Our Focus Is Helping You Launch And Keep Your Startup In Orbit

Howard Finkelstein

Photo of Attorney Howard J. Finkelstein

Howard Finkelstein



Howard spent more than 25 years practicing corporate and finance law at some of the country's largest firms, representing major financial institutions and multinationals. Beginning in 2009, Howard shifted gears and developed his own practice, focusing on applying the skills and knowledge he had gained toward assisting small and developing businesses (aka startups) to navigate the challenges of the 21st century and establish themselves as sustainable entities.
Just as his BigLaw practice involved being an innovator, a problem-solver and a client-oriented practitioner, Howard decided that the best business model for his practice would have his firm in the trenches with his clients, helping them on a daily basis, providing legal and business advice that would help them make order out of the chaos that the life of a startup generates. Rather than taking on individual projects for his clients, he instead looked to be their general counsel, focusing always on the big picture. He would avoid hourly billing for his clients and advocate for retainers. His philosophy is never to tell his clients "you can't do it that way" but instead to always look for a way that they could execute their plans.
The growth of the firm was slow, but as it grew Howard started to seek help from younger attorneys who shared his aspirations for creating a legal model built around teaming with startups and working towards their success. "HJF Law" now operates as a team, servicing our clients and becoming part of their teams. We are serious about our work, realizing that the stakes are high, but have adopted the informalities of the startup world. We don't waste our time commuting but do spend a lot of time communicating, with each other and our clients, over Zoom, Slack and other media. We don't dress formally, but our docs fit the subject to a tee.

Current Employment Position

  • Attorney

Bar Admissions

  • New York, 1980

Past Positions

  • Kaye Scholer Fierman Hays & Handler LLP
  • Weil Gotshal & Manges
  • Legal Department, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Washington, D.C.
  • Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney
  • Akerman Senterfitt


  • Yeshiva University Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, New York, New York
    • J.D. – 1979
    • Honors: magna cum laude
    • Law Review: Cardozo Law Review, Notes and Comments Editor, 1978 – 1979
  • Yeshiva University, New York, New York
    • B.A. – 1970
    • Major: Economics/English
  • New York University, New York, NY
    • M.A. – 1972
    • Major: English

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Structured Finance Committee