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

Save the Date: GNO Martinet Scholarship Brunch - September 9, 2017
The Greater New Orleans Louis A. Martinet Legal Society is hosting its Annual Scholarship Brunch and 60th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday, September 9, 2017.  It will be held at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, 921 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA. 

2017 Diversity Conclave Highlight -- Breakout Sessions
Breakout Session One, “The 360° Perspective of Immigration Law” Immigration Breakout Session - The United States is a nation of people who came from somewhere else. We are in an era where the need for competent attorneys in the area of immigration has become even more apparent. This panel explored ethical considerations in the areas of family based immigration, detention and due process, and the recent “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” Executive Order.

Panelists were (TOP photo, L to R) Elaine D. Kimbrell (Ware|Immigration) and Ashley Foret Dees (Attorney at Law).

Breakout Session Two, “Diversity and Equity in the Legal Practice,” Best Practices Breakout Session - Law firms, law schools and the judiciary are striving to better understand and improve to incorporate best practices that foster an inclusive culture. This session explored how the impact of not integrating business practices that sustain a diverse and inclusive workplace can be detrimental to a business and the legal profession.
Panelists included (BOTTOM photo - L to R) Kevin Woodson, Ph.D. (Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law); Lori E. Andrus (Andrus Anderson LLP); moderator Luis A. Leitzelar (Jones Walker LLP); and Hon. Teri L. Jackson (Superior Court of San Francisco County).

2017 Diversity Conclave Highlight -- Plenary Sessions
Plenary Session One, "Navigating Implicit Bias in the 21st Century Economy” - Identifying and leveraging key intersections between diversity and inclusion and business strategies can be challenging. This session focused on how to advance these efforts from three different perspectives while placing emphasis on what really makes sense in today’s economic climate.

Panelists for the Implicit Bias plenary session (TOP Photo L to R) Professor Jonathan N. Kahn (Mitchell|Hamline School of Law); Eileen M. Letts (Zuber Lawler & Del Duca LLP); and moderator Antonio D. Robinson (Carter’s, Inc.).

Plenary Session Two"Leading the Charge: Inspiring Students and Committing to Sustained Engagement" - We are now in an era when companies that view pipeline initiatives as outside of their business strategy are understanding the importance of their role in integrating pipeline programs that can contribute to the company’s performance. This session focused on pipeline initiatives that add value to companies and translate to good business by investing in students that broaden the talent pool.

Legal Pipeline panelists (BOTTOM Photo, L to R) Dean David D. Meyer (Tulane University Law School); Hon. Karen Wells Roby (US District Court Eastern District of Louisiana); Richard E. Meade (Prudential, Inc.); and Willie Hernandez (Hewlett Packard Enterprise).

2017 Diversity Conclave Highlight -- In-House Corporate Breakfast
“The Connect” In-House Corporate Breakfast “Pitch Perfect” session was a networking and strategy session for outside counsel, attempting to secure or presently engaged in doing business with corporations; and in house counsel, with the ability to make recommendations to assign work and select counsel.

This session featured moderators (L to R) Sandra Diggs-Miller (Entergy Services, Inc.) and Gary M. Carter Jr. (Kelly Hart & Pitre); and panelists Daniel LaGrone (Pan-American Life Insurance Group); Max Marx (Turner Industries Group, LLC); Cory Vidal (Fidelity Bank); Malka Herring (BP America Inc.); and Debra Page Coleman (Macy’s Inc.). The session was sponsored by Gold Sponsor, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., and Coffee Sponsor, Association of Corporate Counsel.

2017 Diversity Conclave Highlight -- Interactive Workshop
Interactive workshop - "Implicit Social Cognition and the Justice System: The Pros and Cons of Autopilot," presented by Shawn Marsh, Ph.D. This goal of this session was to help participants better understand social cognition - particularly implicit bias - within a justice and diversity context, and to provide potential strategies to improve decision-making processes.

(L to R) Conclave Co-Chair Hon. Quintillis K. Lawrence (19th JDC); LSBA 2016-17 president Darrel J. Papillion (Walters, Papillion, Thomas, Cullens LLC); Workshop speaker Shawn Marsh, Ph. D. (University of Nevada, Reno); Conclave Co-Chair Troy N. Bell (Courington. Kiefer & Sommers, LLC); and Conclave Co-Chair Scott J. Spivey (Scott J. Spivey Esq., APLC).

2017 Diversity Conclave Highlight -- Awards Luncheon
Hon. Max N. Tobias Jr. (Retired) received the Committee on Diversity in the Legal Profession Award from Hon. Quintillis K. Lawrence (19th JDC) and Chief Justice Bernette J. Johnson (Louisiana Supreme Court). Sponsors were also recognized at the annual Awards Luncheon.  Keynote Speaker, Samuel Reeves (Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.), addressed “The Power of Diversity.”

Top Left Photo: Hon. Max N. Tobias, Jr. (Retired)

Top Right Photo: (L to R) Kara K. McQueen-Borden (Jones Walker LLP) accepts the Platinum Plus Sponsor recognition award from Conclave Co-Chair Hon. Quintillis K. Lawrence (19th JDC). Platinum Plus Sponsor, LSBA Corporate and Business Law Section, is not pictured.

Bottom Photo: (L to R) Conclave Co-Chair Troy N. Bell (Courington, Kiefer & Sommers, LLC); LSBA 2016-17 president Darrel J. Papillion (Walters, Papillion, Thomas, Cullens LLC); Chief Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson (Louisiana Supreme Court); Keynote speaker Samuel Reeves (Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.); Conclave Co-Chair Hon. Quintills K. Lawrence (19th JDC); and Conclave Co-Chair Scott J. Spivey (Scott J. Spivey, Esq., APLC).

2017 Diversity Conclave Highlight -– Signatory Jazz Brunch
The 10th Annual Conclave on Diversity in the Legal Profession was kicked off by the Excellence in Diversity Jazz Brunch Reception honoring the Diversity Signatories of the LSBA Statement of Diversity Principles. Entertainment was provided by JB Saax.

2016-17 Signatories:

Baton Rouge Bar Association
Craig P. Cassagne Jr.
Liska, Exnicios & Nungesser
The Bagneris Firm
The Woods Law Group, LLC

Lawyers Without Rights, Jewish Exhibition April 27, 2017
The Louisiana Supreme Court Museum opened its international exhibit, “Lawyers Without Rights: Jewish Lawyers in Germany under the Third Reich” with a presentation and reception at the Louisiana Supreme Court on April 27, 2017. The exhibit is available for viewing until May 31, 2017.

Speakers included Chief Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson, Louisiana Supreme Court; Donna D. Fraiche, president, Supreme Court of Louisiana Historical Society; Mark A. Cunningham, partner, Jones Walker LLP; and Judy Perry Martinez, American Bar Association President Designee. The presentation, “Lawyers, Justice, Unpopular Causes, Unpopular Clients, and the Concept of Justice,” was made by attorney Michael H. Rubin, McGlinchey Stafford PLLC.

Photo ID:  (L to R)  Rachel Emanuel, board member, Louisiana Supreme Court Historical Society; Mark A. Cunningham, partner, Jones Walker LLP; Hon. Marcus R. Clark, Louisiana Supreme Court; Michael H. Rubin, McGlinchey Stafford PLLC; Ayan Rubin; Donna D. Fraiche, president, Louisiana Supreme Court Historical Society; Benjamin W. Janke, treasurer, Louisiana Supreme Court Historical Society.

Volunteer Opportunities for Attorneys -- "Suit Up for the Future"
Each year the LSBA, in partnership with the Louisiana Bar Foundation and the Just the Beginning Foundation, hosts the Suit Up for the Future program, a FREE three-week legal institute, during which students attend an abridged law school session, field trips to law schools and courts, and an internship consisting of shadowing at area law offices and courts. The 2017 session will be held June 12 – June 30, 2017

The Suit Up for the Future program is a success because of the number of attorneys, firms, judges and organizations who volunteer their time and/or staff. We are asking you to consider one of the following ways that you could be a part of the 2017 Suit Up program:

Volunteer for one hour - During the three week session, attorneys are invited to volunteer their time from 12:00 - 1:00 to spend time talking with the Suit Up students. If you are interested in participating, please contact the Member Outreach and Diversity staff at diversity@lsba.org

Shadowing opportunities - During the second week of the Suit Up session, June 19-23, 2017, students are assigned to "shadow" attorneys at firms, courts, and organizations. This is a great opportunity for students to see for themselves what attorneys do on a daily basis; and to spend one-on-one time with attorneys in the workforce. If you or your firm would be interested in providing a shadowing opportunity for one or more Suit Up students, please contact us at diversity@lsba.org.

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

Local Attorney Visits Students at Early Bard College - March 23, 2017
Diversity Committee member Adria Kimbrough (The Kullman Firm), spent the afternoon on March 23, 2017, speaking with students at the annual Bard Early College New Orleans Internship Fair. She was there to introduce and recruit the Bard students to the LSBA's Suit Up for the Future program, a free three-week legal institute, during which students attend an abridged law school session, field trips to law schools and courts, and an internship consisting of shadowing at area law offices and courts. For more information about Suit Up for the Future, please click here.

The Bard Early College program offers local students an opportunity to enroll in college credit-bearing courses in the Bard curriculum. Students complete the first year of a Bard education during their last two years in high school.

Photo:  Adria Kimbrough

Specialty Bars Reception - June 5, 2017
Join members of Louisiana specialty bars for an evening of networking at the Specialty Bars Reception, sponsored by the Greater New Orleans Louis A. Martinet Legal Society, the Louis A. Martinet Society Lake Charles Chapter, and the LSBA's Diversity Committee.  The event isscheduled from 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at Lumpy’s Wine Bar and Bottle Shop, 100 Baytowne Avenue, North Baytowne Wharf, FL 32550. To register for this free event, click here. To print the event flyer, please click here.

Anderson Cooper Examines NOLA Public Defenders' Refusal of Felony Cases
Faced with chronic underfunding for his too-small staff, Derwyn Bunton, chief public defender for New Orleans, made an unusual decision last year: The city’s public defenders are refusing felony cases such as rapes, robberies, and murders, as a form of protest. Anderson Cooper met with NOLA’s public defenders to discuss the crisis.  Click here for the full story.

Photo ID: Derwyn Bunton, chief public defender (Photo courtesy of CBS News)

LJC/NBA Annual Seminar March 2-5, 2017
Louisiana Judicial Council/NBA hosted its 19th Annual Meeting and Continuing Legal Education Seminar in Lake Charles, LA on March 2 – 5, 2017. Titled “Reassessing Our Judicial and Societal Roles,” Louisiana Judges attended CLEs, committee and business meetings, and concluded with a church service at Lake Charles’ Greater St. Mary Baptist Church.

New Orleans’ St. Augustine High School boasts a large number of alumni in the legal field. Several of St., Aug’s distinguished alumni gathered at the LJC/NBA Conference.

(L to R) Hon. Byron C. Williams Criminal District Court, New Orleans; Professor Raymond T. Diamond -LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center, Baton Rouge; Justin Jack, law clerk for Chief Judge Ulysses Gene Thibodeaux, 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal, -Royce Duplessis -LA Supreme Court Special Counsel, New Orleans; Ezra Pettis, Jr., Delphin Law Offices, PLC, Lake Charles; Hon. Mike Bagneris, (Ret.) Orleans Civil District Court, New Orleans; Hon. Arthur L. Hunter, Jr., Orleans Criminal District Court, New Orleans.

Upcoming Local and Specialty Bar Events - 2017-18
Here is a list of upcoming local and specialty bar events for the 2016-2017 Bar year. Please check the list frequently - changes and updates will be 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

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.

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 inclusion in the legal profession, we encourage you to become a Diversity Signatory!  Simply sign the LSBA Statement of Diversity Principles and either email it (diversity@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! Signatories includes:


  • Honorable Jules D. Edwards, III, 15th Judicial District Court, Div. "B"
  • Louisiana District Judges Association
  • Evans & Clesi, PLC
  • Louis J. Leo, Attorney at Law, APLC
  • Hammonds, Sills, Adkins & Guice, LLP
  • Paul M. Hebert Law Center, Lousiaiana State University


  • Hammonds, Sills, Adkins & Guice, LLP
  • Craig Cassagne Jr
  • The Woods Law Group, L.L.C.
  • Baton Rouge Bar Association

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

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