Profiles in Diversity Journal First Quarter 2021

Page 52

2021

LEADERS

Managing Partner, Los Angeles Office

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INTERNATIONAL

Education: JD, Chicago–Kent College of Law; BA, University of California, Los Angeles Company Name: FordHarrison LLP Industry: Law Company CEO: Allen J. McKenna Company Headquarters Location: Atlanta, Georgia Number of Employees: 256 Your Location (if different from above): Los Angeles, California Words you live by: I think there is nothing more important than being honest. Who is your personal hero? Michelle Obama What book are you reading? The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson What was your first job? I worked at a frozen yogurt shop. Favorite charity: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Interests: Cooking, eating, traveling, reading Family: My husband, daughter, three stepchildren, two dogs, and one cat

As a litigator who has always spent more time on the road and outside an office to perform my job, the pandemic was life changing in that it gave me some of my life back by allowing me to work remotely and by Zoom from the comfort of my own home.

The Pandemic Gave Me Some of My Life Back In the 20 years I have worked in the legal profession, I have learned that this business is not kind to either women or people of color. The pandemic taught me the same thing. For one, it has had a disproportionate economic impact on all minorities, including Hispanics, who are often working in jobs that cannot be performed from home, may require travel on public transportation, and do not offer workers paid time off when they or others in their families fall ill. Similarly, the pandemic has

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forced women to leave the workforce or sacrifice their career momentum to care for children who have no place to go when schools are closed. For many, this has been a major step backward. Surprisingly though, the pandemic has had a positive impact for some of us who prior to it spent hours of our day commuting from one place to another, forcing us to spend less and less time with our families. As a litigator who has always spent more time on the road and outside an office to perform my job, the pandemic was

life changing in that it gave me some of my life back by allowing me to work remotely and by Zoom from the comfort of my own home. For some of us, it has changed how we think about how work can be done and why it should be done differently. In the coming years, I believe that the world will continue to embrace the ability to perform many of our day-today functions remotely. Once schools reopen, I think this change will also result in many of us experiencing better work-life balance.

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Allison Saunders