WLALA's Executive Committee with Supervisor Holly Mitchell (from left to right): Jeannine Taylor, Noelle Natoli, Mary McKelvey, Supervisor Holly Mitchell, Janet Hong, Jennie Wang VonCannon and Farah Tabibkhoei
The Dawning of a Dark Era
by Mary McKelvey
It is hard to grasp the enormity of the Dobbs decision issued just one week ago. I have experienced a variety of emotions in its aftermath including overwhelming sadness, despair, and a sense of real fear for my own safety and that of my daughter and granddaughters, as women’s rights have been dealt a devasting blow. My heart is broken and my mind cannot quite process the fact that the majority of people in this country no longer have a recognized constitutional right to govern our own bodies … and this may be just the beginning of a slide backwards that I previously considered unfathomable.

Forced pregnancy violates enumerated constitutional rights (the Thirteenth Amendment’s protection of bodily autonomy and the Fourteenth amendment’s defense of privacy and freedom) but five unelected justices just eviscerated these fundamental rights by declining to follow decades of precedent and substituting, in its place, their personal, selective and opportunistic interpretations. The clear writing on the wall is that other fundamental civil liberties are at risk of being similarly gutted.
Joint Statement Regarding Dobbs
by Asian Pacific American Women Lawyers Alliance, Beverly Hills Bar Association, Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, California Women Lawyers, Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, Latina Lawyers Bar Association, Marin County Women Lawyers, Mexican American Bar Association, Orange County Women Lawyers Association, Queen’s Bench Bar, Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles
WLALA proudly stands in solidarity with its sister bars and other legal organizations in its heightened commitment to work together to protect the reproductive rights of all. 

“With sorrow—for this Court, but more, for the many millions of American women who have today lost a fundamental constitutional protection—we dissent.”
                                            - Justices Sotomayor, Kagan, Breyer

Abortion care, like all reproductive healthcare, should be legal, safe, and accessible. We cannot know the circumstances each person faces in making medical decisions relating to their pregnancy, but we do know that such decisions are often deeply personal and complex. 

The Dobbs decision, in overruling Roe v. Wade and fifty years of legal precedent, will severely curtail or eliminate in many parts of the United States a person’s freedom to make informed medical decisions about their pregnancy. 

We do not accept this result for our society.

Instead, we envision a society in which personal liberties are protected from unwarranted government interference and we collectively respect each individual’s decision regarding parenthood—regardless of whether the decision results in giving birth, adoption, abortion, or choosing to not have children. 

In solidarity with our sister bar organizations, we reaffirm our commitment to protecting reproductive freedom and personal liberties for everyone.
Full Opinion
Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, No. 19-1392, 597 U.S. --- (Jun. 24, 2022): Holding that abortion is not a protected right under the U.S. Constitution and upholding a Mississippi law banning most abortion operations after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
Map of Abortion Laws by State
Interactive Map: Look up individual states' laws regarding abortion using the Center for Reproductive Rights' no-longer-hypothetical "What if Roe Fell" resource.
Lawyers for Good Government (L4GG)
Lawyers for Good Government (L4GG) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection of human rights and equal justice under the law at all levels of government national, state, and local. L4GG is going to need hundreds of volunteer attorneys across the country to make our new initiatives work (particularly the Reproductive Health Legal Access Project). Please help spread the word to other lawyers and law students who may not already be part of the L4GG community - just tell them we are taking action to support reproductive rights and ask them to text ROE to 404.382.9644.

Webinar Recording: L4GG Emergency CallHow Lawyers and Law Students Can Fight for Abortion Access and Other Civil and Human Rights

L4GG Reproductive Rights Program Page: A recap of L4GG’s new projects with links to important action items.

L4GG Reproductive Health Legal Access Project: Helping patients access medical care after Dobbs by providing guidance to reproductive health care providers.
California Future of Abortion Council
Categorical Checklist: For California leaders and policymakers who seek to take meaningful action to expand and protect access to equitable abortion services and related health care, the checklist highlights the CA FAB Council’s recommendations by action type (i.e., legislative, budget, administrative, research).
Center for Reproductive Rights
Email: To learn more about what lawyers can do to help advance abortion rights.
(Details can be found below)

* Articles with an asterisk are editorial or opinion pieces. The opinions expressed therein are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles or its members.
A global human rights organization of lawyers and advocates who ensure reproductive rights are protected in law as fundamental human rights for the dignity, equality, healthy, and well-being of every person. Founded in 1992, the CRR uses the power of law to advance reproductive rights as fundamental human rights across five continents.
The National Women’s Law Center fights for gender justice—in the courts, in public policy, and in our society—working across the issues that are central to the lives of women and girls. We use the law in all its forms to change culture and drive solutions to the gender inequity that shapes our society and to break down the barriers that harm all of us—especially women of color, LGBTQ people, and low-income women and families.
CCRF is a statewide coalition of more than 40 organizations working to promote reproductive health, rights, and justice for the diverse women, youth, and communities of California. Our member organizations use policy advocacy, community education, organizing, leadership development, and direct services to affect change.
With the call to “Fund Abortion, Build Power!” in mind, we’re building an active grassroots base of people directly affected by barriers to abortion access to inform and implement necessary cultural and political change. Abortion funds are experts in their own communities across widely varying cultural and political geographies, and they hold unique perspectives as frontline responders to people seeking abortion care support.
Paving the Way Forward Together: Post-Dobbs Open Forum Discussion

Presented by WLALA
Please join us for a virtual open forum discussion that allows us to come together to share reactions to the Supreme Court decision that overturned our constitutional right to reproductive freedom and to discuss steps forward. WLALA will continue to offer resources and programming providing information and opportunities for action to support and advocate for women’s right to choose and reproductive freedom for all people. Please continue to watch for additional information. We will pave the way forward together.

Friday, July 1, 2022
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

WLALApalooza Silent Auction Fundraiser

Presented by WLALA Foundation's Financial Development Committee
WLALA and WLALA Foundation's biggest fundraising event of the year is back, and in person! With a silent auction and networking, it will be a fun evening for all!

Perch, Bar Thirteen
July 13, 2022, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Living and Lawyering in a Post-Roe World:
A Discussion of Expected Legal Battles and How Lawyers Can Help

Presented by WLALA's Equity, Belonging, & Anti-Racism Committee
One hour of MCLE credit will be provided.
Throwing Rocks at the Glass Ceiling

Presented by the LACBA-WLALA Joint Task Force
Now in its 16th year, the Joint Task Force has facilitated an ongoing dialogue in Los Angeles about best practices for the retention and promotion of women in the legal profession. In this program, a dynamic group of law firm leaders, representing small, medium and large firms with robust DEI initiatives, will discuss what has worked, what has not worked, and what is on the horizon with respect to cracking that annoyingly persistent glass ceiling.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022
12:00 p.m.

Support Harriet Buhai Center for Family Law 
Each year more than 500 poor women, most of whom are mothers, get legal help from the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law, which was founded by Black Women Lawyers and Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles in 1982 to help women victims of domestic violence who could not afford legal help. The Center has grown, but has never veered from that original mission of providing free legal assistance to poor women, who consistently make up 80 percent of all the people receiving aid. Stories about their lives are found here. The Center is a vital institution in Los Angeles where women facing poverty and abuse, challenges of single parenthood, low-wage jobs, childcare burdens, and more come for comfort, seasoned advice, and tangible legal aid.
We hope you will give today to a local cause that so directly aids poor mothers.
  • $50 contributes to an initial screening for domestic violence.

  • $150 helps provide a mom with her first full legal interview with an attorney.

  • $250 provides offers a mom the legal assistance to prepare her initial request for custody and support.

  • $500 helps provide a mom with the opportunity to complete a family law case and begin a new chapter in her life.
WLALA is proud to feature pro bono opportunities offered through Bet Tzedek's "LA Represents" program involving women of color in the Los Angeles community whose businesses have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and who need legal assistance.

Studies and research have been clear: women entrepreneurs have been disproportionally impacted by COVID, with many having had to sacrifice more time than men to undertake unpaid caregiving responsibilities during the pandemic. This was on top of the fact that women-owned small businesses received less public support than those run by men. With your help, women-owned small businesses can not only survive, but thrive. We encourage you to join Bet Tzedek in its efforts to assist these inspirational small business owners from underserved communities with their transactional legal needs.

In addition to the pro bono opportunities highlighted below, Bet Tzedek is always looking for lawyers who want to help their community and can conduct webinars (most of which are already created), participate in intake clinics, and/or take cases representing women entrepreneurs and small business owners. Topics may include: commercial leases, commercial contracts, entity formation, intellectual property, and employment law.
Current Pro Bono Opportunities
Latina Small Business Owner Seeks Assistance Drafting an NDA and Filing for Trademark Protection
Wife of a Late Small Business Owner Seeks Assistance with Business Dissolution and Corporate Tax Advice
Training Needed on the Topic of Succession Planning for Small Businesses (Small Business Legal Aid Program)
Fourth Graders Visit the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California 

by Gabriella Allaf, WLALA Member and Extern to the Hon. Sandra R. Klein
On Tuesday, June 7, 2022, WLALA member and former WLALA Board Member Bankruptcy Judge Sandra Klein welcomed an excited class of fourth graders from Eagle Rock Elementary School to her courtroom. As soon as the students entered, it was clear that they were ready to put on an amazing mock trial. Minutes after Judge Klein provided a general background of bankruptcy, young hands rose in the air with questions about bankruptcy and how trials typically work. For example, when Judge Klein asked the students why judges wear black robes, one girl astutely answered, “because judges are supposed to be neutral.” The students had obviously done their homework and were ready to begin the mock trial.

Jack, from Jack and the Beanstalk, was on trial for the voluntary manslaughter of the Ogre. Three students represented the state and three represented the defendant, Jack. The young “lawyers” made strong opening statements before beginning to question their witnesses. The Ogre’s mother, Jack, and others took the stand and passionately responded to the questions. For instance, the Ogre’s mother, crying on the stand, gave an outstanding performance as a grieving mother. The fourth graders truly brought their best to the courtroom.

After the witnesses finished testifying and the students gave their compelling closing arguments, the class had the unique opportunity to watch the jury deliberate. One by one, Judge Klein called on each student juror to share their thoughts about why Jack should or should not be convicted. The students provided insightful comments and raised clever arguments ranging from the precedent that would be set if Jack were found not guilty, to the emotional rationalization of a young boy running and defending himself from a huge, scary ogre. Ultimately, the jury hung, with eight students voting to convict and seven students voting to acquit. Following the mock trial, Judge Klein welcomed the students into her chambers, where they marveled at the panoramic views of downtown Los Angeles.

The students’ visit to the bankruptcy court concluded with a lunch presentation given by two Deputy U.S. Marshals. The Deputies explained what they do and what type of training they receive. They brought lots of interesting gear to share with the students, including bullet-proof vests, a helmet, a taser, real handcuffs. When the students’ teacher, Mrs. Gott, was placed “under arrest” and was handcuffed and shackled, the students roared with laughter! Many of the students enjoyed speaking with the Deputies one-on-one and trying on the handcuffs.

What stood out most from this experience was the students’ passion and their ability to clearly articulate their thoughts regarding complex legal issues. At the ages of nine and ten, the students had an opportunity to learn about the law, the justice system, and the importance of a jury trial. During these polarizing times, it is so important for children and adults alike—especially those from diverse communities—to understand civics, the legal profession, and the importance of serving as leaders in their communities and beyond. After meeting the Eagle Rock Elementary School students and observing the mock trial, I am convinced that the future of the legal profession is in capable, enthusiastic, and incredibly intelligent hands.
Editorial: Family Leave Should be Affordable for All Workers, Not Just Those Who Earn the Most

by The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board
The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles or its members.
Congratulations to WLALA Board Member Neelu Khanuja for being named a Super Lawyers 2022 Southern California Rising Star! Click here for the article.
WLALA Past President Jessica Kronstadt and WLALA Board Member Taylor Wagniere were installed as Trustees of the Los Angeles County Bar Association at its annual Installation Dinner on June 23, 2022, where WLALA was proud to sponsor a table.
Congratulations to WLALA Board Member Karen Luong for being part of the trial team named as AmLaw's Litigators of the Week for securing a complete defense verdict after one month of trial!
WLALA Board Member at Large and Lifetime Member Hon. Judith Chirlin (Ret.) was elected to the Board of the Autry Museum of the American West, which houses Native Voices, a non-profit organization that exists to promote Native American playwrights. Judge Chirlin has served as the Chair of the Native Voices Support Committee. Congratulations, Judge Chirlin!
Welcome to Our New Members
Gabriella Allaf
Fernanda Barreto
Kseniya Belysheva
Katie Cantone
Jessica Castro
Kacy Do
Erica Hur
Kaelyn Keller
Hanesther Kim
Christina Lopez
Susan Moon
Rita Panjarjian
Ani Petrosyan
Eric Siddall
Michele Simon
Meeghan Tirtasaputra
Chelsea Trudgeon
Amy Truong
Elizabeth Tran
Drew Wilds
Camila Piedrahita Abello 
Camila Piedrahita Abello is a WLALA success story and an example of how WLALA’s programming and networking opportunities can help launch a young lawyer’s career. She first joined WLALA when she was a summer associate at Robins Kaplan after her first year of law school, where she met WLALA Past President Jennifer Leland. Camila started attending WLALA programs and networking with lawyers, which was invaluable to her because she did not know any lawyers in her immediate circle. In WLALA, she found women who were more than willing to take a junior lawyer under their wing and show her the way, and she discovered several mentors with whom she has strong relationships to this day. In addition, Camila went to law school in the Bay Area, so WLALA’s networking opportunities were key in helping her feel integrated into the Los Angeles legal community. 

After law school, she joined WLALA committees and helped plan events, one of which was a program about how to network. Camila especially appreciated this because she found that many law schools push BigLaw as the primary career path on their students, and WLALA opened her eyes to other types of legal jobs and also how to use one’s law degree while not practicing law. Camila’s presence in WLALA led to Jennifer suggesting that she apply to join the WLALA Foundation Board. Camila now serves as a co-chair of both the Fran Kandel Fellowship and the Beverly Reid O’Connell Scholarship Committees. 

Camila practices corporate law as an associate at Loeb & Loeb, and is proud that WLALA has not shied away from important topics such as supporting the Black Lives Matter movement or taking a stand on the Roe v. Wade conversation. We welcome your voice on these and other important topics, Camila!
CWL's Southern California Judicial Reception
BHBA's Post-Roe LBGTQ Equality: Litigation and Policy Previews
The Beverly Hills Bar Association will host a webinar to address in detail the potential impact of Dobbs on LGBTQ equality cases. Speakers include Paul Smith, the Supreme Court litigator who won the Lawrence case, and Amanda Goad, the Director of LGBTQ, Gender & Reproductive Justice Project at the ACLU Foundation of Southern California. MCLE credit offered.
July 15, 2022
12:30pm to 1:30pm
ABA's Professional Success Summit: Save the Date
Local Bar Calendar
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.
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.
iDepo will make a donation to WLALA if you schedule a court reporting or videotaped deposition with them as follows:

  • $20 donation to WLALA for each court reporting services of at least 100 pages per day.
  • $50 donation to WLALA for each videotaped deposition with at least 100 pages per day.

When scheduling, please email or call and mention code "WLALA." 
Email [email protected] or call 323-393-3768. 

iDepo will send donations to WLALA within 90 days after receipt of payment of invoices.
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.
Add, follow, and tag us!
#WLALA #WLALAFoundation