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OCTOBER 2015 - President's Message
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President's Message - OCTOBER

Kimberly Arnal
WLALA President 2015-2016

Thank you to everyone who attended and sponsored WLALA’s Installation Dinner.  Almost 400 of you gathered last month to celebrate the advancements of women in the legal profession, recommit yourselves to WLALA’s mission of promoting the full participation of women lawyers and judges in the legal profession and to recognize the accomplishments of our award recipients – Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Lisa Jaskol and Southern California Gas Company.  It is thanks to your assistance that WLALA is able to support worthy programs such as the Power Lunch Program, Downtown Women’s Center, and Sojourn Domestic Violence Clinic; and WLALA can offer programs designed to support our members in their personal and professional lives.

October is National Work-Life Balance month.  It’s a time when law firms and lawyers alike revisit the continued discussion on the need and the importance of finding satisfaction in our personal as well as professional life.  There is no doubt that many of us feel the pressure to work longer hours, and to make ourselves available to our partners and clients 24/7.  In an age of email, people become impatient if you fail to respond within 30 minutes.  Thanks to smart phones that sync with our work email accounts, co-workers and clients expect you to be available on the weekends and evenings.  It is no wonder that many of us feel exhausted or harried on a regular basis.

So, what to do?  What does work-life balance mean?  It is a realist goal?  For me the term “work-life balance” originally evoked images of tranquility and peace.  Imagine a quiet garden with a soothing fountain in the middle.  The more I tried to find this place of personal nirvana the more frustrated I became.  I am a civil litigator and the mother of two young children.  Consequently, there is nothing quiet or tranquil about my personal or professional life.  Sadly, it has taken years for me to recognize that my version of work-life balance might be more chaotic than tranquil, more raucous rather than quiet.

Perhaps work-life balance is about having a satisfying personal and professional life, not balance.  For some that might be spending time with friends and family.  Maybe it’s a hobby or going camping.  More likely, whatever brings meaning to your personal life will vary over time, often on a daily basis.  The right balance today will probably be different tomorrow.  The right balance when you are single will be different from when you marry, or if you have children; when you start a job versus when you are nearing retirement.  Hopefully this month can be a reminder that not only is it acceptable but, it’s important to take time out of our busy schedules to do the things that give meaning and bring joy to our lives.  These are the things that energize us.

So, let this month be our cue to remember that sometimes you need to step outside of yourself, get some air, reconnect with friends and family and remember who you are and who you want to become.

With this in mind, there are several WLALA programs this month designed to bring a little balance to your life.  Please join us on October 17, 2015 for the WLALA SCGA Golf Club at Encino Golf Course; on October 18, 2015 at Roxbury Park for Pumpkins in the Park; or on October 22, 2015 at Garboushian Gallery for Fashion, Food & FUNdraising.

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