Insights (Blog) - Diversity & Flexibility Alliance

Are you Approaching Your Law Career With Enthusiasm? 5 Reasons You Should Join us for “Ladder Down” with Lauren Stiller Rikleen

If you’re an attorney (or even a law student), you know that it’s not enough to just be good at your job. In 2017, you’re expected to go the extra mile and bring in new business, take on leadership roles in your firm, network with your peers, and join professional organizations. How can you manage all of these demands and embrace them as opportunities to advance your career and achieve fulfillment? Have you become overwhelmed and is your enthusiasm for your career fading?

Join us for our Signature Seminar Series and you’ll hear from Lauren Stiller Rikleen, author of Ladder Down: Success Strategies for Lawyers From Women Who Will be Hiring, Reviewing, and Promoting You. Lauren’s webinar will take place from 1:00 – 2:15 pm ET on Thursday, June 8 and is free to all Alliance Members.

Here are five reasons you should join us and learn how to approach your law career with enthusiasm:

    1. Learn how to create a “niche” practice by developing your own personal brand.
    2. Acquire leadership skills that will differentiate you from others.
    3. Gain insights into effective networking.
    4. Develop successful mentor and champion relationships
    5. Hear tips on advocating for yourself and finding better work-life balance.

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Spotlight on Flex – Jennifer Nowlin

The Spotlight on Flex showcases professionals from member organizations who exemplify personal and professional success while working a flexible schedule. Their stories illustrate the long-term benefits that flexible schedules offer to both individuals and organizations.

This month, we are pleased to share insights from Jennifer Nowlin, Associate General Counsel, Labor and Employment, in the Bentonville, AR Office of Walmart Legal.

Jennifer NowlinDiversity & Flexibility Alliance: How have you made flexibility a priority and a success through your career? 

Jennifer Nowlin: I started practicing law as a commercial litigator at a Dallas firm. I’d been practicing for less than one year when my husband was offered a job at Walmart in Bentonville, AR. We had to decide whether it was time for us to relocate, but I knew my marketability was limited with such little experience under my belt. From the beginning, Walmart supported my family’s needs; the company allowed us to stay in Dallas while my husband traveled back and forth to Bentonville. We kept this arrangement for a year and finally relocated to Bentonville when I joined Walmart’s legal department in 2005. I started with the employment practices legal team, but in 2009, I joined the legal team supporting labor relations, and I’ve been with them ever since.

Walmart had developed a Professional Work Option Program, and when I had my first child in 2007, I was one of the early participants in it. I really wanted to spend time at home with my newborn, but I also wasn’t ready to stop working all together. I talked with my supervisor at the time, and she encouraged me to develop different work scenarios that would work for me. If my first choice wasn’t accepted, then I would move on to my next scenario and so forth. My first choice was to work a 3/5 schedule which meant three days in the office, and two days off.

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Action Step –
Feedback Essentials Part 1: Delivering Feedback Effectively

The Alliance’s Action Steps are designed to assist organizations with implementing practical strategies and policies related to diversity and flexibility.  Members can access full versions of all of the Alliance’s Action Steps in the Member Resource Center

FEEDBACK ESSENTIALS PART 1: DELIVERING FEEDBACK EFFECTIVELY

Feedback is critical to career advancement, but research shows women and other under-represented professionals are much less likely than their majority group counterparts to receive the kind of constructive feedback necessary to improve performance. The reasons for this vary, but common ones include supervisors’ concerns they will be perceived in a negative light and fear that the person receiving feedback will leave. These issues are particularly pronounced when feedback is being provided across differences. This introduces additional challenges to an aspect of managing and leading others that many supervisors would prefer to avoid. Overcoming these challenges, however, is essential to fostering the success of all talent, and applying the following best practices provides supervisors with a framework to successfully meet this responsibility….

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