WLALA's History Project's video:

Celebrating 100 Years

  • President's Message by Jeannine Taylor
  • WLALA's History Project Video: Celebrating 100 Years
  • Tribute to Betty Nordwind of the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law (HBCFL) by Alyssa Dickerson
  • Gender Inclusivity Beyond the Binary by Samara Cidrim & Brigit Greeson Alvarez
  • 2024 WLALA Past Presidents Dinner by Angela S. Haskins
  • Voting Rights in an Election Year by Ariella Thal Simonds 
  • Event: WLALA Spring Golf League
  • Event: Paint and Sip For In-House Counsel - March 21, 2024
  • Event: Celebrate Women's HerStory Month - March 28, 2024
  • Event: Volunteer at the Downtown Women's Center - April 13, 2024
  • Event: The Honorable Beverly Reid O’Connell Power Lunch - April 18, 2024
  • Event: Food From The Bar - Women's Bar Associations Volunteer Day - April 27, 2024
  • Photo: CAALA Installation Gala
  • Photo: Langston Installation Gala
  • Photos: Mentor Jet program at Southwestern Law School
  • Photos: MABA Installation Gala
  • Photo: USC Gould School of Law Mentor Lunch
  • Welcome New Members!
  • Local Bar Calendar
  • WLALA Resources
  • WLALA Foundation Scholarship/Fellowship Applications for Public Interest Law Students
  • 2024 Judge Beverly Reid O'Connell Scholarship for High School Women - Applications due April 30, 2024
  • Power Lunch Program Sponsorships Available
  • Contribute to the WLALA Newsletter - Deadline is March 27, 2024

"Inclusive Healthcare: The Time is Now"

The intersection of Black History Month and Women’s HerStory Month is an ideal opportunity to contemplate how we address disparities in healthcare that are impacted by visible factors, such as race, gender identity and pigment; as well as less visible social determinants of health, such as housing, transportation, and communal support. As a healthcare leader, I have a first-hand view of the disparities in healthcare that plague our system, and believe our community holds a shared ethical obligation to ensure the provision of equitable care to all patient populations. This message explores the symbiotic relationship between health equity initiatives and inclusive practices that can transform patient outcomes.

  1. LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equity Initiatives: Implementing initiatives that address the unique healthcare needs of the LGBTQ+ community fosters inclusivity, promotes a supportive environment for patients, and has the added benefit of mitigating legal risks associated with discriminatory practices. Healthcare providers who are dedicated to creating this safe space can seek recognition as an “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader” to publicly identify their commitment to creating a safe and supportive healthcare environment. https://news.keckmedicine.org/keck-medicine-of-usc-receives-lgbtq-healthcare-equality-leader-designation/
  2. Gender-Affirming Care Programs: Comprehensive gender-affirming care programs align with ethical principles and provide a legal shield against claims of inadequate or discriminatory care for transgender individuals. In states like California, where the value of gender-affirming care is recognized, legal risks related to gender-based discrimination are significantly reduced through the establishment of inclusive care practices.
  3. Community Partnerships and Social Determinants: By actively participating in initiatives that tackle issues like housing instability, food insecurity, and lack of access to education, healthcare entities demonstrate a commitment to mitigating root causes of health disparities, thereby reducing legal exposure. Consider a patient who’s facing housing insecurity and struggling in an environment with poor living conditions. This individual may be exposed to environmental pollutants, struggle with access to nutritious food, and experience heightened stress levels due to unstable housing. These social determinants significantly impact health outcomes, potentially leading to respiratory issues, nutritional deficiencies, and mental health challenges.
  4. Cultural Competence Training: Investing in cultural competence training for healthcare staff is a preventive legal measure. By ensuring that providers understand and respect diverse cultural backgrounds, institutions decrease the likelihood of misunderstandings or discriminatory practices that could lead to lower quality clinical care.
  5. Inclusive Device Testing: Research has reinforced the critical need for inclusivity in the development and testing of medical technology; specifically, the need to include people of color and women, who have historically been excluded or underrepresented. This need was exemplified by a retroactive review that revealed how pulse oximeters, which measure oxygen levels in the blood, can provide inaccurate readings that overestimate oxygen saturation in patients with darker skin, in comparison to those with lighter skin. These readings were among the measures relied on to guide access to respiratory treatment during the height of Covid-19 and is suspected to account for some of the health disparities experienced by Black and Brown patients during the pandemic. http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=61481d31-777d-4ed2-8329-e9503b692d86

Health equity initiatives are not just moral imperatives; they increase precision in health outcomes by creating a more robust presentation of each patient. As legal landscapes evolve to prioritize equity, the time is now for our community to demand that institutions to embrace inclusive practices that foster a healthcare environment where every individual receives dignified and equitable care.

In your service,

Jeannine Taylor

WLALA President

A Conversation with Black Women Bar Leaders featured CAALA President Ibiere Seck, BWL President Ronni Whitehead Otieno, and WLALA President Jeannine Taylor. The event was moderated by BWL President-Elect Shardé Skahan.

More Event Photos Here

WLALA's History Project's video:

Celebrating 100 Years

Tribute to Betty Nordwind of the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law (HBCFL)

By: Alyssa Dickerson

As a family law attorney is Los Angeles, you should know the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law. As a female attorney, you should know Betty Nordwind, HBCFL’s fearless leader of 36 years. After decades of helming HBCFL’s ship, Betty has retired, and we could not let her go without a fabulous send-off worthy of her service and character. On February 3, 2024, members of the Board, donors to the HBCFL, and prominent attorneys and judges in Los Angeles gathered to celebrate Betty and all she has done for the family law community and low-income litigants in Los Angeles over the years. Miraculously, during an increasingly high number of rainy days in LA, the skies parted and offered a sunny, brisk, perfect day. Only the best for Betty. All of us loyal Betty-fans were able to cheers her monumental career with speeches from leaders of BWL and WLALA and generous host, Larry Ginsberg. 

A little bit about HBCFL: founded in the early 1980s by BWL, LACBA, and WLALA, HBCFL has operated as a cornerstone of family law and domestic violence assistance for low-income persons. Since 1989, Betty has been the Executive Director of HBCFL, raising all those funds, directing services, and heroically championing the goals of HBCFL. She extended the services offered by HBCFL from obtaining just restraining orders (a pressing need then and now), to obtaining orders relating to spousal and child support, child custody, access to retirement funds and marital assets, you name it!

I was lucky enough to volunteer for HBCFL during my time in law school and had the pleasure of working with Betty. My father, not a family law attorney, said to me, if you want to be in family law, go to Betty, so that is what I did. He has donated to HBCFL since meeting Betty, not because he knows anything about family law, but because he knows about Betty. She can teach a master class on fundraising. While she means everything to HBCFL, thousands of low-income family law litigants, and the family law community as a whole, she also means a lot to me, helping me establish my career and the careers of so many other family law attorneys entering the field. As a new member to the Board of Directors, I hope to return that favor.

Betty helped select her successor, a past WLALA president and current member, Stacy Horth-Neubert, who will undoubtedly dutifully serve HBCFL and continue its success. I have spoken with her and she has big ideas that will expand the services HBCFL can offer. We support her and wish her all the luck in this new endeavor – she’s got this!

In honor of Betty and WLALA’s continued relationship with HBCFL, WLALA is funding a 2024 student fellowship position up to $7,000, allowing a law student to spend 10 weeks working full-time at HBCFL during summer 2024. This student will gain immediate hands-on experience with clients and fellow attorneys, preparing research memos and pleadings, and invaluable guidance and mentorship in the field of family law, including domestic violence aid, children’s and women’s issues, and poverty law. Applications are currently being accepted.

WLALA’s support of law students continues with further fellowships and scholarships available in 2024:

  • ICLC Summer Fellowship: 10 weeks working with ICLC’s Homeless Veterans Project, including a focus on issues affecting women veterans.
  • Fran Kandel Public Interest Summer Fellowship: opportunity to develop a tangible project with a public interest organization (or independently) that assists underresourced or underserved populations in LA. (Apply by April 12, 2024)
  • Hon. Ruth Bader Ginsburg Scholarship: tuition scholarships for law students who plan to follow in the footsteps of RBG by fighting for social justice, equality, and inclusion, and have demonstrated a commitment to issues affecting women, children, and other historically underresourced and underrepresented groups. (Apply by April 30, 2024)

Betty Nordwind, the former Executive Director of the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law retired after 36 years of dedicated service. WLALA extends their gratitude to Betty Nordwind for her tireless service in helping victims of domestic violence and improving the well-being of children living in poverty.

Gender Inclusivity Beyond the Binary

By: Samara Cidrim & Brigit Greeson Alvarez

Samara Cidrim is a WLALA member and Brazilian-born queer immigrant attorney practicing plaintiff-side employment law at Rafii & Associates, P.C.

Brigit Greeson Alvarez is the WLALA Secretary, and a queer Chicana single mother working as a Deputy County Counsel for the County of Los Angeles.

As lawyers, judges, and avid students of the law, we are at the forefront of advocating for equality and justice. As WLALA members, we understand that embracing gender inclusivity not only enhances the efficacy of our work but is a moral imperative.

For context, California passed laws safeguarding the rights of transgender individuals, nonbinary and gender nonconforming individuals and children affirming their identities and combating discrimination. Also, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors recently adopted an ordinance establishing the first County wide LGBTQ+ Commission to ensure greater access to and efficacy of County programs and services.

While it may be easy to fall complacent in California, we must remember that lawmakers nationwide continue to introduce bills targeting the LGBTQ+ community, especially transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming people. In the first two months of 2024, 463 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced. Three anti-trans measures have already passed: in Utah (restricting transgender people from using public bathrooms and locker rooms), Wisconsin (giving parents a right of action against teachers and institutions teaching about gender identity, sexual orientation, and structural, systemic and institutional racism), and Ohio (a bill suggesting adolescents must be protected from gender affirming care).

WLALA has always made “herstory” by advocating for gender inclusivity. Today, we recognize that discussions around gender cannot be limited to cisgender women, and that the push for inclusion across the spectrum of limitless gender identities honors both our mission and herstory. So as members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community ourselves, it falls on us to learn how we can continue to cultivate a gender-inclusive environment. To ensure WLALA holds space for trans, nonbinary and gender nonconforming individuals, we will continue sharing our own pronouns upfront, refrain from assumptions about gender identities, and ask others about their pronouns to allow room to self-identify beyond she/her.

We encourage you to join us and our sister bars in continuing this conversation at the Women’s HerStory Month event on March 28th honoring legendary civil rights attorney Mia Yamamoto and APAIT (Access to Prevention Advocacy Intervention and Treatment).

Building an even better WLALA requires mindful and proactive effort. We do not claim to have all the answers. But we do know this: by welcoming and celebrating transgender, nonbinary and gender nonconforming individuals, we enrich our perspectives, deepen our understanding of diverse experiences, and ultimately strengthen our ability to serve our communities.

2024 WLALA Past Presidents Dinner

By: Angela S. Haskins

2024 WLALA Past Presidents Dinner: Timi Hallem, Patsy Ostroy, Hon. Margaret Henry (ret.), Pamela Sellers, Meg Lodise, Hon. Karla Kerlin, Hon. Nicole Berson, Helen Kim, Angela S. Haskins, Tanya Forsheit, Ruth Kahn, Anne Tremblay, Stacy Horth-Neubert, Amy Brantly. Thank you for inspiring us with your leadership and your efforts to make this a better profession for all of us!

Thank you to Past President Angela S. Haskins and President-Elect Noelle Natoli for organizing this inspirational dinner with phenomenal women leaders!

Timi Hallem (1979 – 1980) is a real estate partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips with 30 years of experience. She founded the firm’s Women’s Initiative and has been repeatedly recognized as one of the best and most influential real estate attorneys in America.

Patsy Ostroy (1982 – 1983) practiced family law, business and real estate law for 40+ years before applying her expertise and skills in service as a mediator. She received the WLALA Distinguished Service Award prior to a time that we date them on the WLALA website. She is a co-founder of the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law which was a collaboration of BWL, LACBA and WLALA under Patsy’s leadership which bore the “Family Law Project” that opened its doors in 1982 and became HBCFL in 1984.   


Judge Henry (1984 – 1985) served 18 years on the bench, primarily in the Edelman Children’s Court where she was the Supervising Judge for 10 years and where she worked tirelessly to make the transition from foster youth to independent adult better supported by the collaboration of the Superior Court, the Children’s Law Center and DCFS. The 18 an Up Courtroom was created in 2016 and she presided over the new Courtroom until her retirement.

Pamela Sellers (1987 – 1988) received the WLALA Distinguished Service Award in 2002. Perhaps a Administrative Judge for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  

Meg Lodise (2001 – 2002) is a founder of the firm, Sacks, Glazer, Franklin & Lodise. She is a trusted leader with 35 + years of experience in trusts and estates litigation. She is a world traveler when she is not dedicating her time and expertise to serving as an expert witness or participating in the leadership of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC). She is also a frequent speaker and has been repeatedly recognized as one of the top lawyers in California. 

Judge Kerlin (2002 – 2003) sits on the LASC presiding over three collaborative courts which provide alternatives to incarceration and are designed to divert defendants from jail into service-enriched housing with mental health treatment and wraparound services. Prior to becoming a judge in 2008 she served as a DDA for 18 years prosecuting sex crimes, child abuse and domestic violence. She received the WLALA Distinguished Service Award in 2020. Of course, many of us also know that her statuesque beauty was best utilized during her time as a Vegas showgirl. 

Hon. Nicole Bershon (2007 – 2008) currently sits at the Torrance Courthouse handling a felony trial calendar. She started in big law but left for the City Attorney’s Office. She was then joined the Office of the Inspector General for the Los Angeles Police Commission where she rose to Assistant IG and then IG for the LAPD. In her spare time she teaches Criminal and Constitutional Law at USC. 

Helen Kim (2009 – 2010) is a trial lawyer with 30 + years of experience. She managed to sneak in a Masters of Music from Juilliard in between her Harvard undergrad and Yale law educational endeavors. She is a talented pianist and accomplished lawyer. She was the President of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association before her presidency of WLALA.  

Angela S. Haskins (2010 – 2011) may be best known for the takeover of her installation by then Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa who would not exit the stage after what was supposed to be a brief introduction of Eileen Decker so that she could accept the Distinguished Service Award. I am a partner at Haight, Brown & Bonesteel with over 25 + years as a litigator specializing in catastrophic medical malpractice. Prior to my litigation career, I had 10 + years in ADR with the AAA and ADR International. WLALA membership has provided me with many dear friends and experiences for which I am truly thankful.  

Tanya Forsheit (2011 – 2012) is the Head of Privacy Compliance and Senior Counsel at The New York Times Company. With 25 +/- years advising on compliance with the ever changing landscape of regulations across many industries. When big law wasn’t allowing her the freedom of her desired pursuits, she just started her own law firm. Then big law lured her back until the NYT came in and swooped her up into yet another chapter of her amazing career. 

Ruth Khan (2012 – 2013) is an accomplished litigator in the field of complex and high stakes tort cases, including toxic torts and products liability. Before joining The Hartford, she was a partner with Steptoe & Johnson for 17 + years. She obtained her law degree in my home state of Ohio and she delights her Facebook friends with gorgeous pictures from her many travel adventures. Her recent work with Operation Gratitude assisting in the preparation of care packages for our deployed military, first responders and their families. 

Anne Tremblay (2013 – 2014) is currently a Constitutional Policing Advisor for the County of LA/LASD (Sheriff’s Department). She was an Assistant City Attorney for over 21 years and was the Chief Legal Counsel to the Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti in 2021 – 2022. Anne received the WLALA Distinguished Service Award in 2017. She is an avid traveler and generally delightful person. 

Stacy Horth-Neubert (2016 – 2017) is currently the Executive Director of the Harriet Buhai Center for Family Law replacing Betty Norwind after she stepped down from a 40 year run. Although Stacy had always been a big law big wig litigating huge cases around the globe, her heart was in pro bono work and public service. Within the confines of big law she championed women at every turn and received the California Lawyer of the Year (CLAY) Award as well as the ACLU Pro Bono Advocacy Award and Freedom of Information Award. Making the jump last December was a boon for HBFLC and I know that she will be an amazing leader of this fine organization. 

Amy Brantly (2017 – 2018) is the epitome of why you must be careful of the quiet ones. Amy worked at Susman Godfrey navigating monster antitrust cases and class actions across the country. She made the leap to founding her own firm and taking complete control over her practice continuing to handle complex litigation cases with her admirable skills. She is also likely up for “Mother of the Year” as she scored Taylor Swift tickets for two of her kids last year.

Voting Rights in an Election Year

By: Ariella Thal Simonds 

On February 29th, WLALA's Equity, Belonging, and Anti-Racism Committee welcomed two experts to discuss the critical role elections play in shaping our lives as women living in America and the barriers women--in particular, women of color--still encounter in exercising their right to vote. The conversation was informative and energizing, especially as we enter a critical election year and face marked levels of disenchantment among potential voters. 

Julia Gomez, Senior Staff Attorney at the ACLU Southern California, provided an update on recent attempts to disenfranchise Latinx voters in California and the continuing and far-reaching effects of the Big Lie that the 2020 presidential election was stolen. Among them, a Huntington Beach voter ID ballot proposal, Riverside County's 2021 discriminatory districting map that diluted the voting power of Latinx residents, and Shasta County's abrupt decision to terminate its contract with Dominion Voting (based on the Big Lie) without putting a new voting system in place, meaning that voters with physical or language limitations would be left without accessible voting machines and all ballots would need to be hand-counted (a less reliable method than machine-counting verified by a hand count). Julia also discussed successful state legislative responses in New York and Connecticut to the Supreme Court's gutting of the federal Voting Rights Act and the proposals under consideration in California to adopt a preclearance requirement for the type of local election changes adopted in Riverside and Shasta Counties. 

Following Julia's overview of the legal landscape around voting rights, Rachael Jeck, the Co-Founder and Executive Director of RegisterHer shared staggering figures regarding the under-participation in voting by American women. She highlighted the vast changes in policy priorities and accomplishments that can be achieved when more women vote; women voters are far more likely to vote for women candidates, and women candidates, once elected, tend to enact policies that change lives. Rachael offered Nevada as an example, noting that after Nevada became the first state to have women hold a majority of state legislative seats in 2019, the legislature passed paid family leave for private employees, a pay equity and transparency law, the Trust Nevada Women Act (decriminalizing medication abortions and removing barriers to accessing reproductive health care), expanded employment protections for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, and expanded workers' compensation for firefighters that now includes breast, uterine, and ovarian cancer. She discussed the power of leveraging one-on-one conversations between women to increase the participation of women in voting.

Both Julia and Rachael emphasized that, despite persistent efforts to curb voting among women and other historically disenfranchised communities, they remain encouraged by the progress being made, especially by way of local, community-based efforts. Julia spoke of powerful momentum in Santa Ana for community-backed proposals regarding rent control and voting rights for non-citizen immigrants. Rachael shared the community-organizing strategies RegisterHer uses in Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Texas to help women understand the power their vote holds and increase the participation of women in elections.

The program was recorded and is available on WLALA's website. The program is approved for 1 hour of Elimination of Bias CLE Credit for California Bar members. 

Watch Video Recording Here

This volunteer event is open to friends and family. The minimum age requirement is five (5) years old. No exceptions to the minimum age requirement, thank you.


CAALA Installation Gala

Langston Installation Gala

Mentor Jet at Southwestern Law School

Thank you to Hon. Laura Siegel and the Women's Law Association for organizing the event!

MABA Installation Gala

USC Gould School of Law Mentor Lunch

The event was hosted by Dean Franita Tolson and featured Past President Janet Hong as the keynote speaker. Fight on!

Welcome to Our New Members

Jeanette Alvarez

Alisha Ansari

Stacey Anthony

Dima Bazzi

Bairurth Borath

Tierra Boyd

Analuisa Bustamante

Darlene Cho

Vito Costanzo

Thomas Cotugno

Caitlyn Dillon 

Anna Dodge

Carson Dudick

Brian Fu

Liset Gonzalez

Erica Graves 

Vicki Greco

Linda Gross

Leslie Gutierrez

Isabel Hernandez

Lucy Hernandez

Esme Honan

Karyn Ihara

Glen Jonas

Abigail Jones

Cynthia Kao

Michaela Kemna

Michaela Kemna

Jeanette Laba

Anna Lee

Tiffany Li

Danielle K. Little

David Mannion

Nicole McLaughlin

Lindsey Miller

Joanne Osinoff

Jamie Otto

Heather Pickerell

Maria Possidente

Destiny Salcido

Laura Schwartz

Hon. Gabriela Shapiro

Nattalia Sinclaire

Carolyn Small

Samantha Sosa

Yutinng Su

Esther Ro

Thanh Ton

Hon. Yvette Verastegui

Jessica Wahl

Julie Waterstone

Chloe Wigul

Helen Yang

Local Bar Calendar

2024 CCBA Merit Scholarship

APPLICATIONS MUST BE RECEIVED BY: 5:00 p.m., Friday, March 15, 2024

The Los Angeles Criminal Courts Bar Association (“CCBA”) is providing a $2500 Merit Scholarship to one law student who is dedicated to working in the criminal legal field in Los Angeles County.

The inaugural CCBA Merit Scholarship will be awarded based on academic accomplishments, previous criminal legal experience and future potential contribution to the criminal law community. Law students at all levels are encouraged to apply. The chosen award recipient must be able to attend CCBA’s Installation & Awards Gala on Saturday, April 20, 2024 at the Omni Hotel, Los Angeles in order to receive the scholarship.

APPLICATIONS MUST BE RECEIVED VIA EMAIL to laccba2023@gmail.com BY: 5:00 p.m., Friday, March 15, 2024

ABA Opportunity for Young Lawyers

The ABA Young Lawyers Division (YLD) is looking for a young lawyer to serve as the YLD’s Liaison to the ABA Law Practice Division (LPD). This position is an amazing networking opportunity, where the Liaison will represent YLD’s interests at LPD’s meetings approximately three times yearly, presenting an opportunity to explore leadership and relationships in both ABA Divisions, and gaining exposure to national discussions about ongoing and emerging law practice issues. The Liaison is encouraged to attend LPD Fall, Midyear, and Spring meetings, and to serve on the LPD’s Council (though Liaison is also welcome and encouraged to attend other LPD committee meetings of interest). This position may also be appointed to serve as Chair of the YLD Law Practice Committee, leading YLD discussion and programming in the Law Practice Management area. The position is open to young lawyer ABA members (up to 10 years in practice or 36 years of age). Time commitment is approximately 5 hours per month on the LPD side.  




The California Academy of Appellate Lawyers is proud to announce its first-ever Fellowship Program. The first Fellowship year will run from May 2024 to May 2025. 


Fellows will be invited to participate in the Academy’s educational and social programs, including one-day meetings in the fall in San Francisco and in the winter in Burbank/Pasadena, and a spring weekend conference in southern California. The Academy’s educational programming includes appellate-specific MCLE seminars, typically with appellate justices and judges, and sometimes relevant industry leaders, as participants. The Academy’s social programming includes an informal lunch before each meeting, and a dinner outing after each meeting attended by our judicial guests and other panel participants. Fellows will also be welcome to participate on most Academy committees and task forces. Through the Fellowship Program, the Academy hopes to enrich the professional experience of early-career appellate lawyers. 


The Academy will consider the following qualifications in selecting participants in the Fellowship Program: 


(1)     Good character and professional reputation, 

(2)     Appellate ability, and 

(3)     A continuing commitment to quality appellate practice. 


An applicant must have been a member of the California bar in good standing for at least 3 years, and must spend a substantial amount of time on appellate work in a typical year. 


The Academy welcomes a diversity of participants in its programs, which could include, for example, geographic location, area of practice, race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation. 


Up to four fellows may be selected for participation each year. The application window for the 2024-2025 program will be open from January 30 to March 15, 2024, with selected fellows being notified after the Academy’s May 2024 conference. 


For more information, and instructions on how to apply, go to https://calappellate.org/fellowship. Please contact Judy Posner at judy@benedonserlin.com with any questions.




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 2024. Both tournaments will be in person:


The 2024 Opening Round of the National Championship on March 9-10, 2024


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 Addison Harms 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.


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 flyer 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 Thursday before each tournament (Mar. 7). There is no Pre-Trial hearing as in high school competitions.


If you volunteer, we will send you a confirmation e-mail 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 Addison Harms at uclainvite@gmail.com. We appreciate your support!


Addison Harms - Tournament Director

Prof. Gonzalo Freixes - UCLA Mock Trial Faculty Advisor

2024 California Mock Trial State Finals

Attention Judges, Attorneys, and Law Students  

Volunteers Needed!

Los Angeles will host the 2024 California Mock Trial Finals at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse on March 22-24!

Over 500 high school students will represent their counties in court portraying the roles of attorneys, witnesses, clerks, and bailiffs. These young people work hard to prepare for the competition and you will enjoy your experience with them. 

We need over 300 legal volunteers to score the trials in March. Each scoring panel includes a presiding judge to preside over a trial and 3-4 attorneys to score the students’ performances.

Help us to make this competition a success by volunteering and sharing this volunteer opportunity with your colleagues! 


Trials will take place at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles. Meals will be provided. We need volunteers for the rounds below.

  • Round 1 - Friday, March 22 (5:00 pm - 7:30 pm)
  • Round 2 - Saturday, March 23 (8:30 am - 11:00 am)
  • Round 3 - Saturday, March 23 (1:00 pm - 3:30 pm)
  • Round 4 - Saturday, March 23 (4:30 pm - 7:00 pm)

If you need assistance with registering click here for a step-by-step registration guide or contact Sean-Michael at sean-michael@teachdemocracy.org or (213) 316-2109.


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!

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.

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 March 27, 2024.

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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