Sponsored: Inside The Louisiana Bar Association

With more than 22,000 lawyers across the state as members, the Louisiana Bar Association represents the full breadth of the political spectrum and covers a myriad of interests.

“Unlike a typical trade association, the Louisiana Bar Association has a lot of people with a lot of different views,” said Larry Murray, senior director of legislative and regulatory affairs at The Picard Group.

Murray, also a lawyer, has been representing the LBA organization for 14 years, balancing the overall interests of the professional organization as he combs through hundreds of bills each year.

“It’s interesting every year as we go through legislation where many lawyers want to be involved. We have a 25-member legislative committee and there are usually several hundred bills we look at,” Murray said. “After reviewing the bills, we take positions on 10 to 20 of those bills that represent our most important core tenets.”

Those tenets include: administration of justice, due process and overall improvement of the legal system.

“We have a fairly lengthy and specific list of considerations we overlay on each bill to see if it’s something we should be involved in,” said Murray. “It’s a deliberate, multi-level process.”

The bill review process includes a committee meeting to review several hundred bills before a second meeting, which is open to the public allowing those with a vested interest to present a stance for the board to consider.

“With so many members, there are very few bills that include something that someone doesn’t care about,” Murray said. “However, we don’t get involved in things that are unduly divisive.”

Because of the diversity of the group, the legislature considers a stance from the bar on a bill as being a measured one, which is unique among most professional or trade groups.

“We have a fairly objective view, more so than others, and we are careful about attaching our name to legislation. We bring an objective view,” Murray said. “We choose our positions in a deliberate way and play an advocacy role carefully.”

In addition to the large number of interests represented, LBA is unique in its yearly change in leadership.

“What’s interesting for me is that each year we are working with a different leadership team and the composition of our legislative committee changes every year,” Murray said.

Amidst the ever-changing environment, continuity rests in continuing to address the issues that matter most to LBA and the state of Louisiana.

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