Attorney at Law Magazine sat down with Stephanie Sweat to discuss her recent move to Crosbie Gliner Schiffman Southard & Swanson LLP (CGS3) as an associate attorney working in commercial real estate law.
AALM: What drew you to Crosbie Gliner Schiffman Southard & Swanson LLP (CGS3)? What are you most looking forward to in your new role?
SS: I was looking to join a boutique real estate firm with an excellent reputation and clients who do complex real estate deals. Not only does CGS3 have a great reputation and client base, but it also has innovative firm leadership and a commitment to integrity that I found to be unique. I am looking most forward to contributing the firm and client successes and to continuing to grow my practice and reputation.
AALM: What drew you to the practice of law in general and to real estate in particular?
SS: My father was a real estate transactional attorney. Although he passed away before I went to law school, I grew up watching him enjoy the practice of law and having the ability to help his clients and the community. After trying different fields during and after college, I realized that the practice of law would offer me a career that was intellectually stimulating and intense, while also giving me the opportunity to shape the community around me. The development of real estate creates our communities and shapes the way we live our lives.
AALM: COVID has affected most business operations and greatly disrupted the commercial and residential real estate markets. How has this shifted your outlook and approach to your practice?
SS: For the first time in my career, real estate deals became a moving target—so to speak. Everyone, together, was in uncharted territory. When approaching deals now, I try to think outside the box and innovate more than I did before. As a transactional attorney we often are preparing our clients for the unknown. The future is always uncertain.
AALM: Tell us about your experience serving as a law clerk for the Supreme Court of Nevada. What was one of the best lessons you learned from your time there?
SS: Clerking for the Supreme Court of Nevada was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity! As clerks, we worked on issues of first impression in Nevada and, sometimes, in the entire United States. The justice I worked for, Justice James W. Hardesty, takes a really active role in mentoring his clerks and hosts an annual luncheon where we all get together and catch up. Not only did I sharpen my legal analysis and writing skills, but I also gained a network of attorneys and a mentor that I would not have had, but for the clerkship.
AALM: Tell us about any mentors you’ve worked with through your career and the best advice they shared with you.
SS: Two mentors I’ve worked with over the course of my career are Justice Hardesty and Joey Lubinksi, a partner at Husch Blackwell. Justice Hardesty encourages me to work hard, but also always keep an eye on work life balance. I admire his commitment to his family and to the future of law in Nevada and whenever I go to him for advice he always is looking after me as a whole human rather than just an attorney. Joey was a younger lawyer through the great recession and always has great perspective on navigating law firm life.
AALM: What are some of your personal career goals? What’s the next milestone you’re looking to achieve?
SS: CGS3’s practice areas cover the full commercial real estate life cycle, including finance, acquisition/disposition, entity formation, tax, development, land use, leasing, distressed asset workouts and dispute resolution. I am looking forward to continuing to grow my practice here by working with new clients and on new kinds of deals. I am also looking forward to joining the Los Angeles legal community and getting involved with industry and legal organizations.
AALM: Tell us a little about your life outside the office.
SS: I enjoy indoor cycling and travelling – and am an avid scuba diver. I’ve been to 42 countries and territories, and look forward to adding more locations to the list. I swam with tiger sharks in Tahiti, trekked to the base camp of Mount Everest in Nepal, and attended Thaipusam (a Hindu festival) at the Batu Caves in Malaysia.