December 2021 Spotlight on Flex
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 our December 2021 Spotlight on Flex we are pleased to share insights from Katelyn Miller, Partner, Seyfarth Shaw.
Diversity & Flexibility Alliance: How have you made flexibility a priority and a success with your schedule? How has the firm and/or your clients contributed to this?
Katelyn Miller: Upon returning from maternity leave after the birth of my first child in 2015, I transitioned to an alternative schedule. I had wonderful role models at my prior firm who guided me through the process of requesting and moving to a flexible schedule. When my daughter was one, I moved to Seyfarth. After receiving an offer, I very nervously called the head of our Litigation Department and asked whether I could join the firm on an 80% schedule. Within hours, I received a response that Seyfarth would be happy to accommodate my schedule. It was clear from the beginning that in addition to providing exceptional client service, Seyfarth truly valued its team members and provided different opportunities and avenues for its professionals to succeed.
I have maintained my 80% schedule since joining Seyfarth, with the support of my department and firm leadership. I prioritize my flexible schedule by clearly communicating with my colleagues and setting and managing expectations at the outset of a project or new piece of litigation. I also carefully consider my workload when taking on new matters to ensure that I can devote the requisite amount of time and attention given my alternative schedule. However, once I take on a new matter, I am 100% committed, regardless of my schedule. I am fortunate to work with attorneys and clients who respect my time and arrangement, and who trust me to provide excellent client service and work product.
Litigation can be very tough and I obviously cannot control everything, like court-ordered deadlines and schedules, client emergencies or weeks-long out of town trials. But, I have worked very hard to maintain my flexible schedule since becoming a mom and am thrilled that Seyfarth has always and continues to support me.