Renegar Installed as 77th President Of The Louisiana State Bar Association

Dona Kay Renegar, Lafayette, 2017-18 Louisiana State Bar Association President

NEW ORLEANS—Dona Kay Renegar, a member in the Lafayette law firm of Veazey, Felder & Renegar, L.L.C., was installed Thursday, June 8 as the 77th president of the Louisiana State Bar Association (LSBA) during the LSBA’s Annual Meeting in Destin, FL. Administering her oath of office was Louisiana Supreme Court Justice John L. Weimer.

         Renegar has served the LSBA in many different roles since she was admitted to the practice of law in 1992. She also has been at the forefront in the search for solutions to various challenges facing the legal profession in Louisiana, reps said.

         But she credits her service in the House of Delegates, the LSBA’s policymaking branch, as her true introduction to state Bar service. “That time was invaluable,” she said. “I was introduced to Bar leaders from around the state and I learned about the sometimes diverging needs of LSBA members based upon the particular jurisdictions they represent. Diverse perspectives are crucial to identifying and solving critical issues facing Bar members today.”

         For her year in office, Renegar said her first goal is for the Bar to be of service to all of the LSBA’s 22,000+ members. “This covers a lot of ground, including assisting our members in their practices with technological advances; establishing more diversity in Bar leadership; and supporting young lawyers, solo practitioners and small firms,” she said.

         Her second goal harkens back to her law school days where her passion for helping those less fortunate took root. She wants to support and increase access to justice for the state’s citizens, both in the civil and criminal systems.

         “Access to justice has always been near and dear to me,” Renegar said. “I started my career working in the trenches of the Legal Service Corporation. The ability of our Bar to ensure not only criminal access to courts but also representation for our civil litigants is essential to our adversarial system. The LSBA has made a commitment to our citizens to ensure competent access to justice by increasing funding allocations for self-help products like kiosks, phone banks, help desks, self-represented litigant kits and legal services organizations.”

         “The LSBA’s Legal Education & Assistance Program (LEAP) provides legal resources and information to the public and connects people with attorneys in their areas through Lawyers in Libraries events,” she said.

         Renegar said is prepared and ready for the year ahead. “The practice of law is the last profession that society has allowed to regulate itself,” she said. “We are responsible for setting the qualifications of our members for admission to practice, their educational obligations to maintain that license, and administer discipline when their practice falls below the standards we have set. Louisiana citizens have placed this trust in us, and our duty is to protect and serve them and our members.”

         Renegar is a member in the firm of Veazey, Felder & Renegar, L.L.C., in Lafayette. She received two bachelor of arts degrees in English and French, magna cum laude, in 1988, both from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. She was named the Fall 1988 Outstanding Graduate at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. She received her Juris Doctor degree, cum laude, in 1992 from Tulane University Law School. She was admitted to practice in Louisiana in 1992.

         She served as 2016-17 LSBA president-elect. She also served a three-year term as the Third District representative on the Board of Governors and as a member in the House of Delegates (15th Judicial District).

         She was a member of the LSBA’s Client Assistance Fund Committee, a member of the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization and a member of the Committee to Review Proposed Changes to the Louisiana Bar Exam I and II. She has held several leadership positions in the LSBA’s Young Lawyers Division (YLD), including chair, chair-elect, secretary and District 3 Council representative. She also co-chaired the Leadership LSBA 2008-09 Class.

         Renegar received the YLD’s Outstanding Young Lawyer Award in 1999, the LSBA’s President’s Award in 2009, the LSBA’s Pro Bono Century Award in 2014 and the LSBA’s Stephen T. Victory Memorial Award in 2014 for co-authoring the Louisiana Bar Journal article on the Bar Exam changes.

         She was a member of the Lafayette Bar Association’s board of directors and served for several years on the Louisiana Bar Foundation’s Grants Committee. She is a past president of the John M. Duhe, Jr. American Inn of Court.

         In her community, Renegar is an instructor of the “Parents and the Law” course and is an avid sports fan of the University of Louisiana-Lafayette.

         The Louisiana State Bar Association assists its more than 22,000 members in the practice of law. The statewide association, as part of its multi-faceted mission, promotes and maintains access to justice initiatives for the state’s residents, assists the Louisiana Supreme Court in its regulation of the practice of law, upholds the honor of the courts and the profession, and supports programs that increase public understanding of and respect for the law.

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