I have been blessed with opportunities and challenges that have allowed me to continue to grow professionally. I have been open to them and lucky to have people around me who have opened doors, looked out for me, and supported my pursuit of them.
My role as managing partner of Latham in DC, and at the Justice Department leading the Criminal Division, allowed me to be in a position to help and mentor other lawyers. At Latham, we have a formal mentoring program for men and women that pairs new lawyers with more seasoned attorneys to ensure that professional support and guidance is accessible.
Personally, I enjoy helping young lawyers discover their goals and find opportunities to achieve them— sometimes within Latham’s walls, sometimes not. I have learned that, wherever they are, opportunities are easier to see, evaluate, and grab when you have support from people who care about you.
I recall a prosecutor at Justice who wanted to take on a different area of law and learn to lead. Together, we created a plan. Now, she is the head of enforcement for a government agency and leading more than 300 people. I am happy to have played a small role by encouraging her, opening doors, and giving a little push on the way.
Mentoring is more than top-down. At Latham, I am surrounded by incredible people. My current role is the best of both worlds: I get to be strategic for my clients, and I am surrounded by peers, mentors, friends, and family who serve as confidantes, sponsors, and allies.
The bottom line? Find people who encourage and push you. These are the people who will help you gain the experience and confidence you need to make your next move—and your biggest moves.
On Finding Success and Staying Competitive
Listen. Be responsive. Stay flexible. Work well with teams.
On the Importance of Role Models and Mentors
There are so many—my mother, who raised six children while working the night shift at the hospital, for her work ethic and constant positive encouragement; Margaret Pfeiffer, the first woman partner I worked for, for her demanding but gracious push for high quality standards and excellence above all; Michael Chertoff, my long time mentor, for teaching me how to be a lawyer and advocate, how to prioritize the things that matter the most and bringing laser like focus to those things and for opening many doors and providing opportunity
Alice’s Advice to Young Women Starting Careers
Don’t try to do everything at once, or be everything to everyone right away. With each experience, you will gain fresh insights that shed light on your next steps and form a solid foundation on which to build.