Cayla Whitley is an associate in Tressler’s Labor & Employment Practice Group. Cayla primarily handles employment and litigation matters and she provides management-side labor and employment litigation defense to a broad range of clients.
Cayla received her J.D. from the University of California, Irvine – School of Law with Pro Bono Graduation Honors and currently works out of Tressler's Orange County office.
Where are you from?
Alameda, California, which is a small city in the Bay Area.
What was your first job?
I was a camp counselor for an overnight camp in Half Moon Bay, California. To this day, this is still one of the hardest jobs I've ever had.
What is on your bucket list?
I want to visit Japan and go to Nintendo World and stay in a ryokan (a traditional Japanese inn) and ride the Mario Kart go-karts throughout the city.
Why did you decide to become an attorney?
I participated in Mock Trial in High School, which I loved so much. I also liked the idea that every industry needs attorneys and felt it was a career path with many different possibilities.
What does a typical workday look like for you?
I primarily work on answering/propounding discovery and writing various types of motions depending on the needs of the case. I also like to take a break to grab Boba towards the end of the day.
Why did you choose your areas of practice?
Employment is a very interesting area of law because there are so many different types of cases and clients. The law is always changing and I enjoy creating strategies for the types of cases we handle.
What do you like most about Tressler?
I love my team in the Orange County office. They help create an environment that not only allows me to grow my legal skills and ask questions, but also discuss non-legal topics and get to know each other outside of work.
What are you most proud of, professionally and/or personally?
I am most proud of passing the California Bar my first time during the pandemic. When I took the bar, it was the first time it was being offered online and the date of the test was changed twice. There was a lot of uncertainty surrounding what the format would be and if we would be able to take it, but I was able to study and pass. No words can describe how I felt when I saw my name on the pass list.
Do you currently do or have done any previous pro bono work?
Yes. During law school, I was involved with various pro bono projects that involved advocating on behalf of children. I am always looking for opportunities to mentor kids and help them feel comfortable exploring their passions. Recently, I signed up to be a Big Sister with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America Organization and was matched with my new Little Sister who is ten years old. I am excited to be able to continue my work with children and provide additional pro bono legal services while at Tressler.
What children’s character can you relate with most? And why?
Nancy Drew because I love how curious she is and how she never stops until she finds out the truth. I also love how she tries to help people and her strong sense of justice. She is never afraid of doing what is right. In October 2019, I even went to a Nancy Drew Convention in Savannah, Georgia and was featured on the news!
Cayla Whitley being interviewed at a 1920s-themed dinner and scavenger hunt during a Nancy Drew Convention in Savannah, Georgia.