Lathrop GPM and Ogletree Deakins Partners and Clients to be Honored for Attorney-Client Partnerships That Support Flexible Schedules

Diversity & Flexibility Alliance Flex Success® Awards to Be Presented Virtually on Nov. 3

Washington, DC (October 26, 2021) – Today the Diversity and Flexibility Alliance announced that its 2021 Flex Success® Award honorees will be: Liz Dillon, Partner and Franchise Practice Group Leader, Lathrop GPM LLP, and her client Iris Rosario, Senior Counsel, Choice Hotels, and Sarah Kuehnel, Partner, Ogletree Deakins, and her client Bonnie Smith, CEO of Studio B Entertainment.

The Flex Success® Award recognizes Partners at Diversity & Flexibility Alliance member law firms who have achieved success while working a reduced hours schedule as well as a client who has been integral to making workplace flexibility so successful. The Awards will be presented on November 3 during the Alliance’s virtual annual conference, Reflect. Reimagine. Recalibrate. Paving the Way to Inclusive Flexibility. Registration is available here.

“These respected law firm leaders have achieved extraordinary career success while working flexible schedules,” said Manar Morales, President & CEO of the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance. “Their careers clearly demonstrate that partners working reduced hours and remote schedules can provide exceptional client service when they have the support of and collaboration from clients and firm colleagues. We hope these outstanding women motivate other attorneys to seek flexible schedules when needed to thrive in a successful and sustainable career,” she added.

Liz Dillon, Partner, Lathrop GPM LLP

Lathrop Partner Liz Dillon’s flexible schedule generally includes working four days a week, allowing her to spend most Fridays with her family, other than two months of the year when her practice is particularly busy. As the leader of Lathrop’s Franchise & Distribution Practice Group, she oversees more than 30 lawyers and paralegals and has been recognized for her legal prowess in Chambers USA, Chambers Global, The Best Lawyers in America, “Legal Eagles” by Franchise Times and the International Who’s Who of Franchise Lawyers.  Under her leadership, the firm was named the “Best Franchise Law Firm” in the world by Global Franchise Magazine in 2021.

Working together for many years, Liz and her client Iris Rosario, Senior Counsel, Choice Hotels, have developed an open dialog that allows them to work collaboratively to meet the legal needs of Choice Hotels.  Liz’s flexible schedule has also allowed her to volunteer with the Advocates for Human Rights, serve as a board member for the Minnesota Land Trust, and chair its Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee, and be recognized as a “North Star Lawyer” by the Minnesota State Bar Association for providing 50 hours of pro bono legal services in 2019 to low-income people.

“I am honored to be recognized by the Diversity & Flexible Alliance for this award,” said Liz Dillon. “We are grateful for clients that support our commitment to work-life balance. Our constant collaboration and effective communication allow both teams to accomplish our objectives and establish healthy boundaries that allow for a fulfilling, sustainable life.”

“Inclusion, diversity, and a healthy work-life balance are a part of Choice Hotels’ values and principles,” said Iris Rosario, Senior Counsel, Franchise, Choice Hotels International, Inc. “Liz Dillon and I have created an effective working relationship, and we can always rely on Liz and the Lathrop GPM Franchise Practice Group for timely and relevant advice.  She is an example of an attorney who can have a successful practice while maintaining a work-life balance.”

“Congratulations to Liz Dillon on her Flex Success Award from the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance,” said Cameron Garrison, Firm Managing Partner of Lathrop GPM. “Liz is an excellent example of how we deliver unmatched value to clients while still allowing partners, associates and professional staff the flexibility to manage other components of their lives. Lathrop GPM is committed to being a leader in allowing flexible schedules that fit the needs of our people while also continuing to deliver the high-quality service and responsiveness our clients demand.”

Sarah Kuehnel, Partner, Ogletree Deakins

For the last ten years, Sarah Kuehnel has been working a fully-remote, reduced hours schedule which reduces her annualized hours target to 85%.  As a military spouse who has moved five times to four different states based on her husband’s military orders, this flexible schedule has allowed her to continue to successfully work for Ogletree Deakins. In 2016, Sarah transitioned from her home office in St. Louis to the Florida Panhandle, where she volunteered to take her third bar exam enabling her to service firm clients in a part of the country where the firm did not have an office.  Sarah’s client, Bonnie Smith, CEO of Studio B Entertainment, is a strong advocate of flexible working arrangements and has always engaged Sarah’s services regardless of where Sarah physically lived. Bonnie has also introduced Sarah and promoted her employment law expertise to her peers at large prestigious organizations to help expand her client reach.

“I am honored to receive the 2021 Flex Success Award a decade into my remote career, which started back in 2011! Ogletree’s support and encouragement, paired with enthusiasm from my clients, particularly Bonnie Smith, has enabled my success while working remotely and flexibly,” said Sarah Kuehnel.  “Indeed, my success would have been impossible without the resources from my firm and dedication of my clients given my need to work remotely from several different states because of my husband’s military career, which has relocated me 5 times in 10 years,” she added.

“I am extremely proud of Sarah’s incredible work; and she is very much deserving of this Award,” said Bonnie Smith, CEO of Studio B Entertainment. “Sarah has been and continues to be a critical part of our team, providing her expertise that allows us to execute with excellence at each and every touchpoint of our business,” she added.

“Ogletree Deakins is proud to offer a modern and flexible working environment for our attorneys,” said Matt Keen, managing shareholder, Ogletree Deakins. “Sarah has demonstrated tremendous prowess in living our Client Pledge in service of Studio B Entertainment and other clients, all while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. This recognition validates our commitment to flexible scheduling options and showcases the vast potential of attorneys like Sarah.”

The Diversity and Flexibility Alliance is a think tank that collaborates with organizations to develop non-stigmatized flexible work policies that promote inclusive work cultures for all and help to advance more women into leadership positions. The Alliance provides practical research-based solutions, training workshops, and strategic advisory services that increase organizational effectiveness through diversity and flexibility.

Registration for the conference is available here.

Contact: Manar Morales