Haute Lawyer Presents Exclusive Webinar With Benjamin Goldburd

In a recent exchange, Benjamin Goldburd sat down for a conversation with Seth Semilof, the co-founder and COO of Haute Media Group. Benjamin Goldburd, an accomplished legal partner at Haute, is headquartered in New York, specializing in the realm of tax law. His journey led him to Goldburd McCone LLP, with a background in the accounting and private equity sectors. In 2022, he was handpicked as a participant in the esteemed super lawyers rising stars program and was honored among the top 40 tax lawyers under 40 in New York by the American Society of legal advocates from 2017 to 2019. Benjamin’s educational path included Brooklyn College and Fordham Law School, both situated in New York, where he was born and raised.

The discussion revolved around Benjamin’s legal expertise, his unwavering commitment to his profession, and a range of captivating subjects. Here are a few key moments from their discussion:

Seth Semilof: Tell us a little about yourself, you have an extensive background and accounting and tax law. What initially attracted you to these fields of study back in college?

Benjamin Goldburd: My father has been practicing accounting for probably 40 or 50 years so I grew up in a family that was focused on tax, and that was kind of dinner table talk, right in and around my family.

I really wanted to go into the medical field but early on in college I realized that this was not for me, and I kind of said, ‘You know, let me try my shot at accounting.’ I started on that road, and I really fell in love with it. I did not want to go the CPA route like my father, I wanted to really cut out on my own, and I thought that the legal field was the next rung-up for me to really help people in an industry that I’ve known since I was a child.

SS: What was the moment you realized you wanted to dedicate yourself to a career in law?

BG: Like I said at the beginning, the change over from trying to help people in the medical field to what I thought I could do in the legal field. But the real passion for what I do now in terms of tax law as well as helping those in trouble with the IRS or other agencies really came to me in the tax law clinic at Fordham Law School where we helped underprivileged people that were being attacked by the IRS. They didn’t really know where to turn to, and we were able to defend them in this tax clinic, and that’s where I really saw the utility of what I now do full-time, which is to give people the power to fight back against the IRS; which is typically way, way, more powerful and well-armed in the tax code than your typical individual or business owner.

SS: What is something you learned early on in your career that you think every young lawyer should know?

BG: I actually wrote a blog about this that in my opinion, law school doesn’t prepare you for the practice of law. It’s very, very different. Law school is all about the theory of law, and it produces great lawyers, obviously, but in terms of the practice of law, the best education you can get is working in a clinic, as I did, or in some sort of other practical experience in law, because when you leave law school, that difference is so stark from what you’ve been taught from your professors to how things actually work in the “real world.” 

The biggest advice I can give to any young lawyer is early on in your career, do practical legal work at either a clinic or something else, or an externship, because that’s where you’re going to learn the most from, doing those in the trenches and doing the work that you want to do.

SS: Are there any monumental cases that are special to you? Tell us a little about a couple of cases that you feel are special to your success or your work history.

BG: I can’t provide details on client cases but there is nothing better for us than when we have a client that has been wrongly accused of an issue, or possibly even a criminal matter, that when at the end of it, it is absolved completely. We’ve had that a number of times in my career where there was someone that was put through the wringer unnecessarily for a number of years. Obviously, it had started out thinking that they could deal with the IRS on their own a little bit, and then it just balloons from there into a whole mess. And when we’ve cleared those up and saved a client from that headache, and even from the possibility of criminal indictment, there’s no better feeling than that.

For the full conversation, watch the video below: