Mathew Rosengart said his time at Boston College Law School and his experiences in the law field greatly contributed to his success in representing Britney Spears in her conservatorship case.
“The things that I learned as a student at BC Law and everything that I had learned throughout my career helped me [represent] Britney,” Rosengart, BC Law ’87, said.
Rosengart, a partner at Greenberg Traurig, LLP, returned to BC Law to speak about his career as this year’s Dean’s Distinguished Lecture on Tuesday.
According to Diane Ring, the interim dean at BC Law, Rosengart has represented many high-profile clients, from public figures including Steven Spielberg and Keanu Reeves to widely known companies such as Facebook and Verizon. Most recently, he garnered public attention by representing Spears in the battle to end her conservatorship.
The conservatorship appointed her father, Jamie Spears, in charge of her personal and financial affairs. In July 2021, Spears replaced her court-appointed lawyer with Rosengart, according to BC Law Magazine. Rosengart won Spears’ release from her conservatorship on Nov. 12.
In an email to The Heights, Rosengart said there were some questions he considered before taking on Spears’ case, but ultimately, he felt compelled to take on the case and was extremely honored to represent Spears.
Rosengart wanted to ensure Spears had “an attorney and advocate to zealously represent her best interests,” he said.
“Why is it that even the most heinous criminals have the right to have their own attorney … [but] Britney Spears doesn’t?” he said.
Rosengart said he approached the case with the initial intent of suspending Spears’ father “affirmatively and aggressively” so that his team could gain access to the legal files her father held.
The media reacted negatively to the strategy to first suspend Spears’ father, according to Rosengart, with many wanting him to terminate the conservatorship immediately. But, Rosengart said he proceeded with this strategy and blocked out this commentary.
Rosengart said he was both humbled and proud that he was able to help Spears.
“The system does not always work, and you will have disappointments, but there is no greater feeling than using the system right and helping someone through it,” he said.
Prior to representing Spears, Rosengart worked in various legal fields.
After he graduated from BC Law, Rosengart said he was determined to work in a federal clerkship position. But instead, he clerked for former Supreme Court Justice David Souter when Souter was a state judge in New Hampshire.
“I went with my heart and went with the state clerkship, and I had the best time a new lawyer could have,” he said.
After leaving his clerkship in New Hampshire, Rosengart said he started working as a federal prosecutor.
“My proudest moment as a federal prosecutor was achieving the Justice Department’s mission statement, which was to do justice, whatever that may mean [under the circumstances],” he said.
After years of being a prosecutor, Rosengart said he wanted to “make [his] own footprint,” and took the opportunity to move to Los Angeles, where he worked on his first high-profile case for Academy Award–winning writer and director Kenneth Lonergan.
Josh Ferraro, BC Law ’22, said he attended the lecture to hear about Rosengart’s impressive career path.
“I really just appreciated the opportunity to hear about his professional history, especially his experience with BC and his experience working with Justice Souter when he was in New Hampshire,” Ferraro said, wearing a shirt with Rosengart’s face on it. “So it was just great to hear more about his history [and] the things that he’s done.”
If BC Law students work hard and create strong relationships with the people they encounter, Rosengart said they can achieve success.
“Relationships matter, doing good work through relationships matters, and that can lead to a big break,” he said. “There is no direct road map, it’s doing the work and working hard, striving for excellence, and doing it with passion.”
Rosengart said law is important because it can help to make a difference in society as well as in individuals’ lives.
“Lawyers have the power to change peoples lives, and each and every one of you will have the power to change a life,” he said.
Rosengart ended his lecture by reading part of BC Law’s mission statement.
“We seek to train a diverse student body not merely to be good lawyers, but to be lawyers who lead good lives, and who will be prepared to seek and to find meaningful work in service to others that will enrich their communities,” the statement reads.
Rosengart said he hopes the BC Law students will work toward fulfilling that mission.
“I’ve aspired to do that,” Rosengart said. “I still have a lot to do. I hope that you aspire to do that. I hope that you succeed. I know you can.”
Featured Image by Steve Mooney / Heights Editor