Managing partner, Robert M. Steeg, was inducted into the New Orleans CityBusiness “Leadership in Law” Hall of Fame on May 14th. The entrance requirement is recognition in three Leadership in Law classes. Even though Rob is no longer eligible to be selected as an honoree, his contribution to his profession and his place in the community persists.
As noted in the special “Leadership in Law” 2018 insert in New Orleans CityBusiness, “The 14th edition of “Leadership in Law” stands as a record of local professionals who have distinguished themselves within the legal industry as well as the larger community.
This year’s honorees, who were recognized in four categories: court-associated professionals, educators, firm-associated, and in—house counsel, say the new cases and the challenges they bring are reasons why the field remains compelling to them after so many years of services.
Rob chatted with reporter David Jacobs to discuss his most memorable case as well as how he ended up in the legal profession.
Robert Steeg, Firm-Associated
Robert Steeg studied communications prior to law school. When he returned home to New Orleans to join the firm his father started, he was planning to start a communications and constitutional law practice.
But New Orleans isn’t the best place for such a practice. He gravitated toward the real estate work the firm was already doing and found it fascinating.
“It’s constructive and it’s creative, and there are lots of ways to achieve a solution to any given problem,” he said. “You’re building something rather than tearing it apart and fighting over the pieces.”
His communications background served him well in such projects as the redevelopment of the former D.H. Holmes department store. It involved public-private partnerships, tax credits and various actors who had to work together to create a cohesive whole, and it was an important “jumping-off point” early is Steeg’s career.
“It was a pretty good lesson in herding cats,” he said. “The foundation of it is the legal expertise. Then there are the elements of diplomacy and judgment and communication, and the ability to work with people.”
He advises anyone considering a career in law to carefully consider which aspects of the profession best matches their interests and skill set. While law schools tend to focus on litigation, he said, a student who enjoys putting pieces together might prefer transactional work.
“Think long and hard about it,” he added. “It’s pretty demanding field with a lot of claims on a person’s time and energy. Make sure it’s something they really enjoy, and not just a path to a paycheck.”