• Stacey Steinberg

    Stacey Steinberg

    Legal Skills Professor & Associate Director, Center on Children and Families

    Double Gator Grad, Stacey Steinberg, is motivated daily by her supportive family and past mentorship by fierce women who have empowered her to embrace adversity and learn from every experience, bad or good. Steinberg juggles being a law professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, a writer and photographer who has been published in The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Huffington Post and more and a mother of three.

    “There are a number of women who inspire me right now. The thing they all have in common is that they have strong convictions, act with kindness and move forward even when faced with obstacles,” said Steinberg.

    What does it mean to be Fierce?

    Being fierce means being ready to take on challenges with confidence, drive and conviction.

    What does success, achievement and accomplishment mean to you?

    It means a different thing every day. As a working mom, some days success looks like getting all three kids to the dentist and back to school before their favorite activity. Other days, I feel like I’ve achieved my goals when I am able to stay focused and “in the moment” when preparing for a presentation or researching a challenging legal issue. Sometimes I feel accomplished when I make it to the gym three days in one week. I will never be able to accomplish everything in one day, so success and achievement are fluid concepts in my life.

    What motivates you in the morning?

    My family! Whether it’s a hug from a kiddo or a cup of coffee handed to me by my husband, my family motivates me to get moving each morning.

    What or who is inspiring you right now? Why?

    There are a number of women who inspire me right now. The thing they all have in common is that they have strong convictions, act with kindness and move forward even when faced with obstacles.

    I agree with Elizabeth Gilbert when she said, “The women I love and admire for their strength and grace did not get that way because [stuff] worked out. They got that way because [stuff] went wrong and they handled it. They handled it a thousand different ways on a thousand different days, but they handled it. Those women are my superheroes.”

     

    What was the best decision you’ve made? What’s the worst?

    The best decision I’ve made is to make a life with my husband, Ben. He has supported me through all my endeavors, has encouraged me to believe in myself and has stood by my side when I’ve been faced with challenges. I’m not quite sure yet what the worst decision I’ve made was. I’ve made many bad decisions. I guess time will tell which the worst was.

     

    What has been your biggest obstacle and how have you overcome it?

    My biggest obstacle might be my own self-doubt. I also tend to overthink things. Sometimes I need to remind myself to be a bit kinder to myself – someone once told me to give myself the same grace and support I’d give a dear friend.

     

    How do you address negativity in your life and in business?

    I like to address negativity head-on. When I have conflict in my life, I usually have a hard time letting it simmer or sit in the background. While it might be best to give it a chance to resolve on its own, I find myself focused on resolving it before moving on to a new task.

    Is there a particular instance or occurrence that you credit for building your confidence and self-esteem?

    I’m not sure of a particular instance or occurrence, but I do credit my mentors for building my confidence and self-esteem. I have been fortunate to have been mentored by many other fierce women, and their support has served as my foundation as I’ve faced challenges and overcome adversity.

    How do you empower other women?

    I try to encourage them the way so many have encouraged me. I do my best to empower them by reminding them of their uniqueness, their creativity and their grit.

    What change do you want to see in your industry?

    I’d like to see my industry encourage practitioners to engage in pro-bono legal advocacy at all stages of their legal careers. There are so many opportunities for law students and attorneys to get involved in social justice initiatives. UF Law does a great job connecting law students with this important work, and I’d love to see our entire industry follow this trend.

    Do you have any advice for young women as they try to achieve their goals?

    My best advice is to embrace adversity. All of life’s experiences serve a purpose – even the not so great ones. Adversity can serve as an empowering force as long as we have the support networks to help us learn from the experiences.

    What do you want to be remembered for?

    Kindness. Compassion. Empathy.

    How do you defy the current stereotypes, stigmas and double standards that women have today?

    In law school, I was told, “Yes, you can have it all … you just can never have it all at once.” I don’t strive to have it all. Instead, I try to live an authentic life, and I strive to be willing to shift my focus as needed to meet the often-changing demands of family and career.