Partner and Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation chair Kate Ulrich Saracene spoke with The Glass Hammer on how being flexible helped advance her career. Kate stated, “You cannot map out your career; you have to respond to opportunities and obstacles as they appear.” The article notes that Kate has made choices throughout her career to pursue opportunities that make the most sense for her family, rather than adhering to a traditional roadmap. In the long run, these choices have both advanced her career and allow her to better understand her clients. She stated, “I have walked in [in my clients] shoes and speak their language, and I understand the operational things they need to be aware of and the consequences of my advice.”

On joining Katten, Kate noted her appreciation of the firm’s flexible work policy and the positive impact it’s had for the team and clients. “Because the firm has been so flexible, I’ve been able to recruit talented people whom I’ve worked with in the past, allowing the group to grow organically.”

Using her emersion into the provisions of the Affordable Care Act as an example, Kate encouraged young associates to “find a new area of the law where you are on equal footing with everyone else despite their experience, learn it and own it. If you are willing to tackle something new and master it, you can be an invaluable resource to your firm and clients.” She also is a strong advocate of practicing mindfulness, which she feels contributes to her overall wellbeing while helping her think more deliberately and better manage clients and their expectations. (“Voice of Experience: Kate Ulrich Saracene, Partner, Katten,” January 13, 2020)