Jeremy Goldstein is a corporate lawyer who specializes in the areas of acquisitions and company mergers. He also specializes in the areas of executive compensation and company governance. Most notably, he has provided close legal counsel during the buyouts of AT&T Corporation, South African Breweries PLC, Sears and Kmart, Alltel and even J.P. Morgan Chase and Company. He typically works with managerial governance, major company changes and CEO guidance.
With years of experience and a healthy history of successful legal counsel for some of the biggest companies in the world, Goldstein has been named as chairperson of the prestigious Merger and Acquisitions subcommittee within the American Bar Association’s business sector. According to the Chambers USA Guide and Legal 500, he is the most sought-after attorney and premier legal guide for corporate compensation throughout the United States. He currently serves as a partner of Jeremy L. Goldstein & Associates, LLC, a New York City law firm that he founded together with his partners.
Jeremy Goldstein lawyer began his career with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University, which he graduated from with distinction in all subjects. He then went on to earn a Master of Arts degree from the University of Chicago. Next, he earned a Juris Doctor degree at New York University. Today, he serves on the Professional Advisory board at his alma mater for the NYU Journal of Law and Business. He also has created a personal focus for himself as a board member for the charity Fountain House, which seeks to aid adults suffering from mental illnesses.
Why have you developed such an interest in law, and what was your inspiration?
From much of what I have seen in the legal realm, most attorneys take a very dry and basic approach to working with their clients. Everything typically seems very formal, but I have noticed that not many innovations come from this approach. Instead, I have tried to adopt a more informal approach that seeks to build relationships between myself and my clients. I build these relationship both at work and during social engagements. My inspiration for getting into the legal field rested on my total commitment to getting my professional life to match up with the characteristics of my personal life that I had found to be most important.
From where do you get most of your income?
I have tried to branch out in my field so that my income is not coming from any single task. Of course, I provide legal consulting to many companies and CEOs, but I also work for companies that are going through sensitive changes that require an expert legal hand. In fact, most of my legal experience has been built on this specialized work and has helped me to grow my business even further. For example, these days, I am often chosen to help with company mergers and acquisitions because of my experience in this field.
Was your business instantly successful monetarily, or did it take some time to build?
That is a very intriguing question because I know that everyone sees profitability in different lights. I do not measure my profitability merely by the amount in my business’s bank accounts each month, but instead, I also see great profits in my ability to plan for long-term goals. This is what has mainly helped me improve my business and build a successful firm that reinvests its profits in itself. While I certainly look at my business’s profit and loss statements regularly, I do not view this as the only measure of success. Giving you an exact amount of time for when my earnings outweighed my expenses would not completely show you my real profits as I see them.
Did you have periods of discouragement as you began your business, wondering if you would make a success of it? How did you get past these hurdles?
One of the most difficult hurdles to get over is the internal personal battle with doubt. Doubt is really just based on my own feelings and is not based on the situation at large. Therefore, to get past this doubt, I focus on the tools that I have available to me to solve the problem and repair the situation. Plus, I try to look at every difficulty in my business as a prime opportunity for me to grow as a person and as a business leader. Doubt never lasts, and it is important that I always recognize that. By acknowledging my negative feelings and instead focusing on personal growth, I have found that I think critically more easily and experience greater success.
How did you find your initial client?
My first client came to me via a referral through a legal professional network in which I was involved while starting out in my business. Referrals offer new professionals amazing ways to get started, but sadly, not all new lawyers realize this point or use it to their gain.
What have you found to be the best way to garner new clients besides customer referrals?
Marketing through positive public relations is a great way to find the right kind of clients for your business. Of course, it is important to remember that not all publicity is good, and negative publicity will actually harm your business growth. To create the right kind of publicity, I choose my legal cases carefully based on the type of clientele that I am trying to attract. This generates the right kind of headlines along with professional growth.
Can you tell us about one of the most difficult decisions you have had to make recently?
I recently had to decide whether I wanted to take on a case that was basically cut out for my experience level and skills set or whether I would prefer to lead a talk to legal peers on any topic that I wished. While this type of choice may not seem difficult to some, I love both of these activities and am excited that I am in a place where these are the types of problems I regularly have to solve.
From where do you believe your success originates?
I see my success as coming from my unique perspective on business, law and professional relationships. By applying this perspective to my daily work, I can make sense out of difficult problems.
Can you tell us about a particularly satisfying time for you in your career?
I love working with the Fountain House charity, and am honored to be on their board of directors. I discovered that this charity could uniquely fit with my business as it put a new spin on how I approach legal problems. Plus, it has given me a great sense of personal gratification to be able to help this wonderful nonprofit.
Where do you see your business heading in the future? Is there anything that particularly excites you about the future?
I love to keep a close eye on changes in the corporate and legal worlds. What has struck me most lately is how many corporations are changing into worker cooperatives. This unique style of business setup comes with its own potential legal problems and needs because it is not based on a typical or traditional business structure. I find these types of challenges to be very motivating to me as I lead my business.
Which books have you found to be particularly helpful as you build your business?
I would highly recommend Chip and Dan Health’s book called Made to Stick. They presented ways for an individual to help an idea stick in his audience’s mind. While many people present new ideas to business associates or clients every day, not everyone has the ability to make their ideas come alive in people’s minds. This book clearly showed that there is a way to give certain ideas longer lives.
What is something that you have bought recently that has been especially meaningful or helpful to you?
I am always on the lookout for software or items that save me time as I work with my clients. I have recently purchased a software called Ragic, which is great for building databases that quickly let me retrieve my clients’ information.
When you choose a new hire, do you look for someone who will get along well in your business’s environment or someone who has the proper skills and experience to fit the job qualifications?
First, I make sure to spend plenty of time in the hiring process to ensure that I get the very best candidates. This longer length of time lets me spend more time mulling over each client’s experience and skills as well as his or her personality so that I can make a wise choice. When it comes right down to it though, I typically choose a high level of experience over the perfect personality because our clients count on our top-tier expertise whenever we work for them.