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President's Message - January

Anne C. Tremblay
WLALA President 2013-2014

It is the eve of 2014 as I draft this month’s president’s message so I must begin with apologies to Communications Officer Heather Stern and Executive Administrator Kay Burt for missing the newsletter deadline . . . again. My New Year’s resolution for 2013 was to procrastinate less; however, like most resolutions, it remains a work in progress.

In so many places around the world, the new year is a time of celebration, reflection and renewal. Here in the United States, we make resolutions and also count down to midnight as a Waterford crystal ball (or a giant peach, pickle, etc.) drops. In South Africa, people toss old furniture out of their windows as a farewell to the year that is ending. As I learned from a story on NPR this week, Germans drop molten lead into cold water to harden and then examine the resulting shape to provide a glimpse into what the next year may hold. Today, my brother-in-law shared with me the Columbian tradition of running around the block carrying an empty suitcase or simply placing it outside the door in hopes that the coming year will be one full of travel and adventure. Those who know my penchant for travel will not be surprised that I plan to add this one to my own year-end rituals.

A Danish tradition that I learned about several years ago continues to resonate with me. The first New Year’s Eve I spent with a friend who moved to LA from Copenhagen, the group gathered at my house climbed on the couch and chairs in the living room, stood up and at the stroke of midnight we all jumped off the furniture and into the New Year. There is something so simple yet exhilarating about this act. Give it a try next year, or, perhaps, next week. You might be pleasantly surprised. Besides, when is the last time you stood on the furniture as a grown-up?

Looking back for a moment at the end of the WLALA calendar year, I want to thank First Vice President Kimberly Arnal for planning a wonderful holiday reception on December 4th at the City Club. It was an evening of tasty food, festive drinks, beautiful views and inspiring words from the Honorable Emilie H. Elias. And, if you do not believe me, there are pictures to prove it. Check them out below.

Included in this month’s issue is also a great group photo of several attendees at WLALA’s first ever Yoga Wellness and substance abuse MCLE program. Thank you to Kimberly Fowler, owner of YAS for teaching, hosting and sponsoring this event. Thank you also to WLALA member Nancy Yaffe as well as Career Development and Life Balance Committee Co-Chairs Tanya Forsheit and Jessica Kurzban for making it happen. The feedback from this unique program was excellent and just one example of terrific collaboration in the service of our membership.

Looking ahead to January, the Young Lawyers Section, Co-Chaired by Julie Stromberg and Christina Lincoln, will present a program entitled Starting Your Own Practice: Common Traps, Ethical Considerations & Business Fundamentals. This program will feature WLALA member Ellen Pansky, along with other panelists, and will include ethics MCLE credit in time to meet the upcoming State Bar deadline. I am among those in compliance group 3, but happily I did not procrastinate this year and my hours are complete. For those of you who still need a few more, please join us at our January 23rd program and also see the newsletter for additional MCLE programs sponsored by our fellow bar organizations.

The time has come to pop open my bottle of prosecco, pour a glass and toast to a successful 2014 for WLALA and for all of our members. Cheers and Happy New Year!