Who Am I ?


November 2011

1: Who am I?

I am a creative lawyer who also gives back to the community creatively. By day, I am a litigation partner in the global law firm SNR Denton US LLP. I also advise companies, executives, and individuals on best practices in various areas and offer practical, strategic advice.

By night, I lead Cherub Improv, Inc., a non-profit organization that has provided over 400 free improv comedy shows and workshops in the past four years for people in need, including senior citizens, veterans, hospital patients, the homeless, runaway teenagers, adults and children living with cancer, and many others. I personally perform in and direct at least one show or workshop a week and I have dozens of active volunteer performers involved in the group.

2: What do you do and what project are you currently working on?

I have a number of interesting projects in the works. On the law side, I am currently defending a number of clients in various jurisdictions against claims involving breach of contract, tortious interference, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and unfair competition. On the entertainment side, Cherub Improv just performed its first ever musical improv show on August 11, 2011, at The American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge (which provides free temporary lodging for people undergoing cancer treatment in the city). It was a blast!

3: Where are you from and where are you going?

I am from New York, New York, and I am going strong.

4: Who is your biggest hero?

My father. He is a great role model. He always tries to do the right thing and, despite many sacrifices, wears a great smile and has a joke always at the ready. He is also an extremely hard worker and is very smart, creative, and practical. I do my best to make him and my mother proud.

5: What book is your bible?

At one time my favorite book was Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, though it has been years since I picked it up (and it is literally quite heavy). I’ve recently purchased it again for reading electronically, which should make it an easier schlep. In the future I hope that my favorite book will be one that I have authored. Stay tuned.

6: What are some things you love? And some things you hate?

I love my family and friends, connecting with people, exercising, achieving my goals, helping my clients, writing (legal or otherwise), “performing” community service, and laughter. I love when people support each other.

I hate when people are intentionally hurtful or do things primarily to annoy or cause stress.

7: What is your raison d’être?
To help people and make them smile. In that regard, working as a lawyer and “performing” community service are very similar. I know my client had a big smile after a jury trial victory last year.

8: What is your favorite color?
It depends (the lawyer’s answer). For furniture and my home, “espresso” and touches of red. For business shirts, blue. And during the summer I wear a watch with a white wristband because–among other reasons–it makes me look like I have some color (I have fair skin and try to avoid the sun).

9: Who is your favorite comic book superhero?

I love so many of them. I was a collector as a child and am thrilled that so many characters are being brought to the big screen, especially on the Marvel side. That said, there is a special place in my heart for Superman because at one point in my life I earned the nickname. I am fairly sure that it had to do with the fact that I looked very different depending on whether I was wearing my glasses (i.e., I had the Clark Kent alter ego thing going on) rather than my ability to deflect bullets. In addition, a few years ago, while working for another law firm, I left the firm at lunch time to lead a Cherub Improv workshop for homeless people at Project ORE of The Educational Alliance. I didn’t have enough time to change my outfit at the firm or at the location so I undressed my business shirt and tie on the subway, revealing underneath my t-shirt with the Cherub Improv logo emblazoned on my chest. I’ll never forget what a woman on the subway said to me as she watched this G-rated costume change: “You need a phone booth.” Superman indeed!

10: What is your favorite NYC hot spot?

For after work, 48 Lounge. It’s uber convenient, just downstairs from where I work, and has a very cool atmosphere. I also enjoy the rooftop bar at the Empire Hotel.

11: What turns you on?

Intelligence and good banter.

12: What would the last question of this questionnaire be if you were the one asking?

When do you have time to sleep?

Jonathan Goldberg is an attorney and partner at the NYC law firm, SNR Denton. Looking for a break from his serious day-job, Jonathan tapped into his lighter side eight years ago when he began taking improv comedy classes. Quickly realizing laughter really is the best medicine, he co-founded the non-profit organization, Cherub Improv, four years later.

Cherub Improv strives to infiltrate laughter into the hearts of struggling NYC residents. The organization performs at hospitals, homeless shelters, retirement homes, and hospice facilities–places where residents usually don’t have the opportunity to attend off-site performances to smile, laugh, and take a break from the challenges they confront in their daily lives.


SNR Denton

Questions by PMc Magazine

Edited by Meaghan Coffey

Photography Courtesy by Jonathan Golderg

Design by Jillian Mercado

Contact Jillian Mercado if you’re interested in becoming a “Who Am I?”


Jonathan Golderg, 2011, NYC, Photography Courtesy by Jonathan Golderg

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