Mathew Rosengart said his time at Boston College Law School and his experiences in the legal field were instrumental in his success in representing Britney Spears in her conservatorship case.
“The things I learned as a student at BC Law and everything I learned throughout my career helped me [represent] Britney,” said Rosengart, BC Law ’87.
Rosengart, a partner at Greenberg Traurig, LLP, returned to BC Law to talk about his career as this year’s Dean’s Distinguished Lecture on Tuesday.
According to Diane Ring, acting dean of BC Law, Rosengart has represented many high-profile clients, ranging from public figures such as Steven Spielberg and Keanu Reeves to well-known corporations such as Facebook and Verizon. More recently, he has come to public attention for portraying Spears in the battle to end her conservatorship.
The guardianship has named her father, Jamie Spears, responsible for her personal and financial affairs. In July 2021, Spears replaced her court-appointed attorney with Rosengart, according to British Columbia Law Magazine. Rosengart won Spears’ release from her conservatorship on November 12.
In an email to HeightsRosengart said he thought about some issues before taking on Spears’ case, but ultimately felt compelled to take on the case and was extremely honored to represent Spears. .
Rosengart wanted to make sure Spears had “a lawyer and a lawyer to zealously represent her best interests,” he said.
“Why do even the most heinous criminals have the right to have their own lawyer… [but] Not Britney Spears? he said.
Rosengart said he approached the case with the original intention of suspending Spears’ father “affirmatively and aggressively” so that his team could gain access to the legal records his father had.
The media reacted negatively to the strategy of hanging Spears’ father first, according to Rosengart, with many wanting him to end the conservatorship immediately. But, Rosengart said he pursued that strategy and blocked that comment.
Rosengart said he was both humbled and proud to have been able to help Spears.
“The system doesn’t always work and you will have disappointments, but there is no greater feeling than using the system correctly and helping someone through it,” he said.
Prior to representing Spears, Rosengart worked in various legal fields.
After earning his BC law degree, Rosengart said he was determined to pursue a federal articling position. But instead, he worked for former Supreme Court Justice David Souter when Souter was a state judge in New Hampshire.
“I went with my heart and I went with the Secretary of State, and I had the best time a new lawyer could ever have,” he said.
After leaving his internship in New Hampshire, Rosengart said he started working as a federal prosecutor.
“My proudest moment as a federal prosecutor was carrying out the Department of Justice’s mission statement, which was to deliver justice, whatever that may mean. [under the circumstances],” he said.
After serving as a prosecutor for years, Rosengart said he wanted to “do [his] own imprint,” and took the opportunity to move to Los Angeles, where he worked on his first high-profile case for Oscar-winning writer and director Kenneth Lonergan.
Josh Ferraro, BC Law ’22, said he attended the conference to learn more about Rosengart’s impressive career path.
“I really appreciated the opportunity to hear about his professional history, especially his experience with British Columbia and his experience working with Judge Souter when he was in New Hampshire,” Ferraro said, wearing a shirt with Rosengart’s face on it. “So it was great to learn more about his story [and] the things he did.
If BC law students work hard and build strong relationships with the people they meet, Rosengart said they can be successful.
“Relationships matter, doing a good job through relationships matters, and that can lead to a big breakup,” he said. “There is no direct roadmap, it’s all about getting the job done and working hard, striving for excellence and doing it with passion.”
Rosengart said the law is important because it can help make a difference in society as well as in the lives of individuals.
“Lawyers have the power to change people’s lives, and each of you will have the power to change a life,” he said.
Rosengart ended his lecture by reading part of BC Law Mission Statement.
“We seek to build a diverse student body not just to be good lawyers, but to be lawyers who live good lives and who will be willing to seek and find meaningful work in the service of others that will enrich their communities,” the statement reads.
Rosengart said he hopes BC law students will work to fulfill this mission.
“I aspired to do it,” Rosengart said. “I still have a lot to do. I hope you aspire to do it. I hope you succeed. I know you can.”
Featured Image by Steve Mooney/Heights Editor