Q&A: Allison Sleight


Allison Sleight. Courtesy Kreis Enderle

Editor’s note: Each Q&A in the Influential Women enewsletter will feature a woman from the region who’s influential, a rising face in her industry or doing interesting work. Submit tips on potential Q&A subjects to tgortsema at grbj dot com.

Attorney Allison Sleight said she often jokes that in a nutshell, her job is spent dividing by two for a living.

In reality, that means that she’s a partner at the law firm Kreis Enderle, where her Grand Rapids-based practice is focused on negotiating resolutions and litigating divorce and family law issues.

Sleight said as one might guess, her job can be a lot more complicated.

Biggest career break?

I was elected partner after six years of practicing law.

Best advice you’ve ever received?

I’ve had lots of people influence my career and have learned so much. I think some of the best advice I have ever received is to pave my own way, build up a great client base and then you can truly have the flexibility to be your own boss.

How did you make your first dollar?

My grandparents were always encouraging my sisters and I to have an entrepreneurial spirit. I made my first dollar by biking my grandparents’ long driveway to gather and then deliver to my grandmother her newspaper. One time in particular, she did not have cash to pay me, so I told her she could write me a check.

Most-treasured possession?

My family. I have a great husband who makes me laugh. I’m very close to my sisters — one lives here in GR and the other in D.C. My brother-in-law is a chef. I love challenging him to holiday cooking competitions. I really treasure the times away from the office that I get to spend with my parents, in-laws, brother and sister-in-law out on the water. My nephews make me laugh with all their imagination and games, and my niece (on the way) is sure to shake things up next month. It is never boring for sure.

Dream job?

Retiree. Just kidding. I think I am living the dream right now.

If I were president for a day, I would . . . ?

That’s a loaded question given the temperature of the upcoming election. And that I’d only be on the job one day. I guess a nice trip on Air Force One, a visit to Camp David and a glass of wine in the Oval Office would all be on the docket.

Last book you’ve read?

“Bare-Knuckle Negotiation” by Raoul Felder

Last thing you Googled?

Garmin Golf Watch s6

Your worst habit?

I’m on Pinterest and Keep when I’m not at work.

To unwind, I like to . . . ?

Drink a nice glass of red wine

Dream vacation?

Greece. I do a fair amount of traveling, but that’s one place on my bucket list.

Favorite food?

A cheeseburger

Person you most admire?

This is a tough question for me. I’ve been fortunate throughout my career to have worked for and with so many different people who have acted as mentors. I admire women who show strength against adversity. I also think anyone who simply does not recognize the word “no” gets a lot of respect from me. I have to think of creative solutions to often very complex situations, especially in my professional life, and where my path crosses with people who have given up too easily, I always try to figure out some way to a solution. 

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