Harriette M. Steinberg ’81 Harriette M. Steinberg, P.C., Attorney & Counselor-at-Law
Before becoming an attorney, Harriette M. Steinberg ’81 had a successful career for more than a decade as a fiduciary accountant for the renowned law firms of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, Reid & Priest and Mudge, Rose, Guthrie & Alexander. It was the senior partners at these firms who supported her decision to become a lawyer.
“When I attended Hofstra Law more than 30 years ago, my experience was a life-changing event,” says Steinberg. “Prior to entering law school, I was a fiduciary accountant, married and had two small children. After graduation, I became a sole practitioner and was able to use my professional skills to expand my legal practice.”
Steinberg now manages a successful, multidimensional practice concentrating in the fields of matrimonial and elder law. For the past 15 years, she has been studying alternative forms of dispute resolution and has recently opened her practice to elder mediation, collaborative divorce and family law matters. To support her work in this emerging field, she has joined the board of the New York Collaborative Law Group and is a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.
Steinberg has also recently launched a new business called Going Grey Matters, which offers non-adversarial dispute resolution for elder law conflicts, including health care decisions, financial considerations, inheritance and conflicts among family members. As a law student, Steinberg took several courses in the areas of trusts and estate law, as well as tax law, which she feels added value to this aspect of her practice as an attorney.
But Steinberg’s commitment to, and impact on, the legal profession goes far beyond the walls of her office. She is actively involved in local and statewide bar associations, and she is a past director of the Nassau County Bar Association, where she chaired the Elder Law, Social Services and Health Advocacy Committee for the 1992 and 1993 terms and the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee for the 1999 and 2000 terms.
Steinberg has long been in favor of developing procedures to expedite the process of matrimonial litigation and has recognized the need to alleviate the adverse effects — both financial and emotional — upon families of the litigation of family disputes. As chair of the Nassau County Bar Association Women in the Courts Committee, she helped formulate a pilot project instituted in the New York State Supreme Court that was designed to expedite pendente lite (while litigation is pending) relief in some matrimonial cases.
While her career has definitely evolved since her days as a fiduciary accountant, Steinberg’s experience exemplifies her assertion that alternative dispute resolution and mediation are growing trends in the legal field. “I would recommend that all law students become trained in the alternative dispute resolution process since I feel that non-adversarial legal solutions are becoming more widely understood and preferred, particularly for family-related matters,” she said.