Professional development. WLALA’s Mentoring Committee, Business Development Committee, and Membership Directory offer valuable professional development tools to members. Our Mentoring Program matches new attorneys with more experienced practitioners to provide support and advice. The Business Development Committee teaches marketing, public relations and other business development skills to help develop a healthy book of business and achieve professional success. The Membership Directory is a vital resource for networking, finding referrals and promoting one’s practice to the community at large.
Pro Bono legal services for women in need. WLALA members can volunteer their services through the Domestic Violence Project, the Jail Project and the HarriettBuhaiCenter for Family Law. WLALA members also support the Downtown Women’s Center, Break the Cycle, and WLALA’s mentoring and scholarship projects. Few other organizations have as much direct impact on the lives of women in need.
Advancing the interests of women attorneys in every area of legal practice. Our Business Law, Criminal Justice, Family Law, and Litigation Sections address the most critical issues of the day and provide useful substantive programs to our members. These sections also provide excellent networking opportunities for women. WLALA also has a Work & Family Committee that helps women address issues of work/life balance.
Honoring the past and shaping the future. WLALA is engaged in an exciting oral history project in which over 100 women lawyers’ interviews have been videotaped (including our past-presidents the Honorable Shirley Hufstedler and the Honorable Kim McLane Wardlaw). WLALA maintains its historical archive at SouthwesternUniversityLawSchool, which provides a rich source of women’s legal history in Los Angeles. WLALA also supports and develops the next generation of women lawyers through its scholarship program, which provides vital educational funding to high achieving law students with a demonstrated commitment to women’s and children’s issues, and through its Fran Kandel Public Interest Grant Program, which provides financial assistance for special projects undertaken by law students working in the public interest on issues that relate to WLALA’s mission.
Women addressing women’s issues. Our members play an extremely important role in defining and analyzing women’s issues and advocating on behalf of women in the workplace and community at large. Through our Legislation, Appointive Office, Amicus Briefs, and Pro-Choice and Reproductive Rights Committees, respectively, we review legislation, interview and evaluate candidates for judicial and other appointive office, prepare amicus briefs and defend the right to choose.
Networking and social events. Our monthly membership meetings feature prominent lawyers and judges as well as community and national leaders. WLALA has hosted meetings with Janet Reno, Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, Loretta Sanchez, Sarah Weddington and Gray Davis. In addition, members enjoy many special events, such as receptions for judges, our annual holiday parties at the Downtown Women’s Center, special movie screenings, women’s sporting events (L.A. Sparks), and an annual gala silent auction (like this summer’s “WLALApalooza” event at the Gilmore Adobe). Members also receive WLALA’s informative monthly print newsletter and regular e-newsletters.
Even if you are unable to join a committee or participate in all of our events, we encourage you to join to remain connected to the women’s legal community in Los Angeles and to help us further the mission of the organization. Please join WLALA by clicking here.