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Young Lawyer Chair


Mr.Scott L Sternberg

Scott L. Sternberg is a partner at Sternberg, Naccari & White, L.L.C., with offices in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, where he focuses on business, general litigation and media matters. His media focus has involved litigation for newspapers, including The Advocate, and legal and legislative work for the Louisiana Press Association. He received a BA degree in journalism from Louisiana State University and his JD/DCL degree from LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center. He was admitted to practice in Louisiana in 2010.

Scott has served as chair-elect, secretary and District 1 representative on the Louisiana State Bar Association’s (LSBA) Young Lawyers Division (YLD) Council. As part of the YLD’s strategic planning, he chaired the first Louisiana Young Lawyers Conference in 2019. In 2019, he received an LSBA Citizen Lawyer Award for his pro bono, professional and charitable activities. In 2015, he received the LSBA’s Stephen T. Victory Memorial Award for most outstanding Louisiana Bar Journal article. He served on several LSBA committees and was a member of the 2012-13 Leadership LSBA Class.

He serves as the immediate past chair of the Federal Bar Association New Orleans Chapter’s Younger Lawyers Division and has taught at LSU and Loyola. He serves on the boards of the Pro Bono Project, the Louisiana Center for Law and Civic Education and the Jefferson Parish Chamber of Commerce. He has been recognized as one of Gambit Weekly’s “40 Under 40,” as a Louisiana Super Lawyers “Rising Star” and on New Orleans Magazine’s “Top Lawyers” list.

Scott and his wife Breland are the parents of three children.

Chair Messages

December 2019-January 2020: Don’t Be Afraid to Be the Innovator

It happens all the time. Someone asks you to explain technology. They assume you are Bill Gates. Why? Because you’re a young lawyer, of course. 

My friends on the Young Lawyers Division (YLD) Council will tell you that something I very much dislike about the “young lawyer” label is that people assume we have an intuitive sense on how to operate technology. Often, we are asked to explain it to more seasoned lawyers. 

We young lawyers (mostly) do have a natural, built-in advantage. Chances are you grew up with a computer in your classroom or even your home. Chances are you had a smartphone in college or definitely by law school.
 
This built-in advantage means there’s less of a learning curve the first time we sit down in front of a new computer or operating system. Technology proficiency is a part of the Louisiana Code of Professionalism which was amended to state, “I will stay informed about changes in the law, communication, and technology which affect the practice of law.” 
 
Recently, the YLD partnered with the Senior Lawyers Division to give a tech-focused CLE. It was a great success. In discussing the program, someone remarked as to how much the practice of law has changed in the past 30 years. Today, technology is a huge part of the practice — you bill using programs and not timesheets, you research using websites and not books, and you email pleadings instead of snail-mailing them.
 
Think about how long it took to research a simple legal issue in 1989. Now, you can go to Fastcase, Westlaw or LexisNexis and the answer is at your fingertips. Somebody, somewhere, had to clue everyone in on this amazing technology. Every firm or group is different to be sure, but, if there’s an opening, I encourage you to be a gatekeeper. 
 
My law partner, Michael Finkelstein, and I recently gave a presentation at the American Bar Association’s Young Lawyers’ Fall Conference in New Orleans on how we designed, tested and built our own “technology stack” at our firm — a collection of websites and apps designed to increase efficiency and accountability that any firm could implement, regardless of its size. We really enjoy technology, including demoing the latest and greatest. But we know that’s not for everyone. 

Luckily, there are numerous guides available online and from third-party providers on how to use technology to improve your practice. For example, you might be able to cut down your intra-office email traffic using a chat application like Microsoft Teams or Slack. Task management between you and your fellow associates and partners can be completely digitized using Trello, Wrike or Asana. The answers may just be a search away. (The LSBA Tech Center is an online resource at: www.lsba.org/PracticeManagement/TechCenter.aspx.) 

Most of these improvements aren’t incredibly expensive, but they may just not be on your firm’s radar. I recently read that it won’t be long before every law firm in the country of any significant size has a chief technology officer to make sure they are taking advantage of the newest and greatest ways to serve clients. 

Maybe your office is a bit behind. People will look to you to be a tech expert because you’re young. Don’t be afraid to embrace that role and be the innovator for technology in your practice. It’ll improve your practice, your efficiency and, just maybe, make your life a little easier. 
 


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