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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

Upcoming Local and Specialty Bar Events - 2018-19
Here is a list of upcoming local and specialty bar events for the 2018-2019 Bar year. Please check the list frequently - changes and updates are added regularly. If you would like your bar organization's event listed, please let us know! Send an email to outreach@lsba.org with the event details (date, time, location).

View Schedule

SAVE THE DATE! DISABILITIES SERIES "FIT TO PRACTICE" - November 1, 2018
The LSBA's Diversity Committee will hold the Disabilities Series "Fit to Practice" CLE on November 1, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. at the Louisiana Bar Center. "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. Please click here to view the "Fit to Practice" schedule and to register.  

SAVE THE DATE! 12TH ANNUAL CONCLAVE ON DIVERSITY- March 8, 2019
The 12th Annual Conclave on Diversity in the Legal Profession is scheduled Friday, March 8, 2019 and it will be held at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, 500 Canal St., New Orleans, LA. The theme for the Conclave is "Strides in Diversity: Opening Doors for the Next Generation."

SAVE THE DATE! "NATCHITOCHES LIGHTS" CLE SEMINAR- December 14, 2018
The LSBA's Committee on Diversity in the Legal Profession is hosting the "Natchitoches Lights" CLE seminar on Friday, December 14, 2018 at the Chateau Saint Denis Hotel. 

SAVE THE DATE! GREATER NEW ORLEANS NEW ADMITTEES RECEPTION - November 8, 2018
Please join the LSBA Member Outreach and Diversity Department in welcoming the newest members of the bar! The welcoming reception will be held at the Louisiana Bar Center, 601 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans on November 8, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. 

If you plan on attending, please RSVP by November 5, 2018: 

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NewAdmittee2018


Specialty Bars Subcommittee Meeting with 2018-19 LSBA President – August 24, 2018
On August 24, 2018, the Specialty Bars subcommittee met with 2018-19 LSBA President Barry H. Grodsky. The meeting was held in conjunction with the LSBA Board of Governors meeting at the Ritz Carlton New Orleans. The meeting served as a platform for Specialty Bars to discuss upcoming events and how the LSBA can continue to support Specialty Bar initiatives.

Photo ID (L to R): Micah C. Zeno, Gordon, Arata, Montgomery, Barnett, McCollam, Duplantis and Eagan, LLC, Co-Chair, LSBA Outreach Committee; Dean Thomas C. Galligan, Jr., LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center; Cory J. Vidal, Hancock Whitney Bank, President-Elect, GNO Louis A. Martinet Legal Society, Inc.; Christine T. Bruneau, Cotten Schmidt & Abbott, LLP, President, Louisiana Asian Pacific American Bar Association; Dean David Meyer, Tulane University Law School; Franchesca L. Hamilton-Acker, Acadiana Legal Service Corp, President, Louis A. Martinet Legal Society, Inc., Greater Lafayette Chapter, Demarcus J. Gordon, Kelly Hart & Pitre, Chair, LSBA Minority Involvement Section; Michael B. Victorian, Phelps Dunbar, LLP, Co-Chair, LSBA Outreach Committee; Derrick D. Kee, Attorney at Law, President, Louis A. Martinet Legal Society, Lake Charles Chapter; Ezra Pettis, Jr., Delphin Law Offices, PLC, President-Elect, Louis A. Martinet Legal Society, Inc., Lake Charles Chapter.


2018 Professional Success Summit – November 14-16, 2018
The American Bar Association will hold its annual Professional Success Summit on November 14-16 at the JW Marriott Houston. The 2018 Summit titled, “Networking and Advancement for Racially and Ethnically Diverse Litigators” will offer eighteen programs and several networking events. Please click here to register and view the schedule.


Loyola BLSA First Year Law Student Reception – August 31, 2018
The Loyola University New Orleans College of Law Black Law Students Association hosted reception on August 31, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. The reception served as an opportunity to welcome alumni, professionals, and first year law students.

Photo ID (L to R): Jamia Love (2L); Hon. Madeleine M. Landrieu, Dean, Loyola University College of Law; center-back, Anna Hoiberg (1L), center-front, Malika Howard(2L); Trinity Goines (2L). 


2018 -19 LSBA Diversity Committee Orientation – September 8, 2018
On September 8, 2018 the Diversity Committee met at the Louisiana Bar Center for an orientation and business meeting. Committee members engaged in ice-breaking activities and reviewed Diversity Committee and Subcommittee programming for the 2018-19 bar year. 


2018-19 LSBA Leadership Class- August 24, 2018
On August 24, 2018, the 2018-19 LSBA Leadership Class participated in an orientation in conjunction with the Board of Governors meeting at The Ritz Carlton. The class is comprised of sixteen up-and-coming young lawyers and is led by two co-chairs.

Back Row, Photo ID (L to R): Aaron R. Wilson, Wilson and Wilson, APLC; Ronald J. Sholes, Jr., Attorney at Law; Christopher J. Sellers, Jr., (Leadership Class Co-chair), Ochsner Health System; and Christopher R. Mistich, Ochsner Health System.

Front Row, Photo ID (L to R): Denia S. Aiyegbusi, Deutsch Kerrigan, LLP; Betty Ann Maury, (Leadership Class Co-chair), Law Clerk, 24th Judicial District, Hon. Lee V. Faulkner, Jr.; Senae D. Hall, Attorney at Law; Valerie E. Fontenot, Baldwin Haspel Burke & Mayer, LLC; Melissa M. Lessell, Deutsch Kerrigan, LLP; Teresa D. King, Attorney at Law; Alyson V. Antoon, Antoon Law Firm, LLC; Cortney M. Dunn, Calcasieu Parish Public Defender's Office; and Taryn C. Branson, Attorney at Law.

Not Pictured in Photo: R. Danielle Barringer, Louisiana House Legislative Services; Collin R. Melancon, Mansfield, Melancon, Cranmer and Dick; and Joseph B. Williams III, Calcasieu Parish District Attorney's Office.


New Orleans Bar Association and GNO Louis A. Martinet Legal Society Host “History En Banc” – October 2, 2018
On October 2, 2018 the New Orleans Bar Association co-hosted “History en Banc” with the GNO Louis A. Martinet Legal Society at the United States District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana at 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

The CLE was moderated by Hon. Ivan L.R. Lemelle, United States District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana and the panel featured Chief Judge Carl E. Stewart, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit; Chief Judge Nannette V. Jolivette-Brown, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana; Former Chief Judge Brian A. Jackson, U.S. District Court, Middle District of Louisiana; and Chief Magistrate Judge Karen Wells Roby, U.S. District Court Eastern District of Louisiana.

The session explored the historical insight into the federal court system as an institution and panelists discussed their pathways to leadership.


Greater New Orleans Louis A. Martinet Legal Society, Inc. Election Primer – September 20, 2018
On September 20, 2018 the GNO Louis A. Martinet Legal Society, Inc. held an election primer at the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana at 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. The panelists included: Deuel Ross, Assistant Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc.; Alanah E. Odums-Hebert, Executive Director, ACLU of LA; and Ron Wilson, Of Counsel, Blake Jones Law Firm. 

Panelists at the Election Primer. Photo ID (L to R): Ronald L. Wilson, Of Counsel, Blake Jones Law Firm; Alanah E. Odoms-Hebert, Executive Director, ACLU of Louisiana; and Deuel Ross, Assistant Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc.


GNO Louis A. Martinet Legal Society Annual Scholarship Gala - September 29, 2018
On September 29, 2018, the Greater New Orleans Louis A. Martinet Legal Society celebrated its annual Scholarship Jazz Brunch at 11:00 a.m. at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. The theme was “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing: A Celebration of Standing Up for Justice.”

During the Scholarship Jazz Brunch three undergraduate students were awarded the Justice Revius O. Ortique, Jr. Scholarship and four graduate students received the Martinet Scholarship.

The Scholarship Jazz Brunch also served as an opportunity to honor outstanding members in the legal community. Honorees included: Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Hon. Piper D. Griffin, Orleans Parish Civil District Court; Ernest N. Morial Award Recipient, Hon. Karen Wells Roby, Chief Magistrate Judge, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana; Earl J. Amedee Award Recipient, Jonathan Wilson, Liberty Bank & Trust Co.; A.P. Tureaud Award  Recipient, Micah C. Zeno, Gordon, Arata, Montgomery, Barnett, McCollam, Duplantis and Eagan, LLC; Louis A. Martinet Award recipient, Robert A. McKnight, Orleans Public Defenders; and Presidents Award Recipients, Kimberly Silas, Louisiana Supreme Court; and law school student recipients: Bianca Moore, Loyola University New Orleans College of Law; and Natalie Paul, Tulane University Law School. 

This year’s program featured Hon. Kern A. Reese, Orleans Parish Civil District Court as the Master of Ceremonies, and as keynote speaker, L. Chris Stewart, Managing Partner, Stewart, Seay & Felton Trial Attorneys.



Supreme Court of Louisiana Historical Society’s Tricentennial Gala – September 29, 2018
On September 29, 2018, The Supreme Court of Louisiana’s Historical Society held a Tricentennial Gala at the Orpheum Theater at 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. The Tricentennial gala was held in conjunction with the Louisiana Judicial College’s Fall Judges Conference.

The gala began with a cocktail reception from 6:00 p.m. – 6:40 p.m. Following the cocktail reception, opening remarks were provided by: Professor Paul R. Baier, Secretary and Gala Committee Co-Chair of the Supreme Court of Louisiana Historical Society; Donna D. Fraiche, President, Supreme Court of Louisiana Historical Society; and Chief Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson. Hon. Carl E. Stewart, Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit served as the featured speaker.

Photo ID (L to R): Hon. Carl E. Stewart, Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit and Chief Justice Bernette J. Johnson, Louisiana Supreme Court.


LSBA Diversity and Inclusion Managers Summit – August 24, 2018
On August 24, 2018, the LSBA's Diversity Committee held the "Diversity and Inclusion Managers Summit" CLE Seminar at the Ritz Hotel, New Orleans, LA. 

Photo ID (TOP LEFT photo): Session Two “A Pragmatic Look at the Work of Career Service Professionals” (L to R) Diana A. Mercer, Director of Career Development, Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, New Orleans, LA; Denia S. Aiyegbusi, Deutsch Kerrigan LLP, New Orleans, LA; Sarka Cerna-Fagan, Associate Dean for Career Development, Tulane University Law School, New Orleans, LA; and Tavares A. Walker, Director of Career Services, Southern University Law Center, Baton Rouge, LA. 

Photo ID (BOTTOM LEFT photo): Session One “Minority in a Majority Firm: Combating the Status Quo” (L to R) Luis A. Leitzelar, Jones Walker LLP, Baton Rouge, LA; Heather S. Lonian, Stone Pigman Walther Wittman, LLC, New Orleans, LA; Kim M. Boyle, Phelps Dunbar LLP, New Orleans, LA; and Kellen J. Mathews, Adams and Reese, LLP, Baton Rouge, LA. 

Photo ID (TOP RIGHT photo): Session Three “How to Future-Proof Your Firm: Engaging Gen Y to Z” and Session Four “Diversity and Inclusion: Worth More than Gold” (Facilitated Discussion and Round Table) (ID) Dima Ghawi, Dima Ghawi LLC, Baton Rouge, LA. 


Federal Bar Association (FBA), New Orleans Chapter Annual Meeting – August 23, 2018
On August 23, 2018, the Federal Bar Association, New Orleans Chapter held its Annual Meeting and Luncheon from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Intercontinental New Orleans Hotel. Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, Berekely Law was the keynote speaker.

During the luncheon, Immediate Past-President, W. Raley Alford, III presented the President’s Award, John R. “Jack” Martzell Professionalism Award, and the Camille F. Gravel, Jr. Award to recipients.  

Following the presentation of awards, W. Raley Alford, III presided over the election of officers: Kathryn M. Knight, President, Federal Bar Association, New Orleans Chapter; Hon. Nannette J. Brown, President-Elect; Steven F. Griffith, Jr., Treasurer; Michael J. Ecuyer, Recording Secretary; Donna P. Currault, Membership Chair; and Sara A. Johnson, Young Lawyers Division Chair.

The luncheon concluded with remarks from the chapter President, Kathryn Knight.

Photo ID (L to R): Omar K. Mason, Aaron & Gianna PLC, Award Recipient, Presidents Award; Ashley L. Belleau, Lugenbuhl, Wheaton, Peck, Rankin & Hubbard, Award Recipient, John R. “Jack” Martzell Professionalism Award; Paul M. Sterbcow, Lewis, Kullman, Sterbcow & Abramson, Award Recipient, President’s Award; W. Raley Alford, III, Stanley, Reuter, Ross, Thornton & Alford, LLC, Immediate Past President, Federal Bar Association New Orleans Chapter; Annie G. McBride, Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann, LLC, Award Recipient, President’s Award; and David H. Williams, Southeast Louisiana Legal Services Corporation, Award Recipient, Camille F. Gravel, Jr. Public Service Award.


National Bar Association’s 93rd Annual Convention and Exhibit Conference – July 28 – August 3, 2018
On July 28 – August 3, 2018, the National Bar Association held its 93rd Annual Convention and Exhibit Conference at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hotel. 

During the conference, the National Bar Association Women Lawyers Division (WLD) held an Achievement Awards Breakfast on Tuesday, July 31, 2018 at 7:00 a.m.

Amongst the award recipients honored were Louisiana lawyers: Ashley J. Heilprin, Associate, Phelps Dunbar LLP (Outstanding Young Lawyer); Dana M. Douglas, Partner, Liskow and Lewis (Outstanding Minority Partner in a Majority Firm);  Sandra Diggs Miller, Associate General Counsel, Entergy (Outstanding Corporate Counsel); Katrina R. Jackson, Louisiana House of Representatives (Outstanding Women Lawyer in Politics); Hon. Nanette J. Brown, Chief Judge, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana (Excellence in Judiciary); and Kim M. Boyle, Partner, Phelps Dunbar (Hidden Figure). 

A “40 Under 40 Awards Gala” ceremony was held on August 1, 2018. The Gala recognized the nation’s top 40 lawyers under the age of 40 who have made great achievements in the legal field.

Amongst the award recipients were Louisiana lawyers: Marcus A. Augustine, Corporate Secretary & Sr. Attorney, Cleco Power LLC; and Ashley J. Heilprin, Associate, Phelps Dunbar LLP.

A “Hall of Fame Luncheon” was held on August 2, 2018 from 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. At the luncheon, Hon. Carl E. Stewart, Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit; Hon. Ivan L.R. Lemelle, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana; Hon. Ernestine Gray, Orleans Parish Juvenile Court; and Wayne Lee, Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann, LLC, were inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame.

Lastly, an NBA Gala was held on August 2, 2018 from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Lesli D. Harris, Stone Pigman Walther Wittman, LLC, was honored as Entertainer of the Year.

Photo ID (TOP PHOTO L to R): Ashley J. Heilprin, Phelps Dunbar LLP, Outstanding Young Lawyer Recipient; Royce I. Duplessis, Duplessis Law Firm, LLC, YLD/Section of the Year Award Recipient; and Dana M. Douglas, Liskow and Lewis, Outstanding Minority Partner in a Majority Firm Recipient. 

Photo ID (BOTTOM PHOTO L to R): Kim M. Boyle, Phelps Dunbar LLP, Hidden Figure Award Recipient; Dana M. Douglas, Liskow and Lewis, Outstanding Minority Partner in a Majority Firm Recipient; Hon. Nanette J. Brown, Chief Judge, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, Excellence in Judiciary Award Recipient; and Sandra Diggs Miller, Entergy, Outstanding Corporate Counsel Award Recipient. 

ABA Fact Check
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Click here to link to the ABA Fact Check.

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.


Louisiana State Bar Association
601 St. Charles Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70130
(800) 421-LSBA(5722) / (504) 566-1600