Our 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.
For July 2019, we are pleased to share insights from Sharon Newlon, Member and Environmental, Energy & Sustainability Practice Group Co-Chair, Dickinson Wright (Detroit, MI)
Diversity & Flexibility Alliance: How have you made flexibility a priority and a success with your career? How has the firm supported this?
Sharon Newlon: I had always looked for a career that could meld my interest in math, science, and the law. By the time I was in law school, I knew I wanted to focus on environmental law since this mixed all my interests into one area. I was introduced to Dickinson Wright when I was hired after my first year of law school as a research associate for a bankruptcy attorney here who was writing a book for Matthew Bender. Dickinson didn’t hire first year interns for its summer program at the time, but I was introduced to the head of their environmental practice and invited back for my second year summer in 1987. I expressed my interest in environmental law and was assigned great projects in that area – and I’ve been with the firm ever since!
I’ve had different career opportunities over the years, but I was, and am, really happy at the firm and with the environmental group. When my son was born in 1998, flex/reduced hours were already in place for associates, but not members. Dickinson saw how well flex was working at the associate level, and they expanded the reduced hours policy to income members while I was on maternity leave.