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

FREE Resume Workshop for Law Students - February 25, 2016

Local law students are invited to attend a FREE resume workshop hosted by the LSBA's Young Lawyers Division Diversity Minority Involvement Committee, Committee on Diversity in the Legal Profession (Pipeline to Diversity and Outreach Subcommittee), Minority Involvement Section, Southern University Law Center, and LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center. This free one-hour workshop will be held on February 25, 2016 at the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center from 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM.  The  experienced and well-respected panel will present tips on how to compile a successful law resume.  Speakers include:

2:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.- Resume Writing Tips from the Career Services Professionals

  • Erin Phifer, Director of LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center Career Services
  • Tavares A. Walker, Interim Director of Southern University Law Center Career Services

2:15 P.m. - 3:00 p.m.- Utilizing the Resume in the interviewing process

  • Demarcus J. Gordon, partner, Kelly Hart & Pitre
  • Honorable J. Walter Green, United States Attorney, Middle District of Louisiana
  • Honorable Donald Johnson, Chief Judge, 19th Judicial District Court
  • Luis A. Leitzelar, partner, Jones Walker LLP
  • Kellen J. Mathews, Adams and Reese, LLP
  • Hillar C. Moore, III- District Attorney, 19th Judicial District East Baton Rouge
  • Sharonda Williams, Special Counsel, Fishman Haygood LLP

To register for this workshop, please click here.  If you have any questions, please contact the LSBA Member Outreach and Diversity team at diversity@lsba.org.  

Click here to download a flyer. 

"The Continuing Struggle of Desegregation" CLE - February 25, 2016
Join us for a FREE Black History Month CLE! A distinguished panel of speakers will address the issue of desegregation over the past 20 years, and what it looks like now. For more information, or to register, please click here.

"The Continuing Struggle of Desegregation"
Date: February 25, 2016
Time: 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM (Immediately followed by a reception from 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM)
CLE Hours: 1.5 (applied for)
Registration Fee: FREE
CLE:  Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center • 201 Lafayette Street • Baton Rouge, LA
Reception: Capitol Park Museum • 660 Fourth Street • Baton Rouge, LA

2016 Suit Up for the Future Program Launches Online Application!
The application for the 2016 Suit Up for the Future program is now online.  This three week internship program for high school students begins June 13 and continues through July 1, 2016.  Deadline for applications is May 6, 2016.  To apply online, click here. 

The  program will be held at the Louisiana Bar Center, 601 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans. Over the course of the program, students will be introduced to lawyers, legal documents, and the legal system all designed to assist them in pondering one important question, “Do I really want to be a lawyer?”  Students who complete the program will be eligible for a stipend of up to $250.00.  Housing and transportation are not provided.

In completing the application, students will be requested to provide:
• a copy of their most recent Report Card or Progress Report (Official transcript is not required);
• one letter of recommendation;
• and a short essay of 500 words or less on the importance of the American legal system and the role it plays in developing and maintaining our society.

To begin the application process, please click here. 

To learn more about the 2016 Suit Up for the Future program, please click here. 

GNO Martinet Past President is King of Washington, DC Mardi Gras - January 22-23, 2016

Members of the Greater New Orleans Chapter of Louis A. Martinet Legal Society attended the annual Mardi Gras celebration in Washington, D.C. to support GNO Martinet Past President James McClendon Williams, of Chehardy, Sherman, Williams, Murray, Recile, Stakelum & Hayes, LLP. Mr. Williams was selected as King of the Mystick Krewe of Louisianans of the Washington Mardi Gras.

The Chairman was Congressman Cedric Richmond, who represents Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives. 

Photo ID: (l to r) 2016 King, James McClendon Williams, Chehardy, Sherman, Williams, Murray, Recile, Stakelum & Hayes; 2016 Queen, Baton Rouge resident Anna Haspel Aronson.

Diversity Presentations in February and March 2016

"How Gender, Age, and Race Influence Your Effectiveness as a Lawyer," presented by Lynn Luker (Stanley, Reuter, Ross, Thornton & Alford, LLC), Troy N. Bell (Troy N Bell, LLC), Shayna Beevers Morvant  (Beevers & Beevers, LLP), on Thursday, February 25, 2016 at 11:30 a.m.  This presentation is in conjunction with the Solo and Small Firm Annual Conference at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans.  

"Professionalism 2016" will be presented on Wednesday, March 2, by Monique M. Edwards (The Edwards Law Group) and Marta Ann Schnabel (O'Bryon & Schnabel, APLC).  This presentation is in conjunction with the "LSBA Uncorked" CLE event at the Fairmont Sonomoa Mission Inn and Spa in California. 

VABA Celebrates New Year at Social - February 13, 2016
In celebration of the Vietnamese New Year, the Vietnamese American Bar Association’s (VABA) New Year social is scheduled for February 13, 2016 at 12:00 p.m.  The social will be held at the Pho Bang Restaurant, 2245 Manhattan Boulevard, Harvey, LA.  For more information or to RSVP, contact VABA president Jim Tran at jtran@jtranlaw.com.

Baton Rouge Martinet Hosts Annual Scholarship Ball - March 12, 2016
The Baton Rouge Chapter of the Louis A. Martinet Legal Society is hosting their 2016 Annual Scholarship Gala on Saturday, March 12, 2016, from 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm.  The event will be held at Boudreaux's, located at 2647 Government Street in Baton Rouge, LA 70806.  Attire is semi-formal.

Get Involved! Become an LSBA Professionalism Facilitator
Are you interested in:
•Increasing your diversity knowledge and skills?
•Boosting your confidence in delivering effective diversity and inclusion training?
•Improving your understanding of stereotypes, prejudices and cultural differences?
•Discovering new ways to reduce bias?
•Helping others become more culturally competent?
•Gaining tools to promote diversity and inclusion through training?

If so, you may want to consider becoming an LSBA Professionalism Facilitator. Facilitators are attorney volunteers that give of their time to educate others on promoting diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. If you are interested in joining us, please contact us at diversity@lsba.org.

Supreme Court Justice Knoll Honored - January 8, 2016
The Third Circuit Court of Appeal hosted a retirement reception honoring Justice Jeannette Theriot Knoll on Friday, January 8, 2016 at the City Club at River Ranch in Lafayette, LA.  The reception recognized Justice Knoll's 13 years of service on the Third Circuit , as well as her nearly 20 years as a member of the Louisiana Supreme Court. 

Photo ID:  (l to r) Honorable Ulysses Gene Thibodeaux, Chief JudgeThird Circuit Court of Appeal; and Honorable Jeannette T. Knoll, Louisiana Supreme Court. 

LJC/NBA Announce CLE and Annual Meeting - February 11-14, 2016
Honorable Terri Love, Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal judge and Honorable Kern Reese, Orleans Parish Civil District Court judge are serving as the co-chairs of the 2016 LJC/NBA Annual Conference.  This year's event, the 18th Annual Meeting, is scheduled for February 11-14, 2016 and will be held at the Hyatt Regency, 601 Loyola Street, New Orleans, LA.  Click here for more information.

Second in a 3-Part Disability-Related CLE Series: "Fit to Practice"- January 21, 2016
The second in a disability-related three-part CLE series, titled "Fit to Practice," was held on January 21, 2016 at the Louisiana Bar Center in New Orleans, LA.  The two hour seminar focused on liability and ethics issues in the event an attorney experiences a short or long-term disability. The panel of speakers discussed the risks and ethics/liabilities that attorneys with disabilities face, and offered resources available in Louisiana to help practitioners.  This session was especially relevant to solo and small firm attorneys. CLE credit for this seminar included 1.00 hour of Professionalism and 1.00 hour of Ethics.

The third and final session of this series is scheduled for Friday, May 6, 2016 in Alexandria, LA. 

Photo ID:  J. E "Buddy" Stockwell, III, Executive Director, Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program (JLAP) addresses the New Orleans attendees and the attendees in Baton Rouge viewing via video conference.  The other presenters (not pictured) included Richard P. Lemmler, Jr., Ethics Counsel, LSBA; Julie Brown White, Partner, Schiff, Scheckman & White, LLP; and Bryan Jenkins, group benefits consultant for Gilsbar.

Disability Series Details...

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

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

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

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

Click here for more information or to register onine.

Midyear Meeting LGBT CLE - January 14, 2016

The LSBA Diversity Committee's LGBT Subcommittee presented a free two-hour CLE at the 2016 Midyear Meeting.  The seminar, "The Impact of Obergefell v. Hodges: What Does the Future Hold?," addressed issues developing as a result of the landmark Supreme Court decision allowing gay couples to marry. Presenters Professor Paul R. Baier (LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center), Professor Todd Brower (Western State University College of Law), Ryan P. Delaney (Delaney & Robb),  and Scott J. Spivey (Scott J. Spivey, A.P.L.C.) discussed topics including adoption, divorce, step-parent adoption and estate planning.

Photo ID: (l to r)  Scott J. Spivey, Professor Todd Brower, Professor Paul R. Baier, and Ryan P. Delaney

Join the LSBA Diversity Signatories

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

To date, the total number of Diversity Signatories is 356!  The 2015 Signatories included:

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

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

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