Jeffrey Stern | Lateral Success: The Importance of Due Diligence and Relationship Building


Jeffrey Stern is the Co-Chair of Structured Finance Practice at Winston & Strawn LLP, an international law firm with over 900 attorneys in financial hubs around the world. Jeffrey has more than 25 years of experience in structured finance and derivatives, focusing on bespoke transactions and esoteric assets.

Jeffrey is a regular writer and speaker on topics related to structured finance and previously served as the Chair of the Structured Finance Committee of the New York City Bar Association. Before entering law, Jeffrey performed as a jazz pianist, studied the Old Testament in Jerusalem, and worked in a commercial bakery.


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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Jeffrey Stern’s unique background before studying law—and how each of his previous roles have helped his law business
  • The challenges of lateral hiring and how Winston & Strawn LLP has experienced success with its hiring practices
  • Jeffrey shares his advice to lateral partners
  • The practices that have propelled Jeffrey to success in business development
  • Jeffrey’s pearls of wisdom for young partners: be persistent, consistent, systematic, and patient
  • What does a client think when their lawyer moves from one firm to another—and what is your due diligence when transitioning?
  • How Jeffrey has maintained his client relationships during the pandemic
  • Jeffrey’s curse of knowledge: the importance of communication throughout a project

In this episode…

How did you enter the legal industry? Did you always know you wanted to practice law? Or, did you pivot from a previous career? We all know that there are many different paths to becoming a lawyer. But, what is not as often discussed are the advantages of working in a different sector before going to law school or joining a practice.

Jeffrey Stern lived multiple lives before becoming a practicing attorney—from studying the Old Testament in Jerusalem to working in a commercial bakery for a year. According to him, this unique background not only gave him invaluable life experience, but it also helped him grow and succeed in his law practice.

Join Elise Holtzman in this episode of The Lawyer’s Edge as she talks to Jeffrey Stern, the Co-Chair of Structured Finance Practice at Winston & Strawn LLP, about his path—and ultimate success—in law. They discuss lateral hiring, Jeffrey’s strategies for success in business development, and the due diligence necessary for maintaining healthy and successful relationships with your clients and colleagues. Stay tuned!

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by The Lawyer’s Edge, a firm based in the New York metropolitan area founded by Elise Holtzman in 2008 to help lawyers become skilled business developers and leaders so that they can grow their practices, retain top talent, and step confidently into leadership roles.

The firm offers customized coaching, consulting, and training programs such as their signature business development program, Lawyers Making Rain.

Now more than ever, it’s not enough to just do good work and hope your law firm will thrive. And no matter how smart and hard-working you are, it can be time-consuming and overwhelming to figure it all out by yourself.

To learn more about how we help lawyers become rainmakers and leaders, visit or email us at

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