JANUARY 2014 - Meet the Board
Meet the Board
Tell us about your background. I am a certified family law specialist practicing in
the Southern California courts. My
practice involves representing professionals, business owners, people working
in the entertainment field, law enforcement and other areas, with divorce issues, prenuptial agreements, post
nuptial agreements, contempt,
international custody, domestic
violence, and post-divorce matters. I have handled cases involving billions of
dollars of assets as well as those involving limited assets. I was a litigator in complex cases before
becoming a family law attorney.
What is your role for WLALA and how would you like to see members get more involved? As head of the Family law section, I plan seminars as
well as networking lunches (that are also for non-family lawyers) for
WLALA. I would like to see members go
to more of the events and use the opportunity to offer advice and mentorship to
other attorneys who are either going to be lawyers, are new lawyers, or are
considering making changes in their professional lives. A little advice, sharing of experiences, or a referral to a possible job goes a long
What are your passions and interests? I am passionate about golf, skiing, photography
and salsa dancing.
Second Vice President
Tell us about your background. I am a general litigator at Skadden, where I also coordinate the office's very
active pro bono program. I started my legal career at Proskauer in New York.
Prior to and during law school, I worked in television news.
What is your role for WLALA and how would you like to see members get more involved? I am currently Second Vice President, in charge of membership. Prior to joining
the Executive Board, I spent two years as chair of the Career Development and
Life Balance Committee. I would love to see members reach out to their
colleagues about the benefits of WLALA membership, including the unparalleled
programs, and networking and career mentoring opportunities.
What are your passions and interests? I am an avid jogger and fancy myself a pretty good home cook. I am passionate
about civil and educational rights, and racial justice issues, and spend a good
deal of my time doing pro bono work in those areas. I also serve on the board
of the ACLU of Southern California Foundation. My favorite Sunday pastime is a
family walk with my husband Aaron and our two kids, Quinn (11) and Penn (almost
9), followed by cooking a leisurely dinner at home with friends and family.
Tell us about your background. I serve as the head of the Corporate Transactions group of Toyota Financial Services Legal Department, which I joined in 2007. Prior to that, I specialized in securities law and corporate finance at Davis Polk & Wardwell for 8 years, working in their New York, Tokyo and Washington DC offices. My first job out of college was wholly unexpected – I served as a policy consultant and speechwriter for Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali of the United Nations. I took a risk writing an essay in an exam on the relevance of a painting by Henri Rousseau to international relations, and my professor, who was a senior advisor to the Secretary-General, got a kick out of it.
What is your role for WLALA and how would you like to see members get more involved? My role as chair of the In-house Counsel Committee is to promote an environment for dialogue and support for women in-house counsel. I would love to see a greater number of in-house counsel join WLALA, as we offer a more intimate environment than some of the larger organizations targeting in-house counsel. While there may be greater number of women in-house than in private practice, there is still plenty of opportunity for women to rise to senior positions and to achieve compensation parity.
What's your passion and interests? (1) Mentoring – attorneys, non-attorneys, and kids. (2) Hosting dinner parties with lots of good food, wine, friends and laughter. (3) Trying to figure out how to raise a daughter that seems to defy the laws of genetics as a female "mini-me” of my husband.
Shaun Dabby Jacobs
Conference of California Bar Associations
Tell us about your background. I have been an attorney for seventeen years and have both civil and criminal
trial experience. Since 2002 I have been a deputy city attorney with the Los
Angeles City Attorney's Office where I have defended the City and the Los
Angeles Police Department against excessive force and false arrest cases,
employment discrimination and retaliation cases, and prosecuted misdemeanors
occurring within the City of Los Angeles. I have also been a WLALA Board Member
for over 10 years and currently serve on various committees for the Conference
of California Bar Associations.
What is your role for WLALA and how would you like to see members get more involved? The Conference of California Bar Associations, ("CCBA") which meets at the same
time as the State Bar Convention, is made up of attorneys from local, specialty,
and minority bar associations across the state that are focused on improving
California's laws. At the annual Conference, the bar associations debate
revisions and amendments to California law (called "resolutions") and CCBA's
lobbyist takes resolutions that are approved by the Conference to the State
Legislature to find sponsors and get the resolutions enacted into law. I would
like to see more of our members attend the Conference and propose resolutions
that will improve the law and lives of women.
What are your passions and interests? I am passionate about mentoring law students and young lawyers and impressing
upon them the need to get out of the office and become a part of the larger
community, whether it be legal or otherwise. I love spending time with my
family - including my husband and two elementary school age boys, and good
friends. In the rare moments I have to myself, I like running, reading, and
doing Sudoku and crossword puzzles.
Hon. Sandra Klein
Judicial/State Court Liaison
Tell us about your background. I was sworn in as a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Central District of California in April 2011. Before my appointment to the bench, I worked for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for more than thirteen years, including as special assistant U.S. attorney in the Los Angeles U.S. Attorney's Office, and most recently, as the U.S. Trustee Program’s acting assistant director of the Office of Criminal Enforcement, where I was responsible for increasing detection and prosecution of criminal conduct in the bankruptcy system across the country. Before joining the DOJ, I was a litigation associate at O'Melveny & Myers, LLP, and a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Arthur L. Alarcon, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the Honorable Lourdes G. Baird, U.S. District Court, Central District of California. I received an M.B.A. from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, a J.D. from Loyola Law School, and a B.M. from the University of Massachusetts. I have been a WLALA member for many years, and a board member since 2010.
What is your role for WLALA and how would you like to see members get more involved? As the Judicial/Federal Court Liaison, I hope to increase the interaction between WLALA and the Federal judiciary. The Bankruptcy Court in the Central District hosted the first Federal Court Power Lunch, which was sponsored by WLALA. Power Lunches, which were originally created by the Hon. Beverly Reid O'Connell, a past WLALA Board member, and Hon. Nicole C. Bershon, a past president and WLALA Board member, bring law students to a courthouse to meet judges and lawyers and to learn about the law and the legal profession. Many WLALA members and board members have participated in the Federal Court Power Lunches and I hope that they continue to do so in the future. I always invite and encourage our externs and law clerks to join WLALA and to attend WLALA programs.
What are your passions and interests? Outside of work my passions are my family, community outreach, Pilates, and the Red Sox. I am very close to my parents who live in Boston, and I speak with them almost every day. I am the chairperson of my court's community outreach committee and, in addition to the Power Lunches, we have developed some wonderful programs to make the bankruptcy court more accessible to the public. We obtained a fellowship for a UCLA graduate social work student, who is spending a year with our court studying seniors and bankruptcy. We are planning a district-wide Law Day celebration that will involve 100 to 120 high school students from the greater Los Angeles area and will include financial literacy training, a moot court, a Power Lunch and a jobs panel. I discovered Pilates in the early 2000s and I have been a devotee ever since. When I was growing up in Boston, my family had season tickets to Fenway Park and I will always be a lifelong Red Sox fan.
Young Lawyers Tell us about your background.
I am a California girl from Orange County
who received her education from U.C. San Diego and U.C. Berkeley School of Law.
While I previously practiced white collar and complex commercial litigation at
Skadden Arps in downtown Los Angeles, my current practice at Newmeyer &
Dillion in Newport Beach focuses on business litigation matter, both plaintiff
and defense claims involving breaches of contract, allegations of fraud, breach
of fiduciary duties, etc. To gain trial experience, I recently participated in
LACBA’s Trial Advocacy Project (t-TAP), which will enable me to serve as a
volunteer prosecutor with the Anaheim City Attorney’s office early next
What is your role for WLALA and how would you like to
see members get more involved? As a young lawyer myself, I am hoping to see
more attorneys getting involved in WLALA while still at the beginning stages of
their career. In addition to receiving educational benefits from WLALA’s
countless programs, young lawyers need to start building their networks of
support with other as early in their careers as possible. When fostered and
nourished, this network will grow and bear numerous fruits over the span of a
What are your passions and interests? In addition
to serving on the WLALA board, I am part of the New Leadership Council for Bet
Tzedek, a local nonprofit that provides a wide-range of support to low-income
individuals within the Los Angeles community. I also enjoy (or at least
attempt to enjoy) water skiing, wakeboarding, and snowboarding with
friends and family. Likewise, my husband and I always make a point of attending
many of the local conventions, whether it’s Comic-Con, D23 (Disney), or
Celebration (Star Wars), just to name a few.