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 with the event details (date, time, location).

View Schedule

The 13th Annual Conclave on Diversity in the Legal Profession is scheduled Friday, March 27, 2020 and it will be held at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, 500 Canal St., New Orleans, LA. More details to come. 

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 7, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. 

If you plan on attending, please RSVP by November 4, 2019:

Advocacy at the Capitol/ Chief Justice Luncheon Keynote Speaker – May 8, 2019
On May 8, 2019 members of Alpha Kappa Alpha and Alpha Phi Alpha participated in joint advocacy at the Louisiana State Capitol, Baton Rouge, LA.

At 8:30 a.m., Governor John Bel Edwards addressed sorority and fraternity members at the Legislative Briefing Governor’s Press Room. Governor Edwards was joined by members of the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus.

Chief Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson, keynote speaker at the Joint Advocacy Luncheon, provided remarks to members of the group regarding the importance of advocacy and voting.

Photo ID (L to R): Katina M. Semien, South Central Regional Director, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Chief Justice Bernette J. Johnson, Louisiana Supreme Court.

Reception Celebrating the Term of Chief Judge Stewart – May 7, 2019
On May 7, 2019, The Greater New Orleans Louis A. Martinet Legal Society co-sponsored a reception celebrating the term of Chief Judge Carl Stewart at the Windsor Court Hotel.

TOP Photo ID (L to R): Photo ID (Standing L to R): Hon. Paula A. Brown, Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal; Hon. Nakisha Ervin-Knott, Orleans Parish Civil District Court, Division D.; Hon. Ellen M. Hazeur, Orleans Parish Civil District Court, Div. A.; Justin I. Woods, Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal; Hon. Dana M. Douglas, Magistrate Judge, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of LA; Hon. Yvette M. Alexander, Baton Rouge City Court;  (sitting) Chief Justice Bernette J. Johnson, Louisiana Supreme Court. 

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

2019 Diversity Conclave Highlight --"Pitch Perfect" session
“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. The session was sponsored by Toyota Financial Services and the LSBA Corporate and Business Law Section. 

Photo ID (L to R): moderator Luis A. Leitzelar (Jones Walker LLP, Platinum Plus Sponsor); Latanya Langley (BIC International Co.); Angelique Strong Marks (MAHLE Industries, Inc.); and Rudy A. Figueroa (Mitsui Rail Capital, LLC). 

2019 Diversity Conclave Highlight -- Breakout Sessions
Breakout Session OneFrom Child Migration to Detaining Asylum-Seekers: Emerging Crisis in Immigration Law,” Immigration Breakout Session – During the Immigration breakout, panelists discussed the changing landscape of immigration law locally and nationally. Immigration law topics covered during this session included DACA, changes in state laws, challenges for immigrant children, asylum-seekers, and Louisiana-specific immigration issues.

Breakout Session Two"Drivers of Initiative: The Role of In-house Counsel in Growing the D&I Pipeline," Best Practices Breakout Session - Building a talented and diverse team internally as well as externally (outside counsel) is a collaborative effort. Without true leadership within corporate law departments of in-house counsel and outside counsel law firms, meaningful improvements in the areas of diversity and inclusion will remain elusive. Despite the increased attention to diversity, there has been little or no change in the racial or gender composition of firms. The lawyers at the top – those that have the power to drive Diversity and Inclusion (D&I)—have an obligation to identify the best or most-renowned diverse subject matter experts in the legal profession for future opportunities. Talent development is the role of not only in-house counsel but also outside counsel.

This session explored the key components of creating an internal environment for Diversity and Inclusion.           

(TOP Photo ID – L to R): Laila L. Hlass (Tulane University Law School); moderator Thomas A. Saenz (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund); and Dalia Castillo-Granados (American Bar Association, Children’s Immigration Law Academy).

(BOTTOM Photo ID - L to R): Sharon Bridges (Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation); moderator Latanya Langley (BIC International Co.); Conclave Subcommittee Chair Deidre D. Robert (Southern University System, Excellence in Diversity Reception sponsor); and Dominique R. Bright-Wheeler (Toyota Financial Services, Gold Sponsor). 

2019 Diversity Conclave Highlight -- Interactive Workshop
Interactive workshop - "Leadership on Purpose: Harnessing our Collective Strength Toward Inclusive Excellence," presented by Dr. Katrice Albert.

Across the nation there are far too many bridges yet to cross such that women, ethnic minorities, those with disabilities, LGBTQ, and other diverse citizens have full access to employment opportunities and career advancement. 

This keynote challenged Conclave participants to IGNITE leadership on purpose, to be future forward, and to bend the arch toward success by focusing on how to accelerate their unyielding commitment to equity and diversity. 

Photo ID (L to R): Conclave Subcommittee Chair Deidre D. Robert (Southern University System, Excellence in Diversity Reception Sponsor); Workshop speaker Dr. Katrice Albert (NCAA); and Conclave Subcommittee Co-chair John A. Womble (Frederick A. Miller & Associates).

2019 Diversity Conclave Highlight – Luncheon
During the Luncheon, Wayne J. Lee (Stone Pigman Walther Wittman) was presented with the Committee on Diversity Award by 2009-2010 LSBA President Kim M. Boyle (Phelps Dunbar, LLP).   

Photo ID (L to R):
Conclave Subcommittee Co-chair Denia S. Aiyegbusi (Deutsch Kerrigan LLP, Platinum Level Sponsor); award presenter Kim M. Boyle (Phelps Dunbar, LLP, Gold Sponsor); award recipient Wayne J. Lee (Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann, LLC, Gold Level Sponsor); Deidre D. Robert (Southern University System, Excellence in Diversity Reception Sponsor); and John A. Womble (Frederick A. Miller & Associates). 

2019 Diversity Conclave Highlight -- Plenary Sessions
Plenary Session One"#MeToo and Beyond: What have we leaned and where will we go?” Labor and Employment Session - The #MeToo movement continues to propel a national dialogue on the importance of recognizing and combatting harassment in the workplace. What are some of the lessons that employers have learned about the need for changes in workplace culture? How are in-house and outside counsel advising their clients on best practices and approaches to confronting risks and realities? How is the legal community addressing its own issues around harassment in the workplace?

This session delved into each of these dimensions of the movement and explored the kinds of new thinking and approaches needed to end harassment and foster safe and respectful workplaces for all people.     

Plenary Session Two, “Social Justice: Ethical Considerations for Change Agents, " Trending Legal Issues Session- Lawyers play a vital role in advancing social justice issues. We constantly ask ourselves “how can we help” or are asked by others “can we help?” Sustainability seems challenging when there is so much work to be done.

This session explored what our legal and moral obligations are as lawyers and as members of society to protect disenfranchised groups.

(TOP Photo ID L to R): Jenny R. Yang (Working IDEAL); Jack Chen (Microsoft Corporation); and Andrea L. Gilliam (Unwanted, LLC). 

(BOTTOM Photo ID L to R): J. Tyler Clemons (Southern Poverty Law Center); Alysson L. Mills (Fishman Haygood, LLP); and moderator Royce I. Duplessis (Duplessis Law Firm, LLC). 

2019 Diversity Conclave Highlight -- Excellence in Diversity Reception
The Excellence in Diversity Reception sponsored by Southern University Law Center honored signatories to the statement of diversity principles, sponsors and co-hosts.

(RIGHT Photo ID L to R):  Sherrie Rhodes, (Southern University Law Center); Deidre D. Robert, (Southern University System); and Kerri Landry-Thomas, (Southern University Law Center).

(MIDDLE Photo ID L to R): Kristi D. Obafunwa (Kean Miller); Deidre D. Robert (Southern University System); and Victor “Vic” J. Suane, Jr. (Kean Miller LLP).

(LEFT Photo ID L to R): Sponsor) Christopher D. James-Lomax (McCranie, Sistrunk, Anzelmo, Hardy, McDaniel & Welch and Deidre D. Robert (Southern University System).

SULC Distinguished Alumni Reception and Judicial Hall of Fame – April 4, 2019
On April 4, 2019, Southern University Law Center honored its distinguished alumni at the Alumni and Friends Round-up. Festivities included the Alumni Hall of Fame Gala, CLE workshops, student development events, and an evening reception on the River Terrace at Shaw Center. 

During the afternoon reception, Honorable Tonya Jones, Honorable Michael Bellamy and Honorable D. Nicole Sheppard were inducted into the SULC Judicial Wall of Fame.

Photo ID (L to R) Judges inducted into the SULC Hall of Fame: Hon. Tonya Jones, Harris County Criminal Court; Hon. Michael Bellamy, Alabama 26th Circuit Court; and D. Nicole Sheppard, Orleans Parish Civil District Court.

Baton Rouge Bar Association Bench Bar Conference – April 4 – 6, 2019
On April 4-5, 2019, the Baton Rouge Bar Association held its annual Bench Bar Conference at the Grand Hotel Marriot Resort, Golf Club and Spa in Point Clear, AL.

The Bench Bar Conference featured CLE sessions, a golf outing at the Rock Golf Club, and a closing reception at the Fairhope Brewery.

Photo ID: David A. Thomas, Walters, Papillion, Thomas, Cullens, LLC, 2018-2018 BRBA Secretary; Amy C. Lambert, Taylor, Porter, Brooks & Phillips, L.L.P., 2018-2019 BRBA President; Linda Law Clark, DeCuir, Clark & Adams, L.L.P., 2017-2018 BRBA President; K. Luke Williamson, Williamson Fontenot Campbell & Whittington, LLC, 2018-2019 BRBA Director at Large; and S. Dennis Blunt, Phelps Dunbar, 2018-2019 BRBA President-Elect.

LSU Paul M. Hebert Black Law Student Association Banquet – March 30, 2019
On March 30, 2019, the LSU Paul M. Hebert Black Law Student Association hosted its annual BLSA Banquet at Juban’s Creole Restaurant in Baton Rouge.

TOP Photo ID (L to R): Demetrius Causer (1L), President-elect; Brittney Reed (2L), President; and keynote speaker Kenneth R. Barnes Jr., Louisiana Supreme Court.

BOTTOM Photo ID (L to R): Demetrius Causer (1L), President-elect; Zakia Nesbitt (1L), Treasurer-elect; and Jasmine Cole (1L), Secretary-elect.  

National Bar Association Gertrude E. Rush Awards Gala – March 9, 2019
On March 9, 2019, the National Bar Association (NBA) hosted its annual Gertrude E. Rush Awards Gala in conjunction with the 39th Annual NBA Mid-Year Conference in Dallas, TX.

Chief Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson was amongst the recipients honored with the Gertrude E. Rush award.

The Gertrude E. Rush award honors trailblazers who demonstrate a concern for human and civil rights and champion leadership in legal education, public policy and social activism.

Photo ID (L to R): Hon. Rachael D. Johnson, Orleans Parish Civil District Court; Chief Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson, Louisiana Supreme Court; and Joseph M. Drayton, Cooley LLP, 2018-2019 National Bar Association President.

BRBA Installation Ceremony and Reception – January 9, 2019
On January 9, 2019, the Baton Rouge Bar Association hosted its annual Installation Ceremony and Reception at 3:00 p.m. at the Russell B. Long Federal Building.  2019 Officers: Amy C. Lambert, President; Shelton D. Blunt, President Elect; Christopher K. Jones, Treasurer, and David A. Thomas, Secretary.

TOP Photo ID (L to R): Hon. Brian A. Jackson, U.S. District Court, Middle District of Louisiana; Hon. Rachelle “Shelly” D. Dick, Chief Judge, U.S. District Court, Middle District of Louisiana; Amy C. Lambert, Taylor, Porter, Brooks & Phillips, LLP, BRBA President 2018-19, Hon. Erin J. Wilder-Doomes, Chief Magistrate Judge, U.S. District Court, Middle District of Louisiana. 

BOTTOM Photo ID: Amy C. Lambert, Taylor, Porter, Brooks & Phillips, LLP, 2018-19 BRBA President. 

ABA Fact Check
An on-line resource which uses case law, statutory law, and other legal resources to help people distinguish between facts and opinions—or pure fiction—when it comes to the law.

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

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