• President's Message by Janet Hong
  • A Night to Remember: Photos from the WLALA Holiday Party
  • WLALA Swearing-In Ceremony for New Admittees to the State Bar of California by the Hon. Judge Michelle Court
  • Support WLALA Foundation's Annual Charitable Campaign -- One Month Left to Reach Our Goal! 
  • Now Available! Limited Edition WLALA Sweatshirt to Benefit WLALA Foundation Annual Charitable Campaign
  • WLALA Needs YOU to be a Mentor to a Law Student
  • WLALA Foundation ICLC Fellowship Applications are now open
  • WLALA Foundation is now accepting Fran Kandel Public Interest Fellowship Applications
  • Post-Roe Resources
  • WLALA Congratulates Board of Governors Member Hon. Cathy Ostiller on Her Appointment to the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles
  • WLALA Foundation Board Member Ji-In Lee Houck Moderates Panel on Leave of Absence Compliance at the 2023 New Employment Practitioner Conference, Jan. 19 - 20, 2023, Presented by the California Lawyers Association
  • Welcome New Members!
  • Support the Harriett Buhai Center’s Mission in Helping Vulnerable Women
  • Volunteer Mock Trial Judges Needed for UCLASSIC, January 14 - 15, 2023
  • Save the Date: Mexican American Bar Association's 63rd Annual Installation of Officers & Awards Gala, March 11, 2023
  • Save the Date: Roadways to the Bench: Who Me? A Bankruptcy or Magistrate Judge? April 3, 2023
  • Reserve Your Spot Today: Mexican American Bar Association Trip to Cuba, May 24 - 31, 2023

Greetings all and Happy New Year! I hope everyone was able to connect with their loved ones over the holidays. There was no shortage of good eats and naps on my end. I travelled to the Bay area for Christmas . . .on Southwest Airlines. After two cancelled flights and a seven- hour wait, I caught a flight back to LAX on standby. I met a woman whose flights were cancelled four times over 24 hours gate-hopping for any flight to anywhere in SoCal. We both made it.   

Luckily, I didn’t encounter similar problems when I travelled to Washington D.C. on December 16, 2022, for the National Summit on the Criminalization of Reproductive Healthcare: Developing Defenses After Dobbs, held at George Washington Law School. 

There were phenomenal and inspiring speakers including attorneys and physicians who’ve been fighting for reproductive rights for years. They noted the atrophy of abortion rights that began long before Dobbs, and highlighted some significant facts:

  • Seventy-five percent of those who need abortions live at or below the poverty line, are predominately women of color, and disproportionately prosecuted for accessing services.
  • That although some employers have been working on “reimbursement” for travel costs this does not help people with limited means.
  • Half of medical students are in “ban states” and are not offered full training in women’s health.
  • Texas bounty hunter statutes provide incentives for a neighbor to report those suspected of seeking abortion access.
  • The chilling effect on the practice of medicine since physicians do not know what they can or cannot do. One OBGYN stated, “the second you write a law on medicine, it’s outdated.” This same OBGYN has bail money saved up and a plan for her family in case of arrest.

One particularly chilling point addressed disenfranchisement. One in four women have an abortion. If a state makes abortion a felony and convicted felons cannot vote, then one in four women would lose their right to vote.

I have the utmost respect for those on the frontlines in the fight to protect women’s reproductive healthcare. As lawyers, we have the power and privilege to protect women’s rights, and all human rights. This year, I’ve asked myself and would challenge you to identify a specific action you can take to leverage your power and knowledge to push for freedom to access reproductive services in the face of immense restrictions. We are in this fight together for the long haul. 

A Night to Remember:

Photos from the WLALA Holiday Party

A memorable moment from a night to remember (from left to right): Angela Zanin, BWL President Jasmine Horton, BWL President-Elect Ronni Whitehead Otieno, President Janet Hong, LLBA President Cinthia N. Flores, and LLBA Treasurer Cynthia Grande.

Pausing a moment for their close-up (from left to right): Board of Governors Member and Equity, Belonging and Anti-Racism Representative Ariella Thal Simonds, Eda Harotounian, Board of Governors Member Hon. Cathy Ostiller, Former WLALA President Amy Brantly, and WLALA Foundation President Jennifer Leland.

Gathering of WLALA leaders (from left to right), former President and Access to Justice Representative Jessica Kronstadt, Immediate Past President Mary McKelvey, and Racial Justice and Equality Advisory Council Member Charlene Usher.

WLALA Executive Committee celebrates after a successful and sold out event (clockwise from left to right): President Elect Jeannine Taylor, WLALA Foundation President Jennifer Leland, President Janet Hong, First Vice President Noelle Natoli, Second Vice President Farah Tabibkhoei, and Communications Officer Brigit Greeson Alvarez.


Support WLALA Foundation's Annual Charitable Campaign -- One Month Left to Reach Our Goal! 

WLALA Foundation's Annual Charitable Campaign concludes on January 31. Thank you to all of our contributors! As of today, we have reached 55% of our goal. Help us reach our goal and make a difference by supporting the WLALA Foundation by making your contribution now. All donations directly fund WLALA's programs and projects including:

  • Scholarships;
  • Fellowships;
  • Power Lunch Mentorship; and
  • Community Partnerships.

WE NEED YOUR HELP to finish the campaign strong. Donate Today.

Remember your donation supports the professional development of attorneys interested in pursuing careers in public interest law.

Drew Wilds, a 2022 Fran Kandel Fellow, shared with us the difference you make through donations to the WLALA Foundation Charitable Fund. Her fellowship project impacted veterans and their families, and she gained a female mentor in the process. Listen to Drew explain the impact of your donation in her own words here.


Now Available! Limited Edition WLALA Sweatshirt to Benefit WLALA Foundation

Annual Charitable Campaign

Donate $100 to the WLALA Foundation Charitable Campaign and receive this luxurious and limited edition sweatshirt free! All proceeds go to our scholarships, fellowships and non-profit community partners.


WLALA Needs YOU to be a Mentor

WLALA needs attorney mentor volunteers like YOU since our increased presence in the legal community has led to increased participation among local law schools. WLALA's Law Student Mentoring Program pairs law student members with lawyer members to encourage and facilitate the development of women law students. Mentors and mentees are matched based on interests and background where possible. The program is flexible; mentors and mentees choose when and how to stay connected with one another, whether through e-mail, telephone, in-person meet ups, or a combination. Many participants find that the one-on-one mentoring relationship becomes a long-term friendship.


The WLALA Foundation Fran Kandel Public Interest Fellowship enables law students to work with an organization or individually to develop and implement a project in the field of public interest law in the spirit of Fran Kandel. The WLALA Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization created to increase the utility of the law as an instrument of social justice. Since 1985, the WLALA Foundation has awarded over 30 law student grants totaling over $137,000.

The WLALA Kandel Fellowship is designed to fund social justice-oriented projects with a tangible outcome. Strong preference is given to applicants who have the support of a sponsoring organization and who have arranged for an organization or suitable individual to supervise their project. Each Kandel Fellow may receive up to $6,000. This amount is intended to cover project expenses and provide a stipend.

The purpose of the WLALA Kandel Fellowship is to:

Provide help to the disadvantaged by funding original projects that will directly benefit the under-represented in the greater Los Angeles area; Educate and expose law students to legal concerns affecting the disadvantaged; and,

Encourage the legal community’s involvement in public interest law by funding students who show the capability of and commitment to assisting those in need.

Applications are due on April 14, 2023 by 5:00 p.m.


WLALA maintains a page of resources for our post-Roe world, including ways to donate, take action, and learn. WLALA is a member of the new Southern California Legal Alliance for Reproductive Justice (SoCal LARJ). So Cal LARJ is actively recruiting law firms who are willing to do pro bono work. If your firm interested in joining LARJ, please contact Lara Stemple at stemple@law.ucla.edu.

WLALA Congratulates Board of Governors Member Hon. Cathy Ostiller on Her Appointment to the Superior Court of California,

County of Los Angeles

Judge Cathy Ostiller at her swearing-in ceremony before assuming the bench at Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles.

WLALA Foundation Board Member

Ji-In Lee Houck Moderates Panel

on Leave of Absence Compliance at the 2023 New Employment Practitioner Conference

Welcome to Our New Members

Ugochi Anaebere-Nicholson

Desiree DeSurra

Stephanie Gross

Erin Haggerty

Chloe Lustig

Kayla Nguyen

Celia Shan

Ashley Simonsen

Sareneh Zadori

Local Bar Calendar
View Local Bar Calendar Here

Dear WLALA Member,


We hope you will support the Harriett Buhai Center’s mission in helping vulnerable women like Valerie.*


Physical and emotional abuse plagued Valerie's life. Strangulation, battery, and assault with a deadly weapon the terror she felt was not only for herself but for her vulnerable children. With the support of WLALA members like you, Valerie could get the protection she and her children needed. We implore you to read Valerie's full story to better understand the impact your generosity can have on the lives of vulnerable individuals and their children. Click here to read Valerie’s full story.


This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Harriett Buhai Center. For first-time donations and donations increased in size, another generous donor will match it.


Help us stay strong for another 40 years! Donate today at hbcfl.org.



UCLA’s Undergraduate Mock Trial Program seeks volunteer judges, attorneys, or law students to serve as Presiding Judges or Scoring Judges for the only two Los Angeles area collegiate mock trial tournaments of 2023. Both tournaments will be in person:


The 2023 UCLASSIC Mock Trial Invitational Tournament on January 14 -15, 2023


The 2023 Opening Round of the National Championship on March 11-12, 2023


Please read the information below and sign-up to volunteer one of two ways:


  1. Register as a volunteer judge at the following link: 

                      Mock Trial Volunteer Judge Registration Link


  1. Contact Tournament Director Mayank Killedar at uclainvite@gmail.com.


General Mock Trial Program Information


The UCLA Mock Trial Teams participate in the American Collegiate Mock Trial Association program. Over 700 teams from colleges around the nation compete by presenting the Plaintiff or Defense side of a civil or criminal case including Opening Statements, witness Direct & Cross Examinations and Closing Arguments. Students must follow the rules of evidence of the “State of Midlands” (an imaginary state that follows the Federal Rules of Evidence). Many California universities field teams at these tournaments, including UCLA, USC, Cal, Stanford, UCI, USCD, UCSB, Cal-Poly and the Claremont colleges. We will also have teams from around the United States.

2023 UCLA Tournaments Information

28 teams will compete at the January UCLASSIC Tournament in January and 24 teams who won their Regional Championship will compete at the March tournament. The students will present the Plaintiff or Defense side in the civil case of Ari Felder v. ​Koller Campbell Air, LLC. (a civil case of piloting negligence resulting in a plane crash and the death of a lawyer).


We seek attorneys, judges, and law students to volunteer as presiding and/or scoring judges at the trials. We try to accommodate your preference for serving as Presiding Judge (ruling on evidence & exhibits) or Scoring Judge. You may volunteer for more than one trial. Please share this flier with other members of your firm or organization.


Volunteer Information

We strictly time the trials and trials will typically last 2.5 hours. We will provide volunteers with a link with case materials ahead of the trials. However, you need not prepare or read any documents in advance of the trials. One presiding judge (ideally should be an attorney or judge) will preside over each trial (as the bench officer overseeing the trial and making evidentiary rulings). Scoring judges evaluate and score the participants. The winning team is based on total points received from scores awarded for Openings, Closings, Examinations, and Witness Performances. We will outline these procedures at an online training session on the evening of Thursday, January 12th. There is no Pre-Trial hearing as in high school competitions.


If you volunteer, we will send you a confirmation and detailed tournament information about 2-3 weeks prior to the tournament. If you can serve as a volunteer for one or more sessions or rounds, please go to the registration link at Mock Trial Volunteer Judge Registration Link or contact Tournament Director Mayank Killedar at uclainvite@gmail.com. We appreciate your support!


We Need YOU!

For Committees, Sections and Liaisons

Did you know that WLALA is run almost entirely by volunteers? If you're interested in participating in WLALA Committees, Sections or acting as a Liaison, visit our website to find out more and sign up now!

Sign Up Here
Career Center
Did you know that your WLALA membership allows you to access our exclusive Career Center? The Career Center has employment opportunities ranging from non-profit organizations to government employers to law firms.
Visit WLALA'S Career Center
WLALA Webinar Recordings
WLALA webinars have been recorded and are available for purchase. Following your purchase, access to the recording will be sent via email. If MCLE credit applies, the materials will be sent after we receive confirmation that the video has been viewed.
View WLALA Webinar Recordings

The Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles ("WLALA") promotes the full participation in the legal profession of women lawyers and judges from diverse perspectives and racial and ethnic backgrounds, maintains the integrity of our legal system by advocating principles of fairness and equality, and improves the status of women by supporting their exercise of equal rights, equal representation, and reproductive choice.

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