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One of Roosevelt University’s First Graduates, Howard Rosenberg Leaves Legal Legacy

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Howard Rosenberg stood patiently in line at Navy Pier in Chicago on a cold February day in 1947. A month removed from the U.S. Army, he awaited registration for the new (now defunct) branch of the University of Illinois at Navy Pier, ready to begin his education.

“After standing there about two hours, I asked one of the assistants whether we were going to get in to register,” Rosenberg said. “She said ‘I doubt it.’”

Rosenberg queried his brother about other colleges in the area.

“He said ‘There’s a new college called Roosevelt College. It is a radical place by the way,’” Rosenberg said.

Rosenberg registered for Philosophy 101 at Roosevelt and found his home there.

“[At first] I thought, well I’ll stay here a year and then transfer to the University of Illinois, but after about one or two days I was hooked on Roosevelt and never went back,” said Rosenberg.

Rosenberg completed his Bachelor of Arts at Roosevelt in 1949 and was among the first graduates of what would become Roosevelt University. He went on to earn his law degree at DePaul University.

After two short years of practicing law in Chicago representing a credit company, Rosenberg decided to move to and practice law in Denver.

In 1966, Rosenberg took his lessons of social justice from Roosevelt to heart by founding, with other Denver-based attorneys, the Thursday Night Bar.

The idea behind the organization, today known as the Metro Volunteer Lawyers, was to provide pro-bono legal services to those in great need.

“The inspiration that I got at Roosevelt was able to serve me well as a legal aid attorney,” Rosenberg said.

Rosenberg’s legacy continues today with the Metro Volunteer Lawyers, which strives to resolve cases out of court and with more efficiency than if their clients had to represent themselves.

Rosenberg began teaching at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in 1973 where he, as a tenured professor, taught until his retirement in 2014. Rosenberg currently lives in Denver with his wife.

Rosenberg previously presided over the Denver Bar Association from 1992 to 1993 and was a member of the Colorado Supreme Court Civil Rules Committee from 1981 to 2013.

The social justice values Rosenberg first shaped at Roosevelt have served as the backbone of his long, successful career giving back to the community. And, through regular donations to the University spanning five decades, Rosenberg hopes to provide the means for future students to continue his legacy through their own education.

“The inspiration that I got at Roosevelt was able to serve me well as a legal aid attorney." Howard Rosenberg, BA '49

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