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The Beginnings – The History of Isadore Goldman – Part One

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The Beginnings

In 1885, a young 21-year old Isadore Goldman struck out on his own to establish a legal practice in Sunderland, England. Having just successfully graduated with honours on the law society's Final Examinations, Goldman optimistically opened his first office on June 15 1885.


Goldman came from humble immigrant beginnings. His family had fled persecution in Eastern Europe and made their way to Sunderland with little money or possessions. Despite this inauspicious start, his father Isaac established a jewellery and pawnbroking business and became a successful and respected man in the community.


Isaac funded his son's legal education but gave him little support when starting his practice, providing only £25 and three months of rent. This reflects both the limited financial resources available, as well as the Victorian values of self-reliance and determination.


Goldman quickly attracted clients to his fledgling practice, including fellow lawyers, insurance agents, and clients like a “Mr. Lamb pursuing a claim against a colliery company”.  This legal work likely reflected the local economy which was centred around the coal mining industry.


The 1885 Call Book preserved from Goldman's first days in practice records his daily schedule and demonstrates the effort required to establish his reputation. Working six days a week, Goldman steadily grew his clientele despite the gloomy economic conditions in Sunderland at that time.


Isadore Goldman's story shows how ambition, perseverance, and hard work can grow a small Victorian business into an enduring legacy.

A young Isadore Goldman aged 4 (wearing a kilt n the far right) with his parents Naomi and Isaac and 4 siblings

Next up.. Part two - A Young Lawyer Down Under: Isadore Goldman's Australian Interlude

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