• President's Message by Jeannine Taylor
  • WLALA Foundation Message by Sarah Quist
  • Text2Give to WLALA Foundation
  • Photos: DWC Gala
  • Photos: WLALA Golf League 2.0
  • Photos: An Evening with the Leadership of the Criminal Division
  • Photos: LLBA Gala
  • Photos: Puppy Yoga
  • Students - UCLA Law Womxn of Color Collective's (WOCC) Public Interest Virtual Panel - November 15, 2023
  • Tickets Available - WLALA Holiday Party and Judicial Reception- December 06, 2023
  • Swearing-In Ceremony - December 7, 2023
  • Volunteers Needed - Help Feed Women in Need for the Holidays at the Downtown Women's Center - December 16, 2023
  • 2024 Judge Beverly Reid O'Connell Scholarship for High School Women - Applications are due April 30, 2024
  • WLALA Board of Governors Member - Stephanie Taft
  • WLALA Foundation of Governors Member - Mirelle Raza
  • The Real Nightmare Before Christmas – Corporate “Transparency” by WLALA Board of Directors Member Kimberly Kamkar and Douglas Schwartz
  • WLALA Board of Governors Member - Hon. Magdalena Reyes Bordeaux
  • Welcome New Members!
  • The Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law - New Leaders Network 
  • Volunteers Needed - Teach Democracy (formerly Constitutional Rights Foundation)
  • Volunteers Needed - 2023 American Moot Court Association Southern California Regional
  • MABA's Joint Holiday Mixer - December 7, 2023
  • Local Bar Calendar
  • WLALA Resources
  • Contribute to the WLALA Newsletter - Deadline is November 29, 2023

National American Heritage Month - celebrates the contributions — cultures, traditions, histories of Native people to the United States

Days to Remember and Recognize -

  • November 1st – Day of the Dead - Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos), combines the ancient Aztec custom of celebrating ancestors with All Souls' Day, a holiday that Spanish invaders brought to Mexico starting in the early 1500s. The holiday, which is celebrated mostly in Mexico on November 1 and 2, is celebrated along the lines of a family reunion—with dead ancestors as the guests of honor. To learn more, visit here or here.

  • November 11th – Veterans Day: Honors all military veterans of the United States Armed Forces. It marks the end of World War I when at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the fighting ended with the signing of an armistice. 

“You must be the change you want to see in the world.” 

-Mahatma Gandhi

To our WLALA membership,

As November unfolds, many of us find ourselves reflecting on gratitude and counting our blessings. Simultaneously, our resiliency and perseverance have been tested by the turmoil in the Middle East, which has taken the lives of entire communities, innocent civilians, and children.  

During this time of immense pain and intense polarization, it is more important than ever for our community to emphasize collaboration over confrontation, and compassion over judgment. We encourage all members of our community to continue to see the humanity in one another, recognize and respect each other’s value and dignity, and treat each other as cherished members of our WLALA community. If you have a moment today, join us in creating the community we are all searching for by reaching out to a loved one you haven’t spoken to in a while, or someone in your life who may be hurt or grieving.

I’d like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to Kim Kamkar for composing the following thoughtful words of comfort and encouragement for all affected by recent deadly conflicts and its unfolding aftermath:

“Many in our WLALA community have been left reeling from the extreme violence and bigotry, and the ghastly and cruel images on television, social media, and the Internet.

WLALA stands shoulder to shoulder with you through the heartache of this conflict, and hand in hand with you, as we cope, heal, and grieve the loss of family, friends, and the thousands of innocent lives whose names we may never know. We offer our collective strength as women to serve as your source of power in these challenging times. We offer our faith in the goodness of people for you to fall back on when all feels lost.

Grief and tragedy are too great a burden to carry alone – we hope that you find strength in our membership and hope that peace can be restored.”

In your service,

Jeannine Taylor

WLALA President

WLALA Stands With You - Many of us have been pained by the atrocities and conflict in the Middle East. WLALA recognizes that this conflict has personal, emotional, and communal repercussions and we want you to know that you are not alone. WLALA stands against hate in any form and will continue to foster an environment that values fairness, equality, and respect.


We encourage you to avail yourself of support and resources for grief counseling, a compilation of which can be found at Grief & Loss Resources - Department of Mental Health. WLALA does not partner directly with any grief or counseling services or support groups, however, many are available without charge such as The Compassionate Friends Non-Profit Organization for Grief, Painted Brain (a mental health services center created by and for POC communities) and many more can be found locally using search engines such as The Dougy Center.


If you have experienced or witnessed any incident of hate, know that you can report it to LA vs. Hate or by calling 211. LA vs. Hate is an invaluable resource that can provide assistance and help in navigating through these difficult times.

WLALA Foundation Message

On her first day in office, Karen Bass – the first woman to serve as mayor of Los Angeles – declared a state of emergency regarding homelessness. The WLALA Foundation has long been committed to supporting organizations dedicated to ending homelessness and supporting Los Angeles’ unhoused population. Join our efforts by volunteering your time and making a donation to the WLALA Foundation Charitable Fund Campaign today.

One organization that the WLALA Foundation supports is the Downtown Women’s Center, the only organization in Los Angeles focused exclusively on serving and empowering women experiencing homelessness and formerly homeless women. In October, the WLALA Foundation sponsored and attended DWC’s “Every Woman Housed” Gala. On December 16, 2023, WLALA volunteers will return to DWC for the first time since the pandemic to cook a meal for women in need. Sign up early as space is limited. For all your gift needs, consider shopping at Made by DWC. Follow @DWCweb for more information on ways to engage with DWC.

Another community partner that the WLALA Foundation supports is the Inner City Law Center, an organization that offers services and programs to move people off the streets and into housing, keeps others from losing their homes in the first place, and advocates for changes to benefit the working poor. Every year, the WLALA Foundation sponsors law students to work with ICLC’s Homeless Veterans Project over the summer, directly addressing issues affecting women veterans. Read about the 2023 WLALA Foundation/ICLC Fellows Kaya Van Dyke and Mia Villegas here. The WLALA Foundation has awarded over a half million dollars to public interest minded law students in the past 26 years, and since 2016, $75,000 has been awarded to 13 law students who worked at ICLC. In addition to supporting law students, watch for upcoming pro bono eviction defense opportunities through ICLC, in conjunction with the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles. Follow @innercitylawcenter for more information on ways to engage with ICLC.

The most essential partner to everything the WLALA Foundation does is YOU. The WLALA Foundation’s Charitable Fund Campaign is in full swing, and we are only a quarter of the way to our goal of raising $40,000 by January. Your meaningful donation today will help the WLALA Foundation continue its involvement with our community partners. Donate here today.

Sarah Quist

WLALA Foundation President

Text2Give for WLALA Foundation

The WLALA Foundation Board is immensely grateful to everyone who contributed and donated through the gala's silent auction or Text2Give program. It is not too late and you can still donate by texting GiveWLALA to 41444.

The WLALA Foundation Charitable Fund Campaign officially runs from October through January. Donations will help fund and support the RBG Equality Scholarships, Inner City Law Center and Fran Kandel Public Interest Summer Fellowships, and our community partners, including the Harriet Buhai Center, Downtown Women’s Center, and the Power Lunch program.

Downtown Women's Center (DWC) Gala

Support MADE by DWC

Looking for the perfect gifts for your friends or dreaming about the holidays already? Please support the Downtown Women’s Center (DWC) by shopping at MADE by DWC. The DWC is the only organization in Los Angeles focused exclusively on serving and empowering women experiencing homelessness and formerly unhoused women. DWC’s mission is to end homelessness for women in greater Los Angeles through housing, wellness, employment and advocacy. In 2011, MADE by DWC was launched offering women the opportunity to earn income while gaining job skills and experience. MADE by DWC provides women with the opportunities to gain experience in production, inventory, retail, and customer service while working in a supportive and empowering environment. Every purchase you make at MADE by DWC empowers women transitioning out of homelessness. You can take a look at the beautiful candles, stationary, gift sets and accessories sold at MADE by DWC at www.madebydwc.org or by visiting the resale boutique located at 325 S. Los Angeles St., Los Angeles, CA 90013. WLALA is proud to support the DWC!

WLALA Golf League 2.0

Evening with the Leadership of the Criminal Division - October 23, 2023

Thank you to all who joined us for an important and informative discussion with the leaders of the Criminal Division of the Los Angeles Superior Court! Hon. Jessica Kronstadt moderated the meaningful discussion with Hon. Ricardo Ocampo, Hon. Yvette Verastegui, Hon. Kevin Rosenberg and Hon. Jana Seng. Thank you to the Co-Chairs of Career Mentoring, Hon. Jessica Kronstadt and Mary McKelvey, and the Co-Chairs of Criminal Law, Vicky Ourfalian and Kelly Larocque, for organizing this event.

Latina Lawyers Bar Association (LLBA) Gala

WLALA was proud to support LLBA President Cinthia Flores, the incoming board and the honorees. Podemos juntas! We can together!

Puppy Yoga

Thank you to Board of Directors Member Kimberly Kamkar for organizing this pawsitively fun event with Laughing Yoga in Santa Monica! Not clear who was more excited about it - the puppies or the WLALA members!

WLALA x UCLA Law Womxn of Color Collective's (WOCC) Public Interest Virtual Panel

November 15, 2023

This event is co-sponsored by Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles and the UCLA Public Interest Law Program. Please distribute widely to all interested students. Thank you to WLALA Student Liaison Malyka Akom for organizaing this event.


WLALA Holiday Party and Judicial Reception

December 06, 2023

We are so excited to celebrate with you on December 6, 2023!

Please purchase your ticket today and feel free to contact us at info@wlala.org regarding sponsorship opportunities.


Swearing-In Ceremony - December 7, 2023


Help Feed Women in Need for the Holidays at the Downtown Women's Center - December 16, 2023

More Scholarship Information

WLALA Board of Governors Member

Stephanie Taft

"I became involved with WLALA because I wanted to have the opportunity to connect with and to learn from women who specialize in practice areas outside of my own. With such a heavy consumer attorney presence in Southern California, I think it’s easy to get adjusted to networking and knowing lawyers that practice exclusively in my field. The fact that WLALA is home to lawyers who practice across a broad array of fields really appealed to me. I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone!"

Stephanie Taft is an associate attorney at Kiesel Law LLP where she handles complex tort litigation on behalf of Plaintiffs, including personal injury and wrongful death claims. In addition to her personal injury work, Stephanie is closely involved in her firm’s mass tort area of practice, including mass actions pending against e-cigarette manufacturer JUUL Labs, Inc. and Ford Motor Company. Stephanie’s settlements and verdicts have been featured as Top Verdicts by the Daily Journal and have landed her spots on the Super Lawyers’ Rising Stars list and Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch list for 2023 and 2024. Stephanie earned her degree from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles and completed her undergraduate education at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

WLALA Foundation Board of Governors Member

Mirelle Raza

"WLALA was an integral part of my law school journey as a student at USC Gould. I am absolutely thrilled to be joining the board and to have the opportunity to contribute to WLALA's mission. As a 1L I was able to join WLALA as a free student member, which allowed me to access to the incredible panels put on throughout the year, meet mentors in my field, attend the WLALA Annual Gala, and partner with the organization to integrate USC's law student community. In 2019 I applied for both the RGB Scholarship and Fran Kandel Fellowship. I was honored to receive the RBG Scholarship, receiving financial aid that was vital in my ability to afford a school like USC as a self-paying student. While I was not chosen as a Fran Kandel Fellow, the application process gave me an opportunity to hone in on my passion of working to prevent child abuse and connect with my local community, creating a project that aimed to disemminate information to monolingual parents of elementry aged children. Despite not becoming a fellow, I followed through with my project, presenting to local schools and developing my materials in nine languages. As a first generation law student, a woman of color, and a public servant, I am tremendously grateful for the multitude of support I have received from WLALA over the years and know my success has only been possible because of the robust community of women lawyers who have championed me along the way, the women I have met in WLALA have become mentors and friends for life. I am honored to be a board member of an organization that encourages new lawyers through financial aid and mentorship, sparks and supports multifaceted passions, and celebrates community - and cannot wait to do my part!"

Mirelle Raza is a Deputy Attorney General for the California Department of Justice’s Special Prosecution Section, where she handles multijurisdictional cases involving human trafficking, white collar fraud, and organized retail theft. Mirelle graduated from Santa Clara University in 2015, with a Bachelor of Science in Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies. She began her career as a Victim Advocate at the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, primarily focusing on child abuse, human trafficking, and sexual assault. In 2018 Mirelle began law school at USC Gould School of Law, where she was heavily involved with the Public Interest Law Foundation and First-Generation Professional Program. She was a clinical student in the International Human Rights Clinic and a research assistant in Professor Thomas Lyon’s Child Interviewing Lab. Her 1L summer was spent clerking in the U.S. DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section in Washington DC, working on cases of sex tourism, child sex trafficking and child pornography. During her 2L summer, she was an Honors Clerk at the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office. As part of the Attorney General’s Honors Program, Mirelle spent 6 months as a deputized District Attorney for Alameda County. Mirelle teaches an undergraduate course, Violence Against Women, as an Adjunct Professor at Santa Clara University. Mirelle article, Dispelling Sex Trafficking Conspiracy Theories: The Truth Behind Who Is Recruited by Traffickers and How, was published in the William & Mary Journal of Race, Gender, and Social Justice in 2023.

Mirelle was WLALA's 2019 RBG Scholarship recipient. Her other accomplishments include USC Gould Public Interest Scholar, Human Trafficking Institute’s Frederick Douglass Fellowship, Fair and Just Prosecution Fellowship, South Asian Bar Association DC Public Interest Fellowship, USC Gould Miller-Johnson Equal Justice Prize, Philippine American Bar Association Scholarship Award, Raissa and Bill Choi Scholarship Award, Vietnamese American Bar Association of Northern California Scholarship Award, and Beverly Hills Bar Association Scholarship Award.

The Real Nightmare Before Christmas – Corporate “Transparency”

By: Kimberly Kamkar and Douglas Schwartz

As we prepare for another spooky night, many of you may have seen stories of an impending horror – the intrusive filing requirements of the Corporate Transparency Act (the CTA). Congress passed the CTA in December 2020 to increase transparency about the ultimate ownership of privately-held businesses, and thereby reduce the role of shell companies in money laundering and other nefarious activities. Companies in the U.S. have never before been subjected to such an invasive look into their management and ownership structure. These reporting requirements begin January 1, 2024 (for companies formed after 2023) and January 1, 2025 (for companies formed before 2024). But we are here to show you that the CTA may not be the big bad “Oogie-Boogie” that everyone dreads.

The Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is responsible for implementing, operating and enforcing the new reporting regime. You can read the final FinCen rules (31 CFR 1010.380) here. FinCen also maintains and updates an FAQ section on its web site, and has published a comprehensive small business guide.

As a threshold matter, only corporations, limited liability companies, or entities that are created by a filing with a Secretary of State or equivalent state agency are required to report to FinCEN. This definition will include corporations, limited liability companies, limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships and the like. 


WLALA Board of Governors M

Hon. Magdalena Reyes Bordeaux

The ABI Southwest Conference took place on August 28-30, 2023, at the Ritz Carlton Bacara in Santa Barbara. The conference was well attended by bankruptcy judges and insolvency professionals with nearly 200 in attendance. Sessions included a judge’s roundtable, which included as one of the panel presenters the Hon. Magdalena Reyes Bordeaux, who presides in the Riverside Division of the United States Bankruptcy Courts for the Central District of California.

Welcome to Our New Members

Hina Adda

Oksana Aldendeshe

Marguerite Alberts

Lubna Alsagga

Baylynne Brunetti

Alyssa Castrillon

Aneliese Castro

Annabel Gholichian

Sonya Goodwin

Mikayla Grande

Ginny Hsiao

Wesley Hsu

Vanessa Hernandez

Melissa Keshishian

Kamila Knaudt

Mary Lagonoy

Pamela Lazo

Natalie Lopez

Emily McCorry

Negin Nadali

Vishakha Nagraj

Noelle Frances Natividad

Chloe Rastegar

Alexis Salzman

Alexandra Smith

Patricia Tangorra

Sallyanne Tejan

Tamar Tellado

Local Bar Calendar
View Local Bar Calendar Here
Join The New Leaders Network

Teach Democracy

(formerly Constitutional Rights Foundation)

46th Annual Los Angeles County Mock Trial Competition

High School and Middle School

The 46th Annual Los Angeles County Mock Trial Competition is fast approaching, and we need your help! Over 2,500 high school and middle school students will gather at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in November, eager to showcase their legal knowledge. However, we are currently facing a shortage of volunteer law students, attorneys and judges. 


Volunteering is both easy and rewarding. Your role involves observing a trial, scoring the students’ presentations, and being amazed by their legal knowledge. You might also have an opportunity to preside over a trial. The time commitment is minimal, taking approximately 2.5 hours of your day.


Volunteers will receive:

Free parking

Light refreshments

Two units of MCLE credit (pending approval)


Here are the key dates:


- Thursday, Nov. 2 - Senior Division Round 1 (190 volunteers still needed)

- Monday, Nov. 6 – Junior Division Round 1 (85 volunteers still needed)

- Wednesday, Nov. 8 – Senior Division Round 2 (205 volunteers still needed)

- Monday, Nov. 13 – Junior Division Round 2 (145 volunteers still needed)

- Wednesday, Nov. 15 – Senior Division Round 3 (120 volunteers still needed)


Your participation is crucial to the success of this event. Please register as a volunteer today by clicking the button below and don't forget to share with your colleagues, bar associations and law school networks!


Finally, don't forget that Constitutional Rights Foundation is now "Teach Democracy"! New name, same great resources and programs. Please be on the lookout for emails from our new address @teachdemocracy.org.


Hope to see you next month!


Sean-Michael Ramirez


Questions? Contact Sean-Michael at 213-316-2109 or Sean-Michael@crf-usa.org or sean-michael@teachdemocracy.org.


2023 American Moot Court Association Southern California Regional - Volunteers Needed

We are currently seeking attorneys to volunteer to serve as judges for the upcoming Southern California Regional, which will take place at the Chalon campus of Mount Saint Mary's University, located in Brentwood, on December 2-3, 2023.


Students competing in Moot Court are undergraduates from colleges and universities across the country who present a simulated appellate/Supreme Court argument in two-person teams. Judges should be prepared to ask questions during the rounds (in the style of a real-world appellate argument) and will be asked to provide scores that will determine student placement at the competition as well as deciding which teams will advance to the Pre-National Tournament qualifying competition in January. This year's case deals with issues relating to the constitutional right to privacy and access to contraceptives, as well as a First Amendment free exercise claim. This is a "closed universe" case and a "bench brief" summarizing the facts and key points of law will be provided to all judges—no research or prior expertise in these topics is required or expected.


If you are able to sign up to judge either day of the competition (or both!) please do so via this link: https://forms.gle/TeZsdize3UXFJ62A8

WLALA Needs Mentors for Law Students

WLALA needs attorney mentor volunteers 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.


WLALA Needs Volunteers 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

Contribute to the WLALA Newsletter

If you are interested in contributing an article or sharing member news, please reach out to Communications Officer Leana Taing at WLALA.communications@gmail.com Everyone loves to read about accomplishments, appointments, and promotions! Also, please do not forget to share photos or videos taken at WLALA events. We would love to share them in the newsletter and on our social media! The submission deadline for next month's newsletter is November 29, 2023.

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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