ASU Law grad has 'aha' moment surfing in Mexico

Now looks forward to pursuing business development career


November 29, 2021

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. Photo of Sarah Rosenwinkel, ASU Law fall 2021 MLS graduate Sarah Rosenwinkel says the pursuit of her MLS degree from ASU Law has enlightened her. “I understand how the world functions in a way I hadn't before.” Download Full Image

“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.

Julie Tenney

Director of Communications, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

ASU Law grad continues legal journey at the place where it started


November 29, 2021

Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable fall 2021 graduates.

Emily Gale Tooher is no stranger to the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. As she graduates this fall with a Master of Laws with an emphasis in human resources and employment law, Tooher reflects on when she earned her Juris Doctor from ASU Law in 2019. Emily Tooher Emily Tooher will graduate this fall from ASU Law with a Master of Laws with an emphasis in Human Resources and Employment Law. Download Full Image

“I knew from the moment I applied to take the LSAT that I would do anything and everything it took to get my law degree from ASU. And I did just that,” said Tooher, also a graduate of the W. P. Carey School of Business at ASU. 

A sixth generation native of Arizona and owner of Tooher Law in her hometown of Chandler, Arizona, Tooher is passionate about building on her legal education to best serve her community – and she has no plans of slowing down.

“ASU Law’s curriculum, the professors, faculty and the programs are what brought me back to the school for my LLM,” she said. “And I am not done yet ... I am just getting started.”

Question: What is the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?

Answer: We all have a story of why we went to law school and what got us here. Never forget the reason why you started. Never forget that there are people out there who need help and who need our services. Give back. Volunteer. Reduce your prices for those in need. The world is unfair enough as it is, and our profession has the luxury of being able to help with truly only a minimal inconvenience. Don't withhold that gift from the world. 

Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU Law — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you or changed your perspective? 

A: It's not about what you know, it's about who you know. It still amazes me when I have a question that a mentor doesn't know the answer to. It happens all the time. That's what is so great about our profession. It doesn't matter how much you study or how much you think you know, you can never know it all. That's why it is so important to network and have mentors in our profession. Even my mentors have their own mentors, and that is such a beautiful thing to be a part of.  

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: I own a law firm in my hometown of Chandler, Arizona. I plan on continuing to expand the services we offer so we can better serve our community. We're in the process of creating a formal modest means department to allow us to serve low income and indigent demographics in my hometown of Chandler, Arizona. My hope is to have a fully operational modest means department by the beginning of 2024, ensuring that legal services are readily available to all residents of Chandler, Arizona, that are in need.

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: Forty million wouldn't be enough, but if I had endless money to solve a problem on our planet, I would aim to end poverty. I would work toward developing an infrastructure to completely eradicate poverty as well as create perpetual sustainability.   

Mary Hess

Digital communications specialist, Thunderbird School of Global Management