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Roadways to the Bench Program

Release Date: 
Monday, April 10, 2023

On April 3, 2023, the U.S. District Court and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court co-hosted an AO-sponsored diversity initiative entitled “Roadways to the Bench: Who Me?  A Bankruptcy or Magistrate Judge?” A total of 37 cities simultaneously hosted the event, which was designed to provide information in an effort to attract a diverse pool of applicants to the federal bench.  The well-attended event featured (i) a keynote panel on diversity which was broadcast from Washington, D.C.; (ii) roundtable discussions where law school students and attorneys from across Louisiana and Mississippi spoke in small groups with federal circuit, district, bankruptcy, and magistrate judges from across the Fifth Circuit to gain insights into the judges’ own pathways to and experiences on the bench; and (iii) a closing networking reception sponsored by the New Orleans Chapter of the Federal Bar Association.  
Local organizers for the event were Co-Chairs Chief Judge Meredith Grabill (U.S. Bankruptcy Court, EDLA), Magistrate Judge Janis van Meerveld (U.S. District Court, EDLA), Judge Steven Wheelis (U.S. Bankruptcy Court, WDLA), and Chief Judge Katharine Samson (U.S. Bankruptcy Court, SDMS).   Attorney Co-Chairs were Kristi Johnson of the law firm of Jones Walker, Micah Zeno of the law firm of Gordon Arata Montgomery Barnett, and Carey Menasco of  the law firm of Liskow Lewis.  
To view photos of the event, please select this link.