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President's Message - December

Anne C. Tremblay
WLALA President 2013-2014

On Facebook this November many of my friends have written clever, poignant, and sometimes humorous daily messages about what they are thankful for in their lives. Midmonth, I was touched by a post from my college roommate who shared how grateful she was to have me as a friend during all the "adventures, triumphs and challenges” of her adult life. My dearest friend publically acknowledging me was unnecessary, but reading those words was a lovely way to begin a busy, challenging week of work and out-of-state travel.

Whether you post thanks for the benefit of your social media family, share your thanks around the dinner table with your actual family or repeat them as a mantra while stuck in LA traffic, there is a lot to be said for taking time during this holiday season to express your thanks in words and deeds.

At the top of my gratitude list this year are my WLALA friends and colleagues and when it comes to our Annual Giving Campaign, you – our donors. As you will read in more detail below, we have officially launched our WLALA Foundation 7th Annual Giving Campaign. Your contribution in any amount will support scholarships and the Fran Kandel Public Interest Grants. As a student who relied on scholarships and grants throughout my undergraduate and legal education, I especially enjoy the chance to pay it forward to the next generation of our profession. I hope you will join me, our Annual Giving Chair Susan Steinhauser and all of our WLALA board members in making a donation that will allow worthy law students to also give thanks – thanks for the financial assistance you have provided for them.

If you have the time and inclination to do more than write a check (don’t get me wrong, checks are great!), please join your fellow WLALA members in supporting the Downtown Women’s Center (DWC). Volunteer slots have already filled up fast for our December 12th Cooking Club event organized by Past President Katherine Forster, but dessert and drink offerings are still needed. You may also support DWC by shopping at their social enterprise –Made by DWC. The downtown boutique (and companion online store) is the ideal place to buy a handmade holiday gift for someone special.

On December 4th, please join WLALA as we honor our life members and the newly appointed members of the Los Angeles judiciary at our annual Holiday Reception. Headlining the evening at the newly renovated and relocated City Club will be the Honorable Emilie H. Elias, Supervising Judge of the Complex Civil Litigation Panel. There is no better way to kick off the holiday party season than by mingling with judges, listening to words of wisdom from Judge Elias and enjoying a glass of wine with friends. Please purchase your tickets today!

Before I close, I hope you will join me in giving thanks for the life of Professor Myrna Raeder. Her recent loss will be felt not only by her family, friends, colleagues and students but by the whole of the Los Angeles legal community. I was never a student of Professor Raeder’s, but I have read her work and followed her career. Although the monetary award was long since spent on my bar preparation course, I still have the framed certificate signed by Professor Raeder in her capacity as the President of the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL) when I was honored as the NAWL-sponsored Outstanding Woman Law Graduate (or, as the roommate I mentioned above dubbed it, the "best girl lawyer” award) at my law school graduation in 1995. That award was my first, and thankfully not my last, introduction to the inspirational Professor Raeder and to the world of women’s bar associations. Please read the tribute to Professor Raeder included in this month’s newsletter and learn how you may honor her memory. On behalf of WLALA, my heartfelt condolences go out to Professor Raeder’s husband and family.
United Stated Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (ret.) once said, "We don’t accomplish anything in this world alone…and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one’s life and all the weavings of individual threads from one to another that creates something.” Now is the perfect time to weave some new threads for others while we also appreciate those who have added color to our own tapestry.

Finally, as you recover from all the turkey, stuffing and perhaps some potato latkes, check out the calendar of our upcoming WLALA events and enjoy this month’s newsletter.

Happy holidays to you and yours!