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

LADB and Diversity Integration Subcommittee Present Series of Diversity CLE Seminars
The third CLE in a five-part diversity series with the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board (LADB), took place in Kenner  on Wednesday, June 17.  Attorneys Lynn Luker of Law Offices of Lynn Luker, LLC  and Cherrilynne Washington Thomas  with the Orleans Parish District Attorney's Office, facilitated the presentation "Minimizing the Impact of Unconscious Bias in Decision Making".  The first in the series was hosted in April at the Shreveport Convention Center in Shreveport.  Diversity speaker and attorney I.J. Clark-Sam was the facilitator for that CLE session.  Last month, Administrative Law Judge Kelly McNeil Legier and Chauntis Jenkins spoke about Generational Differences to the attendees in Baton Rouge. 

In partnership with the LADB, the Diversity Committee’s Diversity Integration Subcommittee is presenting a series of one-hour diversity CLE seminars. Lynn Luker, a frequent presenter of LSBA diversity seminars, has pulled together a team of LSBA facilitators who will bring the seminar to over 1,400 attorneys in five locations across Louisiana.

The seminar schedule is as follows:
• April 9 – Shreveport Convention Center, Shreveport
• May 27 – Crowne Plaza Hotel, Baton Rouge
• June 17 – Pontchartrain Center, Kenner
• July 22 – Hilton Hotel, Lafayette
• September 30 – SAI Convention Center, Alexandria

For more details and registration, see the LADB website at www.ladb.org.

Photo ID:  (L to R) Cherrilynne Washington Thomas and Lynn Luker


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.


2015 Suit Up for the Future - Day Two

The second day of the Suit Up for the Future program proved to be packed with new information. Professor M. Isabel Medina, a Ferris Family Distinguished Professor of Law at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, engaged the students in a three hour presentation on Constitutional Law. Attorneys Monte Mollere, the Director of LSBA Department of Access to Justice, Amy E. Duncan, Project Coordinator for the LSBA Department of Access to Justice and Robert Pearson, the Director of Legal Services at the Louisiana Civil Justice Center, spoke to students about alternative legal careers in the area of social justice.  Following the presentation,  interns Miles E. Ballard (a 2014 Suit Up for the Future alumni) and Karina Shareen facilitated a resume crash course.  The students concluded the day by viewing  last year’s Suit Up for the Future students’ oral argument presentations. 

Photo ID:  Professor M. Isabel Medina takes a break with a few students.

To see the 2015 Suit Up for the Future program agenda, please click here


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. 

Suit Up for the Future - Day Three
Today was the first field excursion for the students! Students eagerly made the trip to the Field Trip to the Orleans Parish Public Defenders Office. When they arrived they were heartily greeted by Chief District Defender Derwyn Bunton, After their tour and question and answer session, students headed back to the Louisiana Bar Center. There, they met with two local attorneys, Deontrinelle Green with Rodney and Etter, LLC and Adria Kimbrough of the Kullman Firm. Professor Russell L. Jones, Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs and a Jesse N. Stone, Jr. Endowed Professor of Law at Southern University law Center, finished up the afternoon with a three hour course in Criminal Law.

To see the entire three week 2015 Suit Up for the Future program agenda, please click here.

Photo ID:  Students pose with Chief District Defender Derwyn Bunton.



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

Suit Up for the Future - Day Five, Week One
Friday, June 19 the students had a field excursion to the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court where they had the opportunity to view criminal proceedings. They spent half the morning with Judge Camille Buras, Section B and the other half of the morning with Judge Tracey Flemings Davillier, Section H.

During lunch presenters Jason Michael Freas, Johnson, Yacoubian & Paysse, APLC, Jim Nieset, of Porteus, Hainkel & Johnson, LLP and Renee Culotta, Frilot LLC discussed their law school and career experiences. Immediately following was Emily Maw, Director of the Innocence Project New Orleans (IPNO). Ms. Maw and Kia Hall Hayews shared with students the work the organization does in freeing innocent men and women from prison and death row.

Suit Up for the Future - Opening Day
Seventeen local 11th grade, 12th grade and recent high school graduate students received a warm welcome to the 2015 Louisiana State Bar Association’s Suit Up for the Future program. Newly installed LSBA President Mark A. Cunningham and Federal Magistrate Judge on the United States District Court, the Honorable Karen Wells Roby greeted the students and each discussed the idea that lawyers work in all areas of our lives and communities. Members of the Diversity Committee’s Pipeline on Diversity Subcommittee co-chairs Sherri N. Guidry, of the 15th JDC Public Defenders Office, and Kandace R. Hamilton, of Tulane University's Office of Institutional Equity, also made welcoming remarks and stayed throughout the day to facilitate activities. 

Their real work began immediately after lunch with Professor Mary Garvey Algero, from the Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, presenting her law school abridged  “Legal Writing”  course.  The day ended after students were given their team assignments for their mock legal problem.

To see what the students will be doing for the rest of this week and the two upcoming weeks, please click here.

Photo ID:  Co-Chairs Kandace R. Hamilton and Sherri N. Guidry (L to R)


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

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



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. 

Martinet President Honored with Pro Bono Award
Rolando R. Urbina, president of the Baton Rouge Chapter of the Louis A. Martinet Legal Society, has been selected to receive the 2014-2015 Louisiana State Bar Association Young Leaders Division Pro Bono Award. The award will be presented on June 11, 2015 at the LSBA General Assembly during the Combined Annual Meeting/Summer School in Sandestin, Florida. The LSBA Young Lawyers Division Pro Bono Award is given to a young lawyer for commitment and dedication to providing pro bono services in his/her community. 

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


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.

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. 


2nd in a 3-Part Disability-Related CLE Series: "Fit to Practice" - January 29
In partnership with the Baton Rouge Bar Association, 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.


Interested in Diversity? Join the LSBA Diversity Signatories

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

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

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

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

NAPABA to Host 2015 Annual Convention in New Orleans
The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) will be hosting its annual convention in New Orleans on November 5-8, 2015 at the New Orleans Hilton Riverside.   

NAPABA is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 40,000 attorneys and 67 state and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal service and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities.

For more information, go to the NAPABA convention webpage at http://www.napaba.org/?page=2015_Convention,

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


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. 



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