+David Shulman

South Florida Estate Planning Law Blog

Insight & Commentary on Estate Planning, Wills, Trusts, Probate & Taxation

Back to Blogging: Who

For my “who” post I’m going to cheat a bit, and steal the information from the “About Me” section on my website. I have to admit that I find some of it a bit hokey. This is about the “work” me. As time goes on, I’ll write a bit more about the “non-work” me.

I came to the practice estate planning in a funny way. When I entered George Washington University Law School (in Washington, DC) after graduating Brandeis University (which is outside of Boston), I had no idea what type of law I wanted to practice. There was, however, one thing I knew I wasn’t interested in – tax. I had no accounting background, didn’t think I was good at math, and was a bit terrified of it.

When I was looking for a job between my first and second years of law school, I applied for the summer program at the US Department of Justice. This is a very competitive program, and on the application, I could choose the division that I wanted to be in. Looking over the form, I saw categories such as: Civil Rights and the Criminal Division. I knew that there would be too many applicants for those positions, and that I would not get the job.

I thought to myself – what is the one division that would be the most boring – so boring that no one would want to apply. Aha! The Tax Division!

So during the summer between the first and second year of law school, I worked at the tax division of the US Department of Justice.  And wow – it wasn’t boring at all. I fell in love with an area of the law. After that summer I took as many tax classes as I could, and once I graduated law school, I got a job with the Internal Revenue Service. At the IRS, I was an attorney-adviser in the Office of Chief Counsel, Passthroughs and Special Industries. There, I specialized in the writing of regulations, revenue rulings, revenue procedures, and private letter rulings for partnerships, S corporations, and trusts.

I greatly enjoyed my time in Washington, but Broward County is home. I missed my family. I missed the community. And I was a bit tired of being cold.

Also, as much as I enjoyed tax, I did not want to practice “straight” corporate or partnership tax law with a law firm. Instead, I was more interested in working with families. Estate planning was the perfect area for me to combine my tax background with my desire to provide meaningful service directly to families and individuals, in such a way that I can make an impact in their lives.

After seven years with the IRS, I moved home to South Florida. I took a year off from working and obtained my LL.M, which is a masters in law, in estate planning from the University of Miami. I then worked for a large law firm for a few years, where I gained the requisite experience in being an estate planning attorney.

I started my own practice in February of 2009 so I could dedicate myself to serving clients in the way that I wanted to. I believe that having a small client-focused practice allows me to give more attention to each individual matter. I pride myself on the fact that I prepare all of my estate planning documents myself and do not hand them off to a paralegal or secretary to do for me.

Coming up: my what, when, where, why, and how posts.


About the Author

David ShulmanDavid is a Fort Lauderdale attorney with a law practice focused on estate planning, probate and trust administration, asset protection, guardianships, and tax. Among other things he is a Mac nerd, BBQ lover, and blogger. Follow him on Google or Twitter.View all posts by David Shulman →