Editor’s note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable fall 2021 graduates.
While on a surfing trip in Mexico, it struck Sarah Rosenwinkel that her next endeavor was law school.
“It’s funny how things happen when you don’t feel stressed and have the headspace to allow ideas to manifest,” Rosenwinkel said. “I knew a legal education would round out my experiences in business and technology really well. Once I started doing research, I was pleased to find that ASU had a master’s program in law since my end game isn’t to be an attorney.”
Rosenwinkel will graduate this fall with a Master of Legal Studies (MLS) with emphases in business law, and entrepreneurship law and strategy from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.
She says there were a few reasons she chose ASU Law.
“Number one: I wanted to attend a school where I knew I would get a top-tier education and ASU is in the top 25. Number two: The Master of Legal Studies program is accredited. And number three: No other university had the same number of concentrations to choose from. I was happy with the number of international law, business law and entrepreneurship courses available,” said Rosenwinkel, who refers to herself as a nomad – born in Oak Park, Illinois, and also having resided in Philadelphia, various areas of the Washington, D.C. metro area, Silicon Valley and now Phoenix.
Question: What’s something you learned while at ASU Law — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you or changed your perspective?
Answer: What surprised me was how little I actually knew about the law before entering school. I feel enlightened – I understand how the world functions in a way I hadn’t before. I also process information differently. The work stretched my mind in unexpected ways.
Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU Law?
A: Speaking about something I learned from a legal perspective would be remiss because all subjects are collectively important. I liked all of my professors, but Professor (Orde) Kittrie was pretty special. He customized our course from day one based on all of his students’ different interests in international law. He also taught me about patience and fortitude. I wasn’t sure I was ready for his class in international business transactions because it was my first semester, and I had to waive two courses to get in. I spoke to him about it, and he encouraged and helped me when I needed it. I credit him for my success in my subsequent courses.
I also appreciate Professor (Michael) Hool and Professor (John) Lorenz, who teach “Financing Early Stage Ventures” together. They not only care about the learning experience they provide in class, but they also care about the students’ success after graduation. Professor Hool provided a recommendation for me at a venture firm he does legal work for and might become personally responsible for my future success in a new field. They’ve also hired students who have taken their course.
Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?
A: Push through. You can do it!
Q: What are your plans after graduation?
A: I am pursuing opportunities in corporate development and venture capital/debt financing. They are different, but I’m equally interested in both paths.
Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?
A: $40 million might not tackle this problem, but I would choose to fund infrastructure to help build more smart, sustainable cities to slow down climate change.