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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.

May 2021 Spotlight on Flex

For our May Spotlight on Flex, we’re pleased to highlight Abigail B. Molitor, Associate in the Chicago Office of Sidley Austin, LLP.

 

Diversity & Flexibility Alliance: How have you made flexibility a priority and a success with your schedule? How have the firm and/or clients contributed to this?

Abigail Molitor: I’ve worked a flexible schedule for nearly the entire time I’ve been at Sidley.  I had my first child a few months after starting at the firm, and I returned from parental leave to an 80% reduced hours schedule. I’ve maintained that same schedule in the years since and through the birth of my second child. Over that time, I’ve found that the key to success is to periodically review and adjust how I organize my schedule within that general 80% framework.  There have been times, particularly when my kids were very small, when it has been very important for me to manage the number of hours I worked in a day to accommodate other responsibilities.  There have been other times, as my kids have gotten a bit older, where I have greater capacity to dig into more intense periods of work, then balance out my hours with longer periods of time off. In either case, I try to be intentional and thoughtful about the demands of my cases and the needs of my family to figure out how best to fit those puzzle pieces together.  And, if I’ve learned anything in the past few years, the shape of the puzzle is constantly changing.

Sidley’s flexible work policies provided the foundation for me to create a schedule that works for me, and the partners in my group have truly committed to helping make that schedule successful in practice. Because I adopted a flexible schedule early in my career, I’ve worked closely with group leadership and key mentors to be thoughtful about the cases and work opportunities I take on to ensure that I develop necessary skills, management experience, and leadership opportunities to grow in my career over the long-term.