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
“We need women who aren’t afraid of power – who are not afraid of using it.” These words resonated within me long after I heard Supervisor Holly Mitchell utter them earlier this year. Her statement struck something deep within me, invoking both an invitation and a challenge. Her words became the basis for rich discourse during a panel discussion with our amazing awardees at the dinner.

That evening, WLALA proudly honored Judge Samantha Jessner with the Ernestine Stahlhut Award, Supervisor Holly Mitchell with the Distinguished Service Award, and Bechtel Corporation (represented by Jessica Jones and Andrea Gross) with the Myra Bradwell Award at Shade Hotel in Redondo Beach. These women addressed and unpacked the dynamics of women, power, and leadership during a discussion in the second half of the evening. . . .
WLALA Awards Dinner: Stronger Together

On September 24, 2021, WLALA honored Judge Samantha Jessner with the Ernestine Stahlhut Award, Supervisor Holly Mitchell with the Distinguished Service Award, and Bechtel Corporation, represented by Andrea Gross and Jessica Danielle Jones, with the Myra Bradwell Award at our annual Awards Dinner held at Shade Hotel in Redondo Beach. These amazing and inspiring women participated in a panel discussion on Women, Power, and Leadership moderated by WLALA President Mary McKelvey. We also honored the following WLALA Foundation Grant, Scholarship, and Fellowship recipients: Arabi Hassan, Danielle Wilkins, Selene Estrada-Villela, Galyn Sumida-Ross, Leilani Stacy, Victoria Bonds, Kavya Parthiban, Clara Perez, Jasmine Robinson, Jaden Zwick, and Anastasia Son. Congratulations to all!
A Conversation with WLALA’s
Immediate Past President Jessica Kronstadt
On September 17, 2021, WLALA's Career Mentoring Chair Susan Yu discussed with WLALA's Immediate Past President Jessica Kronstadt the past, present, and future of WLALA, how everyone can make a difference by participating in the many programs that WLALA offers, and the many causes that WLALA supports.
EBAR Survey
As proud as we already are of our organization, WLALA is always striving to do better by its members and the legal community. To that end, WLALA’s Equity, Belonging, and Anti-Racism Committee (EBAR), co-chaired by Merle Vaughn, Meena Patel, and Ariella Simonds, has launched a survey to learn more about the people WLALA serves, what we are doing well, and how we can improve. We value having you in the WLALA community and would love to hear from you. Please consider completing this brief survey. It won’t take you long and, in return, we promise to carefully consider your input as we plan WLALA’s next year. If you complete the survey, we will also enter you into a raffle to win an assortment of prizes, including Amazon gift cards, WLALA 100th Anniversary mugs, and free registrations for WLALA programs.
Survey responses will be anonymous but if you have any feedback you would like to share directly with the EBAR committee, please contact us at info@wlala.org and indicate in the subject or body of your email that it is intended for EBAR.
Mobilize to Help Afghan Refugees
On September 8, 2021, to help prospective Afghan refugees, the Washington Immigrant Defense Network (WIDEN) provided a training to equip lawyers with the tools, resources, and skills to work on Humanitarian Parole applications and Special Immigration Visa applications. The training, which was recorded and is available to all to view, featured remarks by Rep. Pramila Jayapal and tutelage by expert immigration attorneys Sima Alizadeh, Danielle Rosché, and Jay Gairson on how to prepare applications and ways that you can assist organizations that need pro bono lawyers immediately. There is a nationwide need and you can help!
Amicus Brief in Dobbs
On September 20, 2021, WLALA joined the U.S. Supreme Court amicus brief of the National Women's Law Center and 71 other organizations committed to gender equality in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, to ensure access and the legal right to abortion.
Text2Give to WLALA Foundation
Those who attended the Awards Dinner may have noticed a new feature to raise money for the WLALA Foundation. WLALA set a goal to raise $5,000 at the dinner to fund an entire scholarship. In a Foundation first, the Board implemented a Text2Give tool and raised over $5,000 that night! Text2Give flyers were placed at each table and displayed a QR code. Once scanned by a cell phone, the QR code sent a list of short questions asking donors how much they wanted to give; and after confirmation, donors were directed to a webpage to enter billing information. The entire process took less than three minutes.

We raised $1,300 shortly after WLALA Foundation President Jennifer Leland initially introduced the night’s goal. A few minutes laterand after more inspiring words by the night’s awards recipients and scholarship recipient Victoria Bondswe met our goal! The WLALA Foundation Board thanks everyone who contributed and made this new tool a success. We met this fundraising floor so that a scholarship recipient can break another glass ceiling. What an amazing kickoff to our Charitable Fund season!

The Charitable Fund campaign will officially run from October through January. Stay tuned for more tips and tools for fundraising in the next newsletter. We have an ambitious goal for the year, and Text2Give is still open! Donate to the WLALA Foundation by texting “Give” to (213) 262-2638 or scanning the QR Code HERE.
Family Law New Volunteer Training
What You Will Learn and Do:
Join Harriett Buhai’s Remote Volunteer Services Program (RSVP) to conduct substantive legal interviews by phone with prospective clients. Learn the basic concepts of family law and common problems faced by clients with the added challenges of poverty and trauma. You’ll learn to issue-spot and strengthen your client-centered interviewing skills while working under the guidance of experienced Harriett Buhai Center attorneys.

Why You Should Volunteer:
Harriett Buhai’s volunteer program is ideal for lawyers, law students, and law graduates who want to use their skills, experience, and education to help others. It is a perfect choice for individuals interested in addressing the needs of low-income families, protecting survivors of domestic violence, and shepherding children to safe and more stable lives. Retired professionals, lawyers returning to the workforce, and individuals at home caring for others are encouraged to apply.

Part 1: Online self-study (2.25 hours)
to be completed by Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Part 2: Online practicum (2.25 hours)
to be held Saturday, October 23, 2021 via Zoom
Member News
On September 14, 2021, WLALA Board Member Merete Rietveld moderated a panel entitled "Bringing the Client in the Door" for the Los Angeles County Bar Association's Committee on Women in the Legal Profession. The panel is part of a virtual series that the Committee is offering on trial skills for women attorneys. The recordings are free to LACBA members.
WLALA member Matthew Umhofera partner at Spertus, Landes & Umhofer and a long-time WLALA supporterhas raised $16,729.50 for the WLALA Foundation for his performance at LawRocks on September 17, 2021! These funds will go towards WLALA Foundation scholarships, fellowships, and other charitable causes. Thank you so much, Matt!
Save the date! In March 2022, WLALA Immediate Past President Jessica Kronstadt is being honored by the Jewish Free Loan Association at its Wonder Women Gala as a Leading Woman of Los Angeles.
Request for Attorney Mentors
Has a mentor impacted your career? Now is the time to pay it forward with WLALA's Law Student Mentor Program! WLALA has over 100 women law students seeking a mentor like you. Click on the button below to show your interest and share how much time you’d be willing to commit... no amount is too small and the rewards are unlimited!
WLALA Facebook Networking
We are excited to announce that WLALA has created a Facebook page for members called WLALA Networking where you can connect with other members. 

Please note that you must be a member to join. Before posting, please be sure to read the Rules
and Guidelines.
WLALA Postcard Designed by Polk Paper
WLALA Immediate Past President Jessica Kronstadt has donated these beautiful postcards, which were specially designed for WLALA by Schuyler Polk of Polk Paper and Grace Cope. Only a limited number of sets of these postcards are available. All proceeds will benefit the WLALA Foundation. 
Welcome to Our New Members
Blanca M. Andrei
Hannah Brock
Amy Chau
Megan Cullen
Marina R. Dini
Danielle Garcia (Winslow)
Olga Garcia
Giselle E. Gonzalez
Vivian Grigorians
Karine Hafuta
Farha Haq
Patrick Hare
Kristy His
Chloe Hong
Cipriana Huerta
Joyce K. Jeong (Joyce Kim)
Noor Kalkat
Maryam Karimi
Jill Kleinkauf
Elif Koc
Kim Kooker
Peggie Lao
Sophia Lecky
Rachel Long
Elizabeth M. Loranger
Candice Morson
Ashley Osak
Erica Park
Allyson H. Richman
Vanessa A. Romang
Mehrin Saleem
Courtney B. Taylor
Taylor Thomson
Julia Wood
Wendy Wu
Free WLALA Membership
WLALA is offering one complimentary year of membership to WLALA's local sister bar organization members at APAWLA, BWL, and LLBA; New Admittees (those who passed the bar after January 1, 2021); and Law Students!

Offer is good until December 31, 2021. Membership will be good for one year after you register.
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.
Podcast: 19th Amendment Speaker Series
The 19th Amendment Speaker series features interviews with successful, inspirational, and impactful women in entertainment, sports, politics, law, academia, and business. Originally recorded in Summer/Fall 2020 as part of the 19th Amendment Speaker Series, this podcast is presented in conjunction with the National Association of Women Judges and the Los Angeles County Bar Association. Here are six ways to listen to the podcast:
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 Calendar@iDepoReporters.com or call 323-393-3768. 

iDepo will send donations to WLALA within 90 days after receipt of payment of invoices.
Karen Luong
Karen Luong is not your typical lawyer. The daughter of refugees who fled to the United States during the Vietnam War, Karen is the first person in her family to go to college. She put herself through college and law school and is now Senior Counsel at Husch Blackwell, where she practices complex litigation in the fields of toxic torts and products liability. She is also co-starting a new practice group in the burgeoning field of psychedelic therapeutics, which is the use of Schedule I controlled substances such as MDMA and LSD to medically treat conditions including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and pain. 
Because Karen didn’t grow up in an English-speaking household, and because her parents were not white collar professionals, she understands the difficulties that immigrants and minorities can face trying to navigate the system to become and succeed as a lawyer in the U.S. Karen joined the Board of WLALA with an eye toward paying it forward to young women lawyers who didn’t grow up learning how to navigate that professional world. She is excited to have in WLALA an opportunity to have a platform to help others while also networking with a group of dynamic women lawyers to share in and learn from the collective experience of practicing law as a woman.
All 118 law firms in the latest round of Diversity Lab’s Mansfield program have achieved certification—a first for the four-year-old program. The full certification comes in a year where the organization was worried that the pandemic would discourage law firms from committing the resources required to participate.

“Despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, the Mansfield Rule certified firms have not deviated from their goal of ensuring that law firm leadership reflects the rich diversity of the profession. We are enormously proud to work with such a committed group of firms,” said Natalia Marulanda, Mansfield Rule director at Diversity Lab. . . .
My Experience as a
Fran Kandel Public Interest Fellow
By Selene Estrada-Villela 
This past summer, I joined Public Counsel's Children’s Right’s Project as a law clerk with the Guardianship Clinic. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the guardianship clinic has operated remotely to provide assistance to litigants who often do not have access to legal representation in guardianship proceedings. As a WLALA Fran Kandel Public Interest Fellow, I created a toolkit for parents to learn about their rights and the pro per process. Throughout this experience, I learned about many of the challenges litigants facespecifically, parents who have limited or no information about how to terminate a guardianship or request visitation once a guardianship has been granted. Using a holistic approach, I also created a resource guide for parents, which focused on useful information that a parent may need such as domestic violence resources, expungement/post-conviction dismissal, housing, immigration, mental health, public benefits, and substance abuse.

I am thankful for WLALA’s support in funding this project, which addresses an access to justice issue to ensure that parents have the information they need to advocate on behalf of themselves. This project would also not have been possible without the ongoing support of Public Counsel, the nation’s largest pro bono public interest law firm. 
APAWLA Young Lawyers and Law Students (YLLS) is having an ongoing Resume Review Workshop. To participate you must be an active APAWLA member. Please send in a Word copy of your resume and/or cover letter to apawla.ylls@gmail.com. You will be assigned an APAWLA board member who will review and suggest revisions in the document with track changes. The anticipated turnaround for feedback is one week. Please be sure to maintain prompt communication. This is an ongoing workshop open until the end of the pandemic.
CWL's "So, You Want to Be a Lawyer?" Program
Did you know that your WLALA membership allows you to access the Job Bank? It includes legal employment opportunities ranging from nonprofit organizations to law firms and everything in between.  

You must be a current member and logged into the website to view the WLALA Job Bank. If you need help obtaining your username and password, please contact us.
  • The United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California seeks to hire exceptionally talented attorneys from diverse backgrounds who wish to serve the public and the cause of justice by becoming Assistant United States Attorneys.

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