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

August-September 2019: Hone Your Marketer’s Whetstone with Activities and Colleagues

For some Young Lawyers Division chairs, writing the message for the Journal is the part of this great job that they like the least. Not me! Writing is something I have always enjoyed. From Facebook posts to writs, I just enjoy the process.

But my topic this issue — marketing — is something I had to grow to love as my practice developed. I took to it early because, at its core, marketing is another thing I enjoy — getting to know people.

I know marketing can be simultaneously a young lawyer’s dream and nightmare. I remember as a young(er) associate I would wonder if one day I would get on an elevator with the right person, or sit down at the right table, and the next thing I knew I’d have that big “whale” of a client that would make me a partner.

Kind of like winning the lottery, right? Looking back, that seems silly. I don’t think that’s really how it works (most of the time, anyway). People learn how to market in many ways. For example, Shreveport lawyer Tom Arceneaux sends out a daily email about marketing designed to educate and encourage marketers.

A mentor told me early on that marketing is one-third luck, one-third the marketer’s personality and one-third effort.

Luck is just that, luck. Sometimes you just have to be in the right place at the right time. But you put yourself there with effort. You already know how important effort is — you’ve made it through law school, passed the bar and are probably doing all kinds of amazing things with your spare time, from billing thousands of hours, raising kids, renovating a house or devoting yourself to those in need with pro bono work.

But how about that one-third of the elusive “marketers’ personality?” Not everyone has the natural marketers’ gene. It has to be sharpened, like a knife to a whetstone. Where is the marketers’ whetstone?

I, myself, found my whetstone in listening — and talking — to lawyers I have met along the way.

As a lawyer at the beginning stages of your career, you have somewhat of a license to try new things. The Louisiana State Bar Association (LSBA) and other bar associations can provide those opportunities. During these events, you can get double the value — enjoy the programming and work on your marketing.

For example, coming in October, there is the 2019 American Bar Association Young Lawyers Fall Conference in New Orleans. There, a number of like-minded people will gather and talk about the issues affecting their lives. We’re planning a Wills for Heroes service project that weekend if you’re interested in volunteering! In January, we will have our second annual Louisiana Young Lawyers’ Conference. Plenty of marketing practice to be had there! Throughout the year, the LSBA sponsors numerous professional development and CLE events which allow you to work your marketer’s whetstone with your colleagues.

Join a committee of your local bar or the LSBA and get actively involved. Put your phone down during those CLE breaks and shake some hands. Write for the Journal or reach out to someone who wrote an article you enjoyed. You can learn how to market yourself and your practice by talking about it with friends, new and old.

Who knows? For some lawyers, other lawyers are their clients! Referrals can be as important to a practice as a billboard or a great write-up in the local paper. As my friend Tom in Shreveport might say: Good Hunting.  

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