For Jeff Bernstein, knowing his clients inside and out is central to his negotiation approach.
“I spend time getting a sense of what’s really important to him or her and even what the needs are for their family — if they need a nanny or to be able to bring their kids to the set,” says Bernstein, who studied law and negotiation at Harvard Law School. “There are so many lawyers out there who are fighting for things that don’t really matter, and the things that are important to the client hardly get addressed.”
The 36-year-old attorney — who is with Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Klein — already has an impressive client list that includes Blake Lively, Hilary Swank and Samuel L. Jackson.
Bernstein also believes in entering a negotiation only after tremendous preparation. “In order to be persuasive, you have to know relevant background,” Bernstein says. “And once you do, then you can be very persuasive.”
JIM JACKOWAY: “Jeff is always thoroughly prepared and understands the needs of clients, whether it’s their economic realities or something else. He also sees the perspectives of both sides of the negotiation. Once you know those things, you can be tenacious until you get to where you need to be, and Jeff is definitely that.”