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Allen makes a case for having it all

By: JESSICA STEPHEN//June 12, 2014

Allen makes a case for having it all

By: JESSICA STEPHEN//June 12, 2014

woman-of-the-year

Lochmann-Allen-JessieJessie Lochmann Allen is right where she wants to be.

“I feel a real drive to sort of scream from the rooftops how awesome Milwaukee is,” said Allen, a partner with Foley & Lardner LLP in Milwaukee, where she oversees the firm’s summer associate program, has led the recruiting committee and mentors junior associates.

“I love Milwaukee,” she said. “I think it’s an awesome city to work in, to live in. And we, as young professionals, need to convey that message. We lose so many of those people. We need them to come back here.”

That’s exactly what Allen did after graduating from Harvard Law School in 2001, the same year she started as an associate with Foley. The firm is where she spent both her summer internships; met her husband, fellow partner Jason Allen; made partner after taking a six-month maternity leave with her first child; and then had two more little ones after that.

Allen is the only female partner among the nearly 40 attorneys in Foley’s transactional and securities practice group. She’s also a board member with YMCA Metro Milwaukee, Betty Brinn Children’s Museum and president-elect of Milwaukee Women Inc., which promotes the advancement of women in the boardroom.

“It’s a little intimidating how much she does,” said Linda Benfield, managing partner with Foley & Lardner in Milwaukee.

Allen credits the firm with helping her grow.

“This has been a terrific place, a supportive place, for me to be a professional, but also have children and raise a family,” said Allen, whose sons are 5, 3 and 1.

“I took six months maternity leave with each of my three boys,” she said. “And I’m not saying it wasn’t a challenge, and I’m not saying I didn’t have to work hard to stay in touch with clients while I was gone, but I was able to come right back.”

Juggling home and work requires give and take, she said.

“Some days are more Foley heavy, and some days are more family heavy,” Allen said. “Some days it’s an hour-by-hour analysis of what hat I’m going to wear. It can be exhausting, but for me it’s exhilarating. … We need to make places in our firms for female partners who have that experience.”

It’s part of the reason Allen is so adamant about mentoring.

“I want young women and men to know you can have that,” she said. “I want to tell women, ‘I have done it, and it’s not impossible. And there are people here who are willing to talk you through it, and give you a road map.’

You still have to want it. I don’t make it out to be an easy path, but it’s not an impossible one either.”

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AWL selects Allen as Woman of the Year

From 27 Women in the Law honorees, Jessie Lochmann Allen of Foley & Lardner LLP was the Association for Women Lawyers’s clear choice for 2014 Woman of the Year.

AWL is Wisconsin Law Journal’s event partner in the annual Women in the Law awards.

In choosing her for the honor, the group’s board noted that Allen has “gone above and beyond to help other women achieve similar success both in the law and in business.”

AWL praised the law firm partner and mother of three for her own achievements — she’s the only female partner among the nearly 40 attorneys in Foley’s transactional and securities practice group — as well as the time she devotes to mentoring and promoting women.

“Through her work as a board member of Milwaukee Women Inc., Jessica promotes the idea of gender diversity on corporate boards, where such diversity is sadly lacking,” AWL President Jennifer Allen said. “Jessica is very obviously a highly-qualified lawyer … in a very visible role to colleagues and clients. However, what impresses me the most is that she uses her position to help other women.

“She reminds her own clients about the value of putting women on their boards and recommends women to fill these roles.”

Jessica Allen does all of this while managing her own responsibilities at work and home.

“She is in a position to help and she does so in spite of her obviously very busy and full life,” Jennifer Allen said. “This speaks volumes about her quality as a professional and a sponsor of women.”

Caley Clinton

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