spring Social on Thursday, May 8, 2014. Members of the several specialty bars came together for an evening of drinks, appetizers and a celebration of diversity in the legal profession  - at the Apres Lounge at 608 Fulton Street.   (Photo: Members of the Greater New Orleans Louis A. Martinet Legal Society, left to right: Codelia Tullous; Martinet President, Rachael Jackson; and Ashley Heilprin).

Louisiana Association for Justice Hosts 2014 Annual Conference - September 11-13
The Louisiana Association for Justice hosts its annual CLE conference on Thursday, September 11 - Saturday, September 13.  The conference will be held at the Windsor Court Hotel, at 300 Gravier Street, New Orleans, LA and offers its members  the opportunity for 6 CLE hours.

The programs begin at 8:00 AM each day and conclude at 5:00 PM.    For more program information or to register, click here to go to the LAFJ website.

Life Imitating Art?: The Impact of the Media on Perceptions & Professional Relationships Within the Legal Profession
On August 23rd, the LSBA's Institute of Inclusion hosted a new CLE at the State Bar Center. This roundtable discussion discussed the impact of images in the media on attorneys’ and judges’ perceptions and how those perceptions affect relationships among attorneys and judges as well as with clients. The presenters facilitated a highly interactive discussion that aimed to help participants evaluate how perceptions have impacted them in their practices. Additionally, the discussion identified best practices for filtering the images with a view toward recognizing distorted or stereotypical images before they negatively infect professional legal relationships or the administration of justice.




Sponsors Sought for LSBA Seventh Annual Conclave on Diversity in the Legal Profession
The LSBA is seeking sponsors for the state-wide Conclave on Diversity in the Legal Profession, March 21, 2014, in New Orleans. Sponsors committed by December 15th will appear in the Conclave mailer.  For more information on sponsorship levels, contact LSBA Program Coordinator/Marketing and Sections Christine A. Richard, (504)619-0105, e-mail crichard@lsba.org.

The sponsor levels are detailed in the following document:
2014 Conclave Sponsor Form

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

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).

Suit Up 2014 - See Oral Presentations of the Class of 2014!
The Suit Up for the Future Class of 2014 made oral and memorandum presentations on the last two days of their session.  Students were divided into two teams: FOR and AGAINST on an issue, but individually presented a memorandum and an oral argument to a panel of judges.  The esteemed panel included:
  • Judge Karen Wells Roby, U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
  • Judge Stanwood Duval, Jr., U.S. District Judge in the Eastern District.
  • Judge Susie Morgan, U.S. District Judge in the Eastern District.
  • Judge Jane Margaret Triche-Milazzo , U.S. District Judge in the Eastern District.
  • Judge Roland L. Belsome, Jr., Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal
  • Civil Judge Tiffany Gautier Chase, judge for the Orleans Parish Civil District Court (Division A).

See the students as they present their oral arguments.

Click here to view Bria I. Hays and Saul Garcia Amezuca make their presentations.

Click here to view Miles E. Ballard and Morgan-Me'Lyn Grant present their arguments.  Miles was chosen as the Best Oralist and Morgan-Me'Lyn was selected as the Best Writer.  Miles was also chosen as a runner-up for Best Writer.

Click here to view David Louis Lawson, Jr. and Sarah Chiasson make their cases. 

Click here to view Sara DeRouen and Carine Mary Lama as they present their arguments. Sara was a runner-up as Best Writer and Carine was a runner-up as Best Oralist.

Click here to view Skyler Katie Ockman and Cassidy Marie Wells make their presentations.  Cassidy was also a runner-up for Best Oralist.   

Click here to view Hannah Marie Lampo and John Patrick Larson present their arguments.  Hannah was selected as a runner-up for Best Writer.

Click here to view Alexis Nicole Calderon and Synise Jonquil Pierre as they make their cases.

Click here to view Evan Vedros and Amanda Angela Addison make the final presentations. Evan was also a runner-up for Best Oralist. 

PHOTO ID: Miles E. Ballard 

Suit Up for the Future 2014 - Photos From Field Trips and Class Activities

Click here
to see the photos from the three week 2014 Suit Up for the Future Legal Institute.  Photos include trips to courthouses, various classroom activities and presenters, and the students' final oral presentations to the judges' panel. 

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

Diversity Committee Hosts Networking Reception for Law Students - April 10th
The LGBT subcommittee of the Diversity Committee hosted a networking reception for students from the four area law schools on April 10, 2014, from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Louisiana Bar Center (601 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA). The purpose of the reception was to provide law students and professionals interested in LGBT issues networking opportunities that could create career opportunities and support systems for the law students. A similar reception will be scheduled in Baton Rouge in the Fall. Robein, Urann, Spencer, Picard & Cangemi APLC sponsored the reception.

23rd JDCBA Crawfish Boil
 23rd Judicial District Bar Association Crawfish Boil was a winner!

The Annual Crawfish Boil, hosted by the 23rd JDC Bar Association at the Bed and Breakfast of Judge and Mrs. Thomas Kliebert, Jr managed to hold of the off the impending weather.  Approximately 45 Attorneys, law clerks and judges gathered on a Tuesday evening for a mountain of crawfish and jambalaya.  The lovely B & B, Auberge Du Chêne Vert, is located in Paulina, along the Mississippi River in St. James Parish.  





Successful SUPERWOMEN...Female Attorneys Mastering the Game and the Strategies that Rule -- CLE in Baton Rouge
LSBA, the Baton Rouge Association for Women Attorneys, the Louisiana Association of Black Women Attorneys, and the Baton Rouge Bar Association hosted for about 90 women a successful half day, morning seminar designed especially for women by women to address the unique challenges women face in the legal profession. The program provided female attorneys many best practice tips for surviving the profession as well as professionalism, law practice management, and work/life strategies. The program occurred at the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center.
View the Superwomen Program


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 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 by Nov. 15th.

The LSBA is Developing Diversity/Inclusion Presenters to Present Workshops and Facilitate Discussions Statewide
Our profession needs venues to safely discuss topics that may be sensitive or even not-politically-correct so that we learn and grow as a profession and increase our ability to interact with each other appropriately and professionally, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, age, generation, lifestyle, or geography.
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National Asian Pacific American Bar Association Selects New Orleans for 2015 Conference!
NAPABA ANNOUNCES 2014-2016 ANNUAL CONVENTION HOST CITIES
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."


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The LSBA's Institue for Inclusion, hosted the successful CLE entitled "I THEE WED: The Constitutional Implications of Hollingsworth v. Perry and United States v. Windsor"
Using the latest data from the 2010 US Census and other sources, this program explored what we know about same-sex couples and families in Louisiana and in the United States. The roundtable discussion addressed, to its 54 participants,  the ramifications of the United States Supreme Court's rulings in Hollingsworth v. Perry (challenging California's constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriages) and United States v. Windsor (concerning the federal Defense of Marriage Act and entitlement of same-sex married couples to federal benefits). Attendees had the opportunity in an open forum format to voice their thoughts, ask questions, and engage in a lively discussion on these important subjects. The roundtable was led by Professor Todd Brower, Judicial Education Director at the Williams Institute at UCLA Law School, the leading national think tank conducting independent research on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy. Joining Professor Brower from the Williams Institute were the legal scholars: Dr. Gary Gates and Brad Sears.

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


Attorney Volunteers Needed for Legal Clinic at Hispanic Resource Center
The Pro Bono Project has been running a legal clinic at the Hispanic Resource Center at 4312 Florida Avenue in Kenner. The clinic occurs on the second Saturday of odd-numbered months, from 10:00 a.m. - noon. The clinic is for civil legal problems only, no criminal and no torts, except in rare cases and sometime a tort defense. Most, though not all, of the attendees are Hispanic. The Pro Bono Project is looking look for lawyers to take cases pro bono. Interested people and those needing to obtain more information should contact Christopher Coty at CCoty@probono-no.org.

Download Registration Form


ABA Commission on Disability Rights Seeking Mentors
The American Bar Association's Commission on Disability Rights is seeking lawyers who have disabilities themselves or have experience working with persons with disabilities to mentor prospective law students, current law students, and recent law school graduates with disabilities. Mentors are able to provide advice, guidance, and support to these students with disabilities. If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a mentor, please contact Amy L. Allbright, J.D. at Amy.Allbright@americanbar.org.

For more information about the Mentor Program or to enroll online, visit the Commission's website.

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.


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.
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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!

Congratulations to 2013 LSBA Human Rights Award Recipients: J. Dalton Courson and Baton Rouge Martinet!!
Dalton Courson and the Greater Baton Rouge Chapter of Louis A. Martinet have been selected by the Louisiana State Bar Association to receive the 2013 LSBA Human Rights Award.  The Louisiana State Bar Association Human Rights Award was established in 2010 by the Board of Governors to recognize outstanding efforts made by (1) a bar association, (2) law firm or law department, (3) an individual attorney or judge, (4) a court, (5) 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.  BR Martinet President Christopher Hebert, will accept the award on behalf of the Martinet organization at the annual LSBA conference in Destin, Florida.

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.

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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MCCA Academy for Leadership & Inclusion
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 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 Hosted Record-Setting Disabilities Summit "Building An Enabled Area" October 24th
The LSBA's Committee on Diversity and the Committee for Legal Services for Persons with Disabilities hosted for 111 attorneys and judges its third annual Disabilities Summit on October 24, 2013, titled “Building An Enabled Era." The event, which occurred at the United States Attorney's Office in New Orleans provided information and resources for attorneys who represent people with disabilities. Additionally, the program addressed challenges and solutions for attorneys with physical and unseen disabilities. The keynote speaker Joseph Giarrusso III’s heart-felt and captivating presentation about depression and suicide among attorneys included an account of the days before and after his father’s suicide. This was the largest audience attracted to the Summit, and -- based upon the feedback received from many -- this may have been the best Summit yet. An article about the event will appear in a future Bar Journal.

LSBA Minority Involvement Section Hosting Virtual Internship Fair; Deadline March 28th to Register & Upload Resumes
Louisiana State Bar Association Minority Involvement Section has decided to convert its fifth annual Minority Legal Internship Fair to a "virtual" fair rather than to host an "in person" fair. 



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