The State of the Alliance – Looking Back on a Great Year

As we come to the end of the year, we at the Alliance have been encouraging our members and friends to reflect on their accomplishments and celebrate this year’s successes. We would also like to share with you what we’ve accomplished and where we’ve been this year.

In 2016, we provided trainings and workshops, individual strategic planning sessions, policy drafting advice, culture assessment surveys, and focus groups to our 58 member firms and corporations. We welcomed eight new members and were thrilled to continue to expand our reach into the financial services and consulting industries.

We conducted and analyzed critical research on flexibility and gender diversity in law firms and advised our members on how they could continue to improve in these areas. We were proud that many media outlets covered our research reports, including The Wall Street Journal Blog, Yahoo Finance, The Washington Business Journal, Law360, and Courtroom View Network, among others.

We shared our expertise through countless presentations on topics ranging from women’s leadership, women’s initiatives, mindset, grit, and confidence to managing remote teams, among others. We traveled to Mexico City and around the United States providing insights into and expertise on leveraging the value of diversity and flexibility in organizations.

This year, we spotlighted ten amazing professionals who are proving that working a flexible schedule can coincide with a highly successful career. We created 12 new Action Steps that informed members on relevant issues from reducing bias in evaluations to individual strategies for remote team success and teaching flex success.

We held a Flex Advisor Workshop to train those responsible for managing and implementing flexible work programs based on the Alliance’s five-step Flex Success Framework. We held a Flex Leader Exchange (FLEx) teleconference to discuss Alliance research and share trends in flexible work in law firms and corporate legal departments. Our Annual Conference featured New York Times bestselling author Brigid Schulte and presentations from leaders in the legal and financial communities sharing their expertise on diversity, inclusion, and flexibility.

Our six Signature Seminar Series webinars were exceptionally well received. Roberta Liebenberg, co-author of the ABA report First Chairs at Trial: More Women Need a Seat at the Table, joined Massachusetts Supreme Court Justice Fernande Duffly and Schoeman, Updike & Kaufman Partner Beth Kaufman in a discussion on how to close the gender gap in the courtroom. Global Inclusion Specialist Ritu Basin shared her expertise on preparing yourself for sponsorship. Shook, Hardy & Bacon Strategic Diversity Director Kori Carew and Kia Scipio, Associate Director of Georgetown Law Center, provided two perspectives on how law firms can use flexibility to stay competitive and to recruit their next generation of superstars. Paul Burton provided participants with immediate actionable suggestions for four productivity skills every manager needs. Four attorneys working flexible schedules shared their secrets to success from both personal and professional perspectives. And, Tasneem Goodman covered the skills needed to be more successful in your business development strategy and approach.

We held a Leadership Symposium focusing on how professionals can expand their leadership style and business skills. Chris DeSantis gave his guidance on how to provide direction and feedback to help develop your team’s skills. Sara Holtz, founder of ClientFocus, shared her knowledge of how to strategically build your network. Scott Westfahl and Carrie Fletcher of Harvard Law School Executive Education led a discussion on how to motivate others and lead effective teams.

We kept our members and friends abreast of all things diversity and flexibility through our monthly newsletter and weekly posts on this blog, Insights.

As we look to 2017, we’re planning an inspirational line-up of experts for our Annual Conference on March 16 and we hope you will join us! We also hope our members will continue to follow and share this blog and let us know how we can help you leverage diversity and flexibility to increase your organization’s value and competitiveness!