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

Shadowing Opportunities Sought for 2018 "Suit Up for the Future" Program
Each year the LSBA, in partnership with the Louisiana Bar Foundation and Just the Beginning, 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 2018 program runs from June 11 – June 29, 2018.

Shadowing opportunities! During the second week of the Suit Up program, June 18 – 22, 2018, 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 email diversity@lsba.org.


Nominations Accepted Through June 30 for Citizen Lawyer Award
Nominations are now being accepted for the Citizen Lawyer Award through June 30. The Citizen Lawyer Award recognizes individual attorneys who have performed public services out of a sense of duty responsibility and professionalism. For more information about the award or to submit a nomination click here


Upcoming Law Day Events!
Every year Law Day is celebrated on May 1. Please see below for a selection of Law Day events hosted by local Bar Associations.

  • April 25, 2018  – Lafayette Bar Association Law Day: A Day in the Life of a Lafayette Lawyer, Lafayette Bar Association, 2607 Johnson Street, Lafayette, LA. The event will take place from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Register for the event here
  • May 1, 2018 – Law Day, Raising Cane’s River Center Theater, Baton Rouge City Court, Baton Rouge, LA. The event will take place from 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. For more information or to volunteer click here
  • May 2, 2018 – Shreveport Bar Association Law Day Luncheon, Petroleum Club, 416 Travis St., Shreveport, LA. The event will take place from 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Click here for more information. 
  • May 4, 2018 – Southwest Louisiana Bar Association Law Day Ceremony, Courtroom A, Calcasieu Parish Courthouse, 1000 Ryan Street, Lake Charles, LA. The event will take place at 10:00 a.m.


NOBA Lunch with Legends – February 21, 2018
On February 21, 2018, the New Orleans Bar Association hosted “Lunch with Legends” at 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel. The session featured a panelist of civil rights descendants. Phoebe Ferguson, Keith Plessy, and A.P. Tureaud, Jr. discussed Civil Rights History in New Orleans 125 years after the Plessy decision. Kim M. Boyle, Phelps Dunbar LLP served as moderator.


Photo ID (L to R): Hon. Tiffany G. Chase, Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal; Hon. Regina Bartholomew-Woods, Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal; Hon. Nakisha Ervin-Knott, Orleans Parish Civil District Court; Hon. Rachael D. Johnson, Orleans Parish Civil District Court; Hon. Robin D. Pittman, Orleans Parish Criminal Court.


Specialty Bars Subcommittee Meeting with LSBA President – January 20, 2018
On January 20, 2018, the Specialty Bars subcommittee met with LSBA President, Dona Kay Renegar at Galatoire’s Bistro. The meeting served as a platform for Specialty Bars to discuss upcoming events and review how the LSBA can continue to support Specialty Bar initiatives.

Photo ID (L to R) Chancellor John K. Pierre, Southern University Law School; April D. Davenport, Attorney at Law, Vice-President of External Communications, Louis A. Martinet Legal Society, Greater New Orleans Chapter; Demarcus K. Gordon, Kelly Hart & Pitre, Chair, Minority Involvement Section; Ezra Pettis, Jr., Delphin Law Offices, Louis A. Martinet Legal Society, Lake Charles Chapter; Christine A. Corcos, Richard C. Cadwallader Associate Professor of Law, Chair, Diversity and Professionalism Faculty Committee, LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center; Dona Kay Renegar, Veazey Felder & Renegar, 2017-18 President, Louisiana State Bar Association.


2018 Espirit de Femme Sunrise Celebration – March 16, 2018
On March 16, 2018, the LSU Women’s Center held its annual Espirit de Femme Awards Sunrise Celebration at 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. at L'Auberge Hotel & Casino, Baton Rouge, LA.

The Espirit de Femme award honors individuals who advocate for the representation of women in Louisiana and take direct action in uplifting and enriching lives. Among this year’s recipients was Micah J. Fincher, Jones Walker LLP.


Jefferson Bar Association CLE by the Sea – April 11-14, 2018
On April 11-14, 2018, the Jefferson Bar Association hosted its Annual CLE by the Sea at Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. The CLE included 12.5 hours of CLE credit and featured a Young Lawyer Cocktail Party, evening networking events, and a golf tournament. 


2018 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 featured moderator Courtney Joiner and panelists Michelle C. Ifill and Bruce Jackson. 

Photo ID (L to R) Bruce Jackson (Microsoft); Michelle C. Ifill (Verizon Corporate Services Group, Inc.); and Courtney Joiner (Hammonds, Sills, Adkins & Guice, LLP). 

2018 Diversity Conclave Highlight -- Breakout Sessions
Breakout Session One, “Workplace Analytics,” Workplace Analytics Breakout Session - Employers hold a wealth of data about their employees and workforce practices that, when leveraged properly, can inform business decisions, streamline operations, and even limit potential liability. From predicting attrition rates and identifying talent, to assessing employee engagement and focusing training and development efforts, workplace analytics is impacting the workplace. But are there any legal considerations an employer must evaluate before it launches a workplace analytics program? This innovative session helped attendees identify the data organizations hold that can help drive business operations, review best practice tips for building an analytics platform, and examine the myriad legal implications of using analytics to manage the workplace.

Panelist (TOP photo) Eric J. Felsberg (Jackson Lewis P.C.).

Breakout Session Two, "Work Place Diversity Geared Toward Women (Particularly Women Of Color) in the Legal Profession," Labor and Employment Breakout Session - This session provided practical skills for survivng and thriving in the legal profession from a minority point of view. Additional areas covered included the different perspectives women bring to the practice of law, and the inability of firms and the profession in general to retain minorities.

Panelists (BOTTOM photo - L to R) Rahwa H. Ghebre-Ab (LionsGate) and Theodora R. Lee (Littler Mendelson, P.C.).


2018 Diversity Conclave Highlight -- Interactive Workshop
Interactive workshop - "Authentic Leadership – Unlocking the Power of Differences in Organizations," presented by Ritu Bhasin. The goal of this session was to help participants uncover the profound connection between legal leadership, authenticity, and inclusion. Ms. Bhasin’s presentation provided practical strategies for being more authentic and inclusive as a lawyer—including leveraging The Three Selves—an innovative concept for being more authentic and adaptive.

Photo ID (L to R) Troy N. Bell (Courington, Kiefer & Sommers, L.L.C); Deidre D. Robert (LA Department of Justice); Interactive Workshop Speaker, Ritu Bhasin (Bhasin Consulting, Inc.); Denia S. Aiyegbusi (Deutsch Kerrigan LLP); and LSBA President 2017-18, Dona Kay Renegar (Veazey Felder & Renegar LLC).

2018 Diversity Conclave Highlight -- Awards Luncheon
I.J. Clark-Sam (Attorney at Law) received the Committee on Diversity in the Legal Profession Award from Conclave Subcommittee Chair, Troy N. Bell (Courington, Kiefer & Sommers, L.L.C). Sponsors were also recognized at the annual Awards Luncheon. Keynote Speaker, Paulette Brown (Locke Lord LLP), addressed the need for organizations to have diverse and inclusive environments at all times.

Photo ID (TOP Left Photo) I.J. Clark-Sam (Attorney at Law).

Photo ID (BOTTOM Left Photo - L to R) Chief Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson (Louisiana Supreme Court); Keynote speaker, Paulette Brown (Locke Lord LLP). And 2017-18 LSBA President, Dona Kay Renegar, (Veazey Felder & Renegar LLC).

Photo ID (Right Photo - L to R) Micah J. Fincher (Jones Walker LLP) accepts the Platinum Plus Sponsor recognition award from Conclave Chair, Troy N. Bell (Courington, Kiefer & Sommers, L.L.C).

2018 Diversity Conclave Highlight -- Plenary Sessions
Plenary Session One, "ABA Resolution 113 - Model Diversity Survey - Wins, Challenges & the Way Forward” Best Practices Session - This session discussed American Bar Association Resolution 113, created by the ABA’s Diversity & Inclusion 360 Commission that, in 2016, urged providers of legal services to expand and create opportunities at all levels of responsibility for diverse attorneys. The resolution further urged corporate clients to support this endeavor by directing a greater percentage of the legal services they purchase to diverse attorneys. The 360 Commission also developed the ABA Model Diversity Survey, a template diversity survey that could be used by corporate clients and purchasers of legal services to question their law firms and prospective law firms on the make-up of the firm at all levels. The model survey also asks firms questions about recruitment, attrition, leadership, compensation, and other topics to help ensure that law firms become or maintain a diverse workforce. The idea of the resolution and model survey was provided ideas to create and expand opportunities for diverse attorneys inside and outside your organizations.

The general counsel of over 75 corporations have pledged support to Resolution 113 and agreed to send the ABA Model Survey to their primary law firms and new firms seeking business. The panelists discussed this important initiative as it enters its second full year of implementation - and examined what lessons have been learned and how they have been addressed - what does the future look as more corporations support the resolution and as more law firms participate.

Panelists for the Best Practices plenary session (TOP Photo - L to R) Gretchen Bellamy (Bellamy Management Consulting, LLC) and Alan Bryan (WalMart, Inc.).


Plenary Session Two, “It Takes All Types: A discussion of different ways to stay community-focused while practicing law" Social Responsibility Session- For years, lawyers have played a vital role in promoting the public interest. We represent persons without the means or ability to fight for themselves. We support underserved communities. We advocate for causes often overlooked by others. And we do this from a variety of platforms. Some of us have gravitated to public service or government organizations, where we promote the public interest 24/7/365. Some of us have crafted private practices that focus on public causes. Some of us dedicate significant time to pro bono work within the structure of our law firms. Whatever the platform, the goal is the same: We want to do our part to help tackle the problems and inequities facing our nation.

This panel explored the different ways lawyers could engage in public interest work, and the multitude of benefits – to communities, firms/agencies, and lawyers– of doing so. Panelists also explored the practical, economic, and ethical considerations of public interest work.

Social Responsibility Session panelists (BOTTOM Photo - L to R) James B. Letten (Butler Snow LLP); Joey Jackson (Attorney at Law); and Jonathan S. Aronie (Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP).


LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center Distinguished Alumni Celebration – March 2, 2018
On March 2, 2018, LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center held its annual Distinguished Alumni Celebration at 6:15 p.m. at Loews New Orleans Hotel.  Dean Thomas C. Galligan, Jr. introduced honorees.

The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes graduates who have excelled in their careers and gone above and beyond to service and support the LSU Law Community.   

Photo ID (L to R) Harry J. Philips, Jr., Taylor, Porter, Brooks, & Phillips LLP; Thomas M. Hayes III, Hayes, Harkey, Smith & Cascio, LLP; Chief Justice Bernette J. Johnson, Louisiana Supreme Court; Dean Thomas C. Galligan, Jr., LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center; Hon. John W. deGravelles, U.S. District Court, Middle District of Louisiana; Jane P. Brandt, Thompkson & Knight, LLP; and James A. Brown, Liskow & Lewis. 

Photo Cred: Jose Garcia


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.

Upcoming Local and Specialty Bar Events - 2017-18
Here is a list of upcoming local and specialty bar events for the 2017-2018 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.


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