Ms. JD Pre-Law: Interview with Amy Flanagan Bogle, Director of Human Resources at Clifford Chance US
By Genevieve Antono • April 11, 2017•Ms. JD, Writers in Residence, Careers, Firms and the Private Sector, Law School, Pre-Law, Choosing a Career and Landing a Job, Internships and Clerkships
Today's interview is with Amy Flanagan Bogle, Director of Human Resources at Clifford Chance US LLP. Clifford Chance is a truly global law firm, with offices in the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East.
Hi Amy, thank you so much for joining us on the Ms. JD Pre-Law blog! To start, can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Where did you grow up, what did you study at university, and how did you decide on a career in HR and law firm management?
Amy: I grew up outside DC in suburban Maryland, the youngest of seven. I studied languages – Spanish in undergrad and Slavic Linguistics in graduate school. Like so many, I didn't have a "grand plan" that led to my current role. I lived in Moscow in the 90's and, following a period of teaching English, got a job as the office manager with a law firm. I found the law firm environment stimulating and motivating. My next law firm position was with Rogers & Wells (who merged with Clifford Chance in 2000) in London. I've now worked in five different positions in four different Clifford Chance offices. My history provides a great example of the exciting benefits of working at an international firm.
You've been at Clifford Chance US for 17 years. What have you found to be most rewarding, and most challenging, about your career?
Amy: Working with lawyers, who are trained to be critical thinkers, keeps you on your toes – and I find that both rewarding and challenging.
A few years ago, Clifford Chance's U.K. graduate recruitment team made news for implementing "CV blind" final-round interviews – interviewers were not told candidates' schools, to help neutralize any preferences they might have for graduates from Oxford, Cambridge and certain other schools. I absolutely love the message that this sends. What does the firm's commitment to diversity and inclusion look like in your U.S. offices? Are there any initiatives or policies you'd like to share?
Amy: Clifford Chance has a robust diversity and inclusion program consisting of policies and initiatives taken forward by our Diversity Committee, which Firm Management works with to ensure support for the advancement of everyone at the Firm. The Diversity Committee meets on a quarterly basis to review and push forward the initiatives of each subcommittee* and raise awareness of the issues affecting their respective groups and communities. As an example, the Firm's LGBT affinity group, Arcus, hosts an art event each June in celebration of Gay Pride Month, highlighting the works of LGBT artists. This year will be the 10th annual celebration, and we expect 10 offices to participate.
We are proud to have achieved a 100% score for eight years running on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2017 Corporate Equality Index, which is the national benchmarking tool on corporate policies and practices pertinent to LGBT employees.
The Firm also supports a number of diversity initiatives at our target law schools. For example, Clifford Chance was the first law firm to partner with NYU Law School on its groundbreaking AnBryce Program, providing full scholarships to students from disadvantaged communities who are the first in their immediate family to pursue a graduate degree. Since 2009, our US offices have sponsored the Law Preview Scholarship Program, providing 30-35 students each year the opportunity to attend a summer prep course before starting their first year of law school.
Recently, the Firm published a collection of personal stories from female partners, associates, alumni and senior business services colleagues across the Firm. Entitled Advice to my Younger Self, the book is meant to serve as a career-development resource for those currently at the firm as well as future female talent we hope to recruit.
*Note: Subcommittees include: (1) the Asian and Pacific Islanders Subcommittee; (2) the Black and Latino Subcommittee; (3) Veterans and Affiliates, known as CliffVets; (4) the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Subcommittee, known as Arcus; and (5) the Women’s Subcommittee.
What are three pieces of advice you'd give to a pre-law reader who wants to work in an international law firm someday?
Amy: In addition to what every firm is looking for – an outstanding academic record, a positive attitude and a willingness to work hard – I think our lawyers and interviewers look for candidates who are 1) entrepreneurial, 2) culturally aware and 3) always striving to learn more.
What's one thing about you that people find surprising?
Amy: I enjoy the flying trapeze in my spare time.
Thanks again for joining us on the Ms. JD Pre-Law blog, Amy!