Louisiana State Bar Association Diversity Statement

Louisiana State Bar Association Diversity Statement

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

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

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

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

Diversity — Inclusion — Professionalism

Latest Diversity News and Events

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

Highlights of the 2015 Conclave will include:

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

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

CLE Sessions on the following topics:

  • Criminal Law Panel Discussion: Police Violence Against Minorities
  • LGBT same sex marriage issues
  • Immigration
  • Voting Rights/Civil Rights Panel Discussion, featuring one of the thirteen original Freedom Riders

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

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

Second in a Three Part Disability-Related CLE Series: "Fit to Practice"
The second in a disability-related three-part CLE series, titled "Fit to Practice," focuses on liability and ethics issues in the event an attorney experiences a short or long-term disability. This session is especially relevant to solo and small firm attorneys.

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

For details and/or registration information, click here.

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

Nomination Deadline for Diversity Awards is Announced
The deadline for nominations for the 2015 Louisiana State Bar Association (LSBA) Guardian of Diversity Award is January 15, 2015; the Human Rights Award and Trailblazer Award deadline is January 30, 2015.

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

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

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

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

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

Diversity Award Guidelines

Nomination Form - 2015 Human Rights Award

Nomination Form - 2015 Trailblazer Award

Nomination Form - 2015 Guardian of Diversity Award

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

Dates Currently Scheduled:

Friday, November 21, 2014
- 10:00 am  - 3:00 pm, (Gretna) Timberlane Country Club, Gretna - Jefferson Parish Bar Association Election Meeting

Friday, December 5, 2014 - 8:00 am - 4:00 pm, (New Orleans) Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, 500 Canal Street - "Watch Your Ps and Qs" LSBA CLE

Monday, December 8, 2014 - 8:00 am - 4:00 pm (New Orleans) Frilot, LLC 1100 Poydras St., Ste. 3700- "Nuts and Bolts" Greater New Orleans Martinet Society CLE

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

Monday, December 29, 2014
- 8:30 am - 5:30 pm (New Orleans) - Tulane Law School, John Giffen Weinmann Hall, 6329 Freret Street,  - Tulane Law School's "CLE by the Hour"

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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


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

Participate in a new ABA complimentary service: The ABA Legal Expert Author Pool (LEAP)
The American Bar Association Center for Racial and Ethnic Diversity invites you to participate in a new complimentary service: The ABA Legal Expert Author Pool (LEAP). LEAP establishes and maintains a pool of diverse authors who have expertise in a wide range of legal topics. The LEAP project facilitates connections between these authors who have a willingness to write for periodicals and the publishing entities that have committed to the LEAP project. To complete an interest form, please click here. For more information, please contact Cie Armstead (312-988-6086; cie.armstead@americanbar.org).

View Brochure

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

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