This month it is our pleasure to shine the light on the work of an attorney who has served on the Suffolk Pro Bono Project panel since the 1980’s providing the needy of Suffolk County with pro bono bankruptcy services.
Harold Seligman of the firm Long, Tuminello, Besso, Seligman, Werner, Sullivan, & Aulivola, LLP in Bayshore, practices in the areas of commercial litigation; corporate litigation; mergers and acquisitions; bankruptcy litigation; I.R.S. and N.Y. State Tax Litigation; real estate transactions; and banking transactions. He also served the legal community as a lecturer on bankruptcy issues through the Suffolk Academy of Law and has served as Chairman of the Bankruptcy Committee for the Suffolk County Bar Association.Yet, for all he has accomplished, Mr. Seligman does not boast about his pro bono and community work, being content to fit his community service into a very busy professional practice.
In addition to his practice at the firm, Mr. Seligman may also be working on at least two or three pro bono bankruptcy cases at any one time. Even though he does not focus on how much time he regularly devotes to these cases, he considers the time spent to be well worth the effort. “Prior to doing bankruptcy cases I worked in criminal defense and general litigation. I found bankruptcy to be interesting because the laws are geared to actually help people and enhance their ability to get control of their finances. When I finish with these clients I leave them better off than they were before I met them.”
A 1968 graduate of Northeastern University, he majored in Economics and Finance and worked for companies in London, England. Upon returning to the United States he enrolled in Brooklyn Law School earning his J.D. in 1971 and was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1972. His first job was with a Wall Street firm, where he concentrated on criminal law. He also worked behind the scenes for the famous Knapp Commission. His next job was with the Legal Aid Society in New York City, doing trial work over two or three years. Then he moved to Long Island and worked for several firms, first continuing in criminal law and then switching to business law. In 1982 he helped launch the firm in which he is currently a partner.
Mr. Seligman is married 43 years and has two children. He is also an avid golfer. When asked about retiring, he says, “Working is what I do. Golf wouldn’t be as much fun if I could play it every day.” Harold Seligman reflects on the value of doing pro bono work stating, “People are suffering. We all need to do the right thing and be willing to answer the call to service. In my practice I do not often see people who are struggling week to week, month to month. These people really appreciate the help I give them.”
For his many consistent years of dedicated service and truly emulating the spirit of service it is our pleasure to honor Harold Seligman as Pro Bono Attorney of the Month.