What made you decide to go to law school?

New York appellate attorney Joshua Rosenkranz of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe’s shares why he decided to become a lawyer.

Contact Joshua Rosenkranz

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (212) 506-5380


You know, a few things converged at once. I was a chemistry major. I’d worked in laboratories doing cancer research for four years by the time I went to law school, probably three-and-a-half years by the time I decided I was going to law school. I loved it. To this day, I think I was a better chemist than I’ll ever be a lawyer. I really understood chemistry. I worked for the chairman of the department of chemistry, who I thought was the greatest chemist who’d ever lived. And I remember watching the research that we were doing going to make bad policy. I would see our research cited by EPA or NIH, standing for exactly the opposite proposition than what the research actually stood for.

And I went to my mentor, the chairman of chemistry, and said, “Dr. Klotman, we need to speak out.” And he was this stern, conservative, Belgian scientist, who said, “Joshua, we are scientists, not advocates.” And I thought, “You know, maybe I’m an advocate, not a scientist.” And that happened at around the time I started realizing that so much of science is about sitting within the same four walls, dealing with the same five or six people, hunched over your Bunsen burner, and I think I just craved more interaction with others and more kind of direct impact on society.