Advice for New Lawyers from Attorney Jeremy Goldstein

Jeremy L. Goldstein is a partner at Jeremy L. Goldstein & Associates LLC, a boutique law firm dedicated to advising and consulting CEOs, management teams, corporations and compensation committees. The firm specializes in executive compensation and corporate governance matters, particularly in the context of transformative corporate events and sensitive situations.

Mr. Goldstein is recognized as a leading executive compensation lawyer in Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business and The Legal 500. He is chair of the Mergers & Acquisition Subcommittee of the Executive Compensation Committee of the American Bar Association Business Section. Additionally, Mr. Goldstein is a member of the Board of Directors of Fountain House, a charity dedicated to the recovery of men and women with mental illness.

Mr. Goldstein has a J.D. from New York University School of Law, an M.A. from the University of Chicago and a B.A. cum laude and with distinction in all subjects from Cornell University.

Mr. Goldstein has been involved in many of the largest corporate transactions of the past decade, including the pending acquisition of eviCore by Express Scripts; the acquisition of Truven Health Analytics by IBM; Westlake/Axiall; Goodrich/United Technologies; Duke Energy/Progress Energy; Oracle/BEA Systems, Inc.; Sanofi-Aventis/Genzyme; Merck/Schering Plough Corporation; The Dow Chemical Company/Rohm and Haas Company; Goldman Sachs et al./Kinder Morgan, Inc.; Verizon Wireless/ALLTEL Corporation; Goldman Sachs and TPG/ALLTEL Corporation; NYSE Group Inc./Euronext; Bank of America Corporation/MBNA Corporation; SBC Communications Inc./AT&T Corp.; Chevron Texaco Corporation/Unocal Corporation; Kmart Holding Corporation/Sears, Roebuck and Co.; Sanofi-Synthelabo SA/Aventis SA; Cingular Wireless Corporation/AT&T Wireless Services, Inc.; J.P. Morgan Chase & Co./Bank One Corporation; Bank of America Corporation/FleetBoston Financial Corp.; South African Breweries plc/Miller Brewing Company; and Phillips Petroleum Company/Conoco Inc. Mr. Goldstein is also involved with the pending acquisition of eviCore by Express Scripts.

Mr. Goldstein writes and speaks frequently on corporate governance and executive compensation issues. Recently, he sat down and offered his top advice for attorneys just starting out in the legal field.

Self Educate

For well-established fields of law, read as many treatises as you can. For a new, burgeoning area, familiarize yourself as much as possible and start writing what you can about it. This could be crucial for honing your expertise. Not to mention, the best way to learn something is to teach it to others.

Be Open to Mentors

The best mentors are honest. They won’t always tell you what you want to hear, but that usually means you need to hear it. You’ll have to learn some things the hard way, everybody does, but let older, wiser lawyers lead you away from your worst impulses.

Make Friends with Your Peers

Watch Out for Scams…But Pay for the Important Stuff

Every scam starts somewhere. But don’t be fooled. Where do those scams come from? If you believe you need to “look the part”, what kind of investment will that lead to? Luxury clothes and accessories; sports cars; depreciating assets in the legal business. A time will come when you can treat yourself, but before you’ve become a successful lawyer, all you’ll be doing with those accessories is playing dress up.

In the meantime, save your money and invest in your future as an attorney.

Take Care of Your Brain. That Means Take Care of Your Body.

This profession and its rewards are only as valuable as your own physical and mental health; if you’re sick and stressed within an inch of sanity, you’ll have no room to enjoy them. It may take a while to hit your stride and reap those rewards, but don’t let that lead you down a path where you can’t enjoy yourself right now. This career requires dedication, and poor health makes it hard to concern yourself with anything else. Plus, one day you’ll want to retire and enjoy your hard work; don’t let deferred healthy choices cost you later in life.

Be Practical and Take Advantage of Modern Technology

On the other hand, stay professional. Use valid, vetted sources when researching, whether for your own edification or for a case.

Make It Work For You

Be Generous

Originally published at on March 31, 2020.

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