Joshua Frank ’22

Two black males pose wearing boxing gloves under bridge in New YorkEducation: Trinity College, Fulbright ETA Program
Affiliations: Law Students of African Descent, First Generation Professionals, Berkeley Journal of Entertainment and Sports Law

My dad, Raul Frank, was a professional boxer. He was a United States Boxing Association (USBA) Champion, a Latino International Champion, and two-time contender for the International Boxing Federation (IBF) Welterweight Championship. Many of my uncles became pro boxers as well. Over the years, my dad fought for Don King’s Promotion and Roy Jones’ Boxing Promotion. I recall my dad being interviewed by George Foreman, and also seeing Floyd Mayweather attend one of his fights for the IBF Welterweight Championship in Las Vegas. Being a part of these experiences helped me to gain exposure to concepts I would learn later in law school, such as negotiations, complex contract terms, and offers. As a child, many of these memories are etched in my mind. Growing up in Brooklyn as the son of a professional athlete, I always thought about how I could be helpful to the family and to my black and immigrant communities. 

Law school was a big transition for me as a first-generation student. It took some time to adjust to the different learning process, but I was able to adapt thanks to the collaborative environment here at Berkeley. People here are just more inclined to work together.  I really love that about the Berkeley Law community. I chose Berkeley because it gives students an opportunity to do real-world work outside of the classroom starting first year. Early on during 1L year I learned about Start Small through the Pro Bono Program. They are an organization that provides legal, financial, and marketing advice to entrepreneurs. 

My dad is retired from professional fighting now and trains clients at Gleason’s Gym. Through boxing training, he helps children build confidence and adults to live a healthy lifestyle. Gleason’s is one of the oldest boxing gyms in the country and has a really interesting history. Hillary Swank trained at Gleason’s there in Million Dollar Baby. I actually have photos of my dad sparring with her during training for the movie. My dad now oversees the office of his former trainer, the late Bob Jackson, who trained with Cus A’Mato, former trainer of  Mike Tyson. My dad wants to grow his training business and hopefully open his own gym one day. He also hopes to launch boxing shows around the country and world, especially in his home country, Guyana.  Start Small heard about my father’s goals and recommended that I reach out to them to make him a client. 

Working with them, I helped my dad form an LLC, build a website, increase his social media presence, and get a contract that limits his liability for training people in NYC. Proskauer Rose and Fried Frank helped us accomplish this. One of the videos we created with the guidance of Small’s social media team has twenty two thousand views. Student interns from the City University of New York (CUNY) also helped my dad to significantly increase his social media presence. 

The skills that I learned in law school enabled me to communicate with lawyers and review contracts in a way that wasn’t possible for my family before. It’s really amazing to be able to use these legal skills in a way that can literally change somebody’s life, especially when the client is your own father. 

To me, that’s what I was looking for in law school. It’s allowed me to be a heavyweight of sorts in making my families’ dreams a possibility.