Louisiana State Bar Association Diversity Statement

Louisiana State Bar Association Diversity Statement

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

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

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

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

Diversity — Inclusion — Professionalism

Latest Diversity News and Events

Diversity Committee's Pipeline Subcommittee and Legal Services for Persons With Disabilities Committee Partner to Launch Three- Part Disability CLE Series
The Diversity Committee's Pipeline Subcommittee and Legal Services for Persons with Disabilities Committee (LSPD) have joined forces in order 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," will be for those who are interested in best serving clients with special needs.

For online registration for Session I, click here. 

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.

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 or rsvp@keanmiller.com

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 atttendees 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."

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, October 3, 2014
- 8:30 am - 2:00 pm  Ritz-Carlton Hotel New Orleans -  Lafayette Bar Association Bench Bar

Thursday, October 9, 2014 - 7:30 am - 5:00 pm  Hilton Garden Inn/Homewood Suites, Bossier City - Shreveport Bar Association's "Recent Developments by the Judiciary" seminar

October 28-29, 2014 - 8:00 am - 5:00 pm Sheraton New Orleans - LSBA's Bridging the Gap CLE Seminar

Thursday, November 13, 2014 - 8:30 am - 2:00 pm, Shreveport Bar Center - New Admittee/Memorial & Recognition Ceremony

Friday, November 21, 2014 - 8:30 am - 11:30 am, Covington Clarion Inn - 22nd JDC Annual Family Law CLE

Friday, November 21, 2014 - 1:00 pm  - 3:00 pm, Timberlane Country Club, Gretna - Jefferson Parish Bar Association Election Meeting

November 12 - New Orleans New Admittee Reception
SAVE THE DATE!  The LSBA's New Orleans area New Admittee Reception is scheduled for Wednesday, November 12, 2014.  It will be hosted at the Louisiana Bar Center 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.  Watch your email for your invitation...

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.

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:


Upcoming GNO Martinet Events for October
The Greater New Orleans Louis A. Martinet Legal Society has posted their October event schedule.   For information about any of the upcoming events, contact www.gnomartinet.com

Louisiana Judicial Council - NBA Worship Service
Sunday, October 5th at 7:30 a.m.
Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church Rev. Moses Gordon, Pastor
2805 General Taylor Street ~ New Orleans, LA 70115
Martinet will join the Louisiana Judicial Council - NBA for its annual church service sit-in.

October General Body Meeting and Installation of Officers
Thursday, October 9, 2014 at 5:30 p.m.
Louisiana Supreme Court
400 Royal Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
4th Floor Courtroom
Reception following!

2015 Diversity Conclave Date is announced!
SAVE THE DATE!  The 2015 Diversity Conclave is scheduled for Friday, March 6, 2015.  It will be held at the New Orleans Marriott, located at 555 Canal Street, New Orleans.  Details to follow as we begin to secure sponsors, speakers and workshops.

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES ARE AVAILABLE!  Click here for sponsorship information. 

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).

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

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

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

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

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.

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!

Disclaimer of Liability | Advertisement Disclaimer | Contact Us
Louisiana State Bar Association | 601 St. Charles Avenue | New Orleans, LA 70130 | (800) 421-LSBA(5722) / (504) 566-1600