Taking risks and challenging herself to step out of her comfort zone have characterized Maren Rosenbach’s (MSL '19) career path from a registered nurse to a budding ethics and compliance professional.
As a student in the University of Colorado Law School’s Master of Studies in Law (MSL) degree program in ethics and compliance, Rosenbach learned alongside JD students how the law can be preventative, rather than reactive, in creating ethical cultures and cultivating equity.
"Entering law school classrooms as an MSL student, where you do not have the foundation of the first-year law students, and learning that you can not only succeed, but excel, is an accomplishment I am very proud of," she said. "At Colorado Law, I found an academic space where my life experience was valued and utilized within the classroom syllabus and discussions."
Rosenbach ended up at Colorado Law through some trial and error, while always listening to her gut to steer her in the right direction.
She began her career in Glen Rock, New Jersey, as a registered nurse and owner of a boutique fitness studio. In 2014, following a move to Boulder with her husband and two daughters, she decided to go back to school and enrolled at Front Range Community College. She later transferred to CU Boulder, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in women and gender studies.
"I have witnessed and experienced many inequities in my life, namely being a woman in business," Rosenbach said. "I knew I wanted to advocate for women's rights, gender, and racial equality, so law school seemed like the next logical step."
Rosenbach took the LSAT and completed several law school applications; however, she soon developed a nagging feeling that law school wasn't the right fit. She decided to explore the MSL program at Colorado Law, a one-year master's program for nonlawyers directed by Professors Amy Bauer and Melanie Kay.
"On a whim, I attended an information session for the MSL program, but had the wrong time and missed the presentation. Professor Kay was still there and gave me her card," Rosenbach said. "I made an appointment, and while speaking with her, I had that lightbulb moment. The degree was an opportunity to effect change by doing the right thing. Again, that preventative rather than reactive nature spoke to me from my background in health care. A positive, do-the-right-thing culture encourages accountability and equality in comparison to spaces already steeped in scandal and unethical behavior."
With her MSL degree in hand, she hopes to effect change through the concept of the 'social license to operate' for corporations.
"I believe there is a way to encourage corporations to reconfigure profit at any-cost business models," Rosenbach said. "In recent years, increases in corporate financial misconduct enforcements, social movements such as #MeToo, Black Lives Matter, and Standing Rock are evidence that those models are antithetical to fundamental human rights and profit. By utilizing an ethical, cooperative, and intersectional approach in business, profits increase from consideration and engagement with all stakeholders."
She plans to pursue positions within the ethics and compliance investigative field that encompass employment/labor rights, supply chain compliance, and/or anti-corruption work.
"My time at Colorado Law has reaffirmed that taking on challenges outside of your comfort zone really shows how much one is capable of. I used to tell my training clients that transformation happens on the edge. It truly does in all aspects of life," Rosenbach said.