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OCTOBER 2013 NEWSLETTER - Meet The Board
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Meet the Board


Vanessa C. Adriance
Financial Development





Tell us about your background.  I am originally from New Hampshire, and went to college and law school in New Orleans.  I’ve been a litigator at Gibson Dunn for seven years, working primarily in environmental law and malpractice defense, but I also have a significant amount of general business litigation experience as well.  I especially enjoy trial work when I can get it.

What is your role for WLALA and how would you like to see members get more involved?  I am on the financial development committee for WLALA. I would love to see members getting involved in any way that interests them, but particularly by just attending programs and participating in WLALA’s ongoing initiatives such as mentoring of younger women.  I also hope everyone attends WLALAPalooza this year, and encourage their friends and colleagues who haven’t joined yet to become members!

What are your passions and interests?  Outside of work, I am a fairly avid runner and am training for a half marathon in November, and am generally game for most crazy athletic activities. On a more serious note, I am very passionate about women’s advancement and rights, and devote most of my public service time and money to causes related to women’s issues.  I also like to read in my spare time.



 Susan Alker
Harriett Buhai Center Liaison
Tell us about your background. I am a partner in the Corporate Practice Group at Winston & Strawn. I specialize in debt finance transactions, representing major banks and other institutional lenders making loans to corporations.
What is your role for WLALA and how would you like to see members get more involved? I am the Harriet Buhai Center Liaison, which means I am on the Board of both WLALA and the HarrietBuhaiCenter. The BuhaiCenter provides pro bono family law services primarily to women and children who are victims of domestic violence. WLALA is one of the founding organizations of the BuhaiCenter and continues to actively support its work.
What are your passions and interests? My twin children are now twelve years old, and their sporting events and other activities take up a lot of my “spare” time. If I did have free time, I’d like to go to the beach and read a good book.
Kim Arnal
WLALA First Vice President
Tell us about your background. I was born and educated in Northern California where I attended UC Berkeley and UC Hasting School of Law. I’m a partner with The Aguilera Law Group where I litigate insurance coverage matters on behalf of insurance carriers. I have specialized in insurance coverage matters my entire 14 year carrier and my favorite part of practicing law is negotiating “the deal.”
What is your role for WLALA and how would you like to see members get more involved? As First Vice President I am in charge of coordinating WLALA’s programs and events. This year, as in past years, I hope to see more WLALA members attending a wide variety of educational and networking programs. I encourage all members to get involved. If you have an idea for a program, please contact me.
What are your passions and interests? Not surprisingly, I’m passionate about WLALA and the role we play in the advancement and retention of women in the law and through the law. When I’m not singing WLALA’s praises, I am spending time with my 10 year old son, 5 year old daughter, wonderfully supportive husband, 3 cats and 1 extremely large dog. And, with all of my extra free time, I raise funds for my local school district as a board member of the South Pasadena Educational Foundation.


Amy Brantly
WLALA Secretary/Treasurer
Tell us about your background. I graduated from Fordham Law School in 1999 and my first job was as a litigation associate at a mid-size firm in Manhattan where I mostly worked on securities cases. Shortly thereafter, I moved back home to Los Angeles to work at Susman Godfrey where I worked on some major antitrust cases, trade secret cases and handled general business litigation matters. I left Susman 6 months ago to join an Irell spin-off, Goldberg Lowenstein & Weatherwax, where I work with amazing women and men and am very focused on business development. I love the challenge and am very excited about the future.
What is your role for WLALA and how would you like to see members get more involved? This year, my role at WLALA is principally to maintain the budget and monitor the organization's financials, as well as keep the board meeting minutes. As an executive officer, I am also always available to meet with members, listen to their ideas for WLALA, and assist the organization in any way that I can. I'd love to get more member feedback to ensure that we are meeting all of our members' needs and I'd love to meet more members at our fabulous programs and girls' night out events!
What are your passions and interests? I am passionate about equal opportunity for women and women achieving their professional dreams. I am also passionate about ending abuses and discrimination of women and girls in other countries, especially where even a basic right to education is not available. My interests include reading historical fiction, cardio barre, and traveling with my husband and three amazing kids.


Robyn C. Crowther
Tell us about your background. I am a civil litigator at a 30-lawyer litigation boutique downtown. I clerked on the District Court and spent one year at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher and have been with my firm since 1998.
What is your role for WLALA and how would you like to see members get more involved? For the past two years that I have co-chaired the Litigation Section, we have put together the annual Litigators Forum which is a great event. This year I’d like to give members a chance to meet one another in a more casual setting to encourage networking and taking a more active role in WLALA.
What are your passions and interests? I have three daughters who are 14, 12 and 10 who keep my husband and me busy. My husband and I play recreational volleyball twice a week – we met playing volleyball so it is fun to still play together 20 years later. I’m also not ashamed to admit that I love TV and my DVR gets a serious workout.