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JULY 2011 NEWSLETTER - Joint Task Force
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The Los Angeles County Bar Association-Women Lawyers Association of
Los Angeles Joint Task Force presents: Power and Influence for Lawyers' Career Advancement and Business Development 

by Tanya L. Forsheit
On July 28, 2011, from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm, the Los Angeles County Bar Association-Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles Joint Task Force will present its 2011 Summer program and workshop, Power and Influence for Lawyers’ Career Advancement and Business Development, at the offices of Reed Smith, 355 S. Grand Ave., Suite 2900, Los Angeles, CA 90071.  Attendance is free.
More than three years ago, the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles (WLALA) forged a Joint Task Force with the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA) on the retention and promotion of women in the profession.  The purpose of the Joint Task Force is to explore real, practical solutions to the ongoing phenomenon of women leaving the profession, most notably from large, prestigious firms. 
In this Summer’s presentation and experiential workshop, Susan Letterman White, J.D., M.S. will explain the different power bases and influence strategies for career advancement and business development. Ms. White will assist attendees in understanding how to use power and influence more effectively.  Ms. White will address how, contrary to what many lawyers still believe, outstanding job performance alone does not result in career advancement or business development; she will share how research shows that success depends on obtaining the attention and assistance of “influential others.”
The program will include a brief lecture about power and influence, the skills at the foundation of effective efforts to develop business or advance one’s career.  This will be followed by experiential activities that will give participants an opportunity to practice new skills while networking with colleagues.  Finally, the full group will engage in de-briefing discussions.
Susan Letterman White, J.D., M.S., is the founder of Letterman White Consulting and its training partner, Lawyers, Leaders, & Teams, which trains lawyers to think and act like business leaders through coaching, retreats, workshops, presentations, and other programs designed for a law firm, law department, or lawyer’s unique needs including Crossing-Selling Strategy Teams for Business Development, Women’s and Diversity Initiatives, and Strategic Communication for Career Advancement and Business Development. Outcomes of Susan’s work include better and more productive business meetings, identification of strategic opportunities and strategies to leverage them, and creative solutions designed to manage conflict. She was a practicing attorney in the area of employment litigation and counseling with more than 20 years of experience and a managing partner of a Philadelphia law firm before she began her Master of Science studies in Organization Development. In 2008, she was awarded her Master of Science degree from America University with Academic Distinction for Exemplary Field Work.
Susan’s background, which includes a J.D. from Loyola Law School in 1985, and a B.A. in Philosophy from Brandeis University in 1980, informs her approach to solving the problems that lawyers face. She is certified to administer, interpret, and facilitate individual and group learning with the Myers Briggs Type Indicator® for development of power, influence, and strategic communication skills and improvement of group performance. She is experienced in administering and using the Law Practices Inventory® for leadership development and in using the Thomas Killman Inventory® for conflict management training. She has been trained in the use of organization network analysis for organization assessment, assessment of relationships between law firm and their clients, and structural redesign to improve the informal relationships that drive organization performance, employee engagement, and business development.
The LACBA-WLALA Joint Task Force also invites your law firm or employer to become a signatory to the Call to Action.  Signatories to the Call to Action agree to implement two initiatives in each of five priority areas by 2012 to attract, retain, and advance women lawyers.  Participating law firms also agree to participate in a Coalition that works with the LACBA/WLALA Joint Task Force to provide a forum for continued collaboration, cross-firm sharing of measurements of success of women’s initiatives, and a formal network of firm leaders with a continuing commitment to advancing and retaining women lawyers. The Call to Action signatories are honored on the WLALA website. If you have any questions, you may contact the WLALA Office at (213) 892-8982 or any of the Joint Task Force members. 
As noted above, attendance at this year’s Joint Task Force Summer program is free.  To register your firm, clients, and friends, and for more information, please visit or contact Kay Burt at the WLALA office, or (213) 892-8982.
Tanya L. Forsheit is the WLALA President-Elect.  Ms. Forsheit is one of the Founding Partners of InfoLawGroup.