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Stephanie Sarantopoulos
Stephanie Sarantopoulos

Breaking the Ice: Attorney leads online employment law platform

Name: Stephanie Sarantopoulos

Title: Shareholder; program director, Littler onDemand, Littler

Education: B.S., health policy management, Providence College; J.D., Boston University School of Law

Stephanie Sarantopoulos, shareholder in the Minneapolis office of Littler, is now overseeing legal operations of the firm’s online platform for answering companies’ workplace legal questions as program director of Littler onDemand.

Sarantopoulos, named program director in June, said the platform has a dedicated team of experienced labor and employment attorneys who address such issues as workplace safety, wage and hour matters and remote workplace challenges. The service also can leverage the expertise of Littler’s more than 1,500 attorneys in 100 offices worldwide.

Inspiration to practice labor and employment law, Sarantopoulos said, came from watching her mother work with lawyers as she has handled workplace issues during her career in human resources.

“I’m working in an area that I saw play out in my own life from a very young age,” Sarantopoulos said.

Littler onDemand also uses data analytics to offer companies insights into workplace challenges over time, to identify recurring issues and help solve problems that may otherwise have gone unrecognized.

Q: Best way to start a conversation with you?

A: I’m a talker so it doesn’t take much to get me started. But definitely ask me about what show I’m watching, what I’m reading, what book or podcast I’m listening to.

Q: Why did you go to law school?

A: I wanted to continue to read and write and think about big issues, learn how to solve problems and ultimately be of help to others.

Q: What books are you reading?

A: I just finished listening to “Greenlights” by Matthew McConaughey and I’m reading, on my tablet, “Whereabouts” by Jhumpa Lahiri.

Q: What’s your pet peeve?

A: Disorganized space of any kind. My mind isn’t at peace until I put things in order so I’m constantly straightening things and trying to find the most efficient use of space in my head or in my physical space. It translates into my work as I strive for the most efficient communications and directing my thoughts.

Q: Best part of your work?

A: In labor and employment, the stories, the ones you can’t make up. What makes it the absolute best is the people I work with here in Minneapolis especially and our national Littler family.

Q: Least favorite?

A: Waiting for decisions from the court. You spend so much time preparing your case, arguing your position, wading through facts and then it feels like an eternity waiting for a court decision.

Q: Favorite activity away from work?

A: Walks with my husband, our three boys and our dog. We walk and talk and laugh, and it usually ends with ice cream.

Q: Where would you take someone visiting your hometown?

A: I grew up in a small town in southeastern Massachusetts. I’d have to take you for a walk in Borderland State Park. It’s where I learned to appreciate nature and the importance of its preservation. Then I’d probably have to take you for a South Shore bar pizza. It’s a true southeastern “Mass” delicacy.

Q: Legal figure you most admire?

A: Every single day I am overwhelmed with admiration for the lawyers I work with here in Minneapolis. They give me a daily dose of inspiration to do better and be better. In the grand scheme, it has to be RBG [Ruth Bader Ginsburg]. She was brilliant and courageous, real and relatable. She challenged injustices that were so deeply ingrained and that we’re still looking to correct.

Q: Misconception that others have about your work as an attorney?

A: That there’s a quick-and-easy answer to every question. There are some black-and-white answers but more often than not, there’s quite a bit of nuance that requires digging into facts to reach the right answer and provide options.

Q: Favorite book, movie or TV show about lawyers?

A: For a movie, “On the Basis of Sex.” It’s such a well-done historical narrative of RBG’s life and her road to making a difference. And then from earlier in my life, on TV, I loved “Night Court.”

 

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