Black lawyers in the Louisiana State Bar Association are struggling to keep up with a steady influx of black clients.
The number of attorneys seeking representation has increased over the last decade, from 8,000 in 2010 to 23,000 today.
Now, more than 60 percent of the attorneys in the State Bar are black, a number that has increased dramatically in recent years.
But that’s not stopping the State Attorney General from putting up barriers and fees in his effort to stymie those attorneys from representing themselves.
The State Attorney’s Office has launched an aggressive campaign to discourage lawyers from representing clients who are not themselves black.
State Attorney General Jeff Landry told the Associated Press on Tuesday that “Black attorneys are being held back from the bar because of their race.”
Landry said his office has taken steps to reduce barriers for attorneys who want to represent themselves.
Landry said he’s now working with other law enforcement agencies and is encouraging attorneys to be more transparent about their backgrounds.
Landrieu has also launched an effort to ensure the number of black attorneys filing cases with the State Board of Bar Examiners is not underrepresented.
Landry, a Democrat, has long been criticized for having an anti-black bias.
The attorney general has said he would not be surprised if some of his cases were turned down for lack of merit.
Landrieu, who is also a Democrat who has a reputation as being pro-gun, told the AP that the state has “the highest incarceration rate in the nation” and that he wants to make sure African-American attorneys don’t suffer the same fate.