New Emory University School of Law graduate David Zev Rosenberg has a worldly awareness of the importance of tolerance.
The discussions at law school might seem as if they should be straightforward and by the book, but in a lecture hall of 100-plus law students, Rosenberg said, “every single person has an opinion.”
That can be overwhelming, but the 26-year-old said Emory helped him value and “understand other people’s perspectives, which translates into the law. It’s not always black and white.”
Understanding different perspectives supported his work as the president of the Emory chapter of the Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, which launched on campus three years ago to counter anti-Semitism at the college. The center investigates incidents, provides free research and advocacy for victims of discrimination, and files legal complaints.
The purpose, Rosenberg said, is “fighting discrimination on campus.”
Coming from Long Island, N.Y., Rosenberg searched for his Jewish community the minute he arrived in Atlanta. He was a part of Emory Hillel but found that it consisted mostly of undergraduates; he was looking for people his age.
As an Orthodox Jew, he found his stride when he connected with Chabad of Toco Hills and “enjoyed Jewish life for the first time,” Rosenberg said.
He said Atlanta’s Jewish community is smaller and easier to break into than New York’s, and the Jewish population is “more welcoming in Atlanta. You could be who you wanted to be.”
He chose Emory for law school because he “wanted to go to a good school, close to a Jewish community.” He said the school “cares for their students.”
Still, he offered a warning to anyone considering law school that it is “quite difficult, but you shouldn’t give up.”
The people in Atlanta made his three years here better, Rosenberg said. “I love the way people are happy. I love the weather. It’s a very young community and very friendly place.”
Rosenberg has since moved back to New York to take the bar exam, the mandatory state test whose passage is required to get a license to practice law. The daunting exam requires constant study, and he said he is spending more time in the library now than he did throughout law school.
Until he takes the New York bar exam in two months, his future is in the books right in front of his face while he is “just trying to pass the bar.”
Rosenberg said he sees a shift in himself out of law school. “I try to think of things a bit more methodically, and I am a little more patient.”
He described himself in three words: “funny, serious, dedicated.”
After the bar exam, Rosenberg plans to take a welcome leave from the books and travel to Vietnam and Thailand for two weeks. He will teach English in Vietnam, though he does not know for which age group.
Traveling to immerse yourself in new cultures, Rosenberg said, is “getting out of your element. It is important to relate and talk to other people from other surroundings.”
Rosenberg is interested in practicing real estate law. He said it is “important to make sure contracts are written well … (and) fight for the client.”