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DECEMBER 2013 - Cynthia Cohen
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Communication and Trial Practice Tips for the Woman Lawyer

WLALA golfers make everyone enjoy the company and the game!

 by Cynthia R. Cohen, Ph.D., Verdict Success LLC 

Every activity is a form of communication. Business development takes greater communication skills as you add strategy to your goals. Rainmakers don’t eat alone; they speak at conferences, write articles, solve complex problems, and interact with sports. Women who shy away from golf at firm retreats or conferences can be left out of business opportunities.

There are many myths about golf – primarily, that it is a man’s game. While men in general are physically stronger than women and outdrive them from the tee box, golf courses designate ladies tee boxes further forward to equalize men’s long drives. In a tournament scramble (i.e., team play from the best shot), a woman’s long drive from the ladies tee box can give the team an edge.
Women who learn golf increasingly love the game.   They enjoy being outside, learning new skills, and making connections. It is an antidote for workaholics who value business development. Professionals such as attorneys, accountants, bankers, consultants and forensic experts all benefit from making connections whether you are seeking business or giving business. Impression formation occurs quickly (i.e., first impressions) and over time (i.e., relationships). Golfers develop more trusted business relationships playing golf rounds and sharing stories over drinks at the 19th hole. Corporate counsel learn more in the golf round about whether to hire you and you learn more about whether to hire a consultant or legal vendor than in an interview. Respect for the greens, honesty in keeping track of your score and rooting for others are all part of the game. How you communicate takes many forms.
Last year’s "Developing Business through Golf” seminar, golf clinic and scramble catapulted into the WLALA Golf League with three series (Winter/Spring, Summer and Fall/Winter). Sixty-three women so far played in at least one of the series and 75% of our WLALA Golf League members started as beginners. The holidays are upon us and we celebrate our first WLALA Golf League anniversary on December 7, 2013 at The Lakes. The WLALA Golf League will continue through 2014, plus we have exciting news!
In addition to the WLALA Golf League, there is a green light for starting a Southern California Golf Association (SCGA) club called Advocating Women Lawyers Golf Club to coincide with SCGA’s 2014 membership year (Jan. 1- Dec. 31). SCGA membership benefits include a monthly golf magazine, $15 Roger Dunn gift certificate, ability to post official scores, and special opportunities to play at golf courses throughout Southern California. We will golf nine and 18-hole SCGA courses with other women lawyers and legal related professionals on a regular basis. Other opportunities include a future golf shopping date as well as a two-day golf school and additional golf clinics.
The SCGA encouraged us to do this because of our collaboration with the SCGA Youth on Course Foundation and supporting its Girls Committee. Cynthia Cohen will serve as Advocating Women Lawyers Golf Club’s first president with Ruth Kahn as Vice President, Heather Stern as Secretary and forensic accountant Victoria Wilkerson as Treasurer. Arlene Turinchak, our Handicap Chair, will go through the certification process for our new SCGA club. Arlene is most knowledgeable about golf rules and we are sure she will pass the test!
You do not need to be an Annika Sorenstam, Paula Creamer, or Cristie Kerr to be on the golf course. We have 26 Founding Members of the Advocating Women Lawyers Golf Club and adding more every day. Join now to start the new year as a member of Advocating Women Lawyers Golf Club. You will need the SCGA member form and a $50 check payable to WLALA. I’m happy to discuss any questions about the WLALA SCGA golf club and encourage new golfers to communicate on the range, the course or via my email –

WLALA Member Cynthia Cohen specializes in jury research, trial strategies, and settlement decision-making at Verdict Success. Dr. Cohen can be reached at 310-545-7914 or