Alumni Spotlight

Matthew-Vicari

Name: Matthew Vicari

Employer: Miller Johnson

City / State / Province: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Graduation Year: 1990

What is your current position and what do you do? 

I am a member in our firm’s litigation section where I served as chair of the section and currently I chair our firm's criminal law and fraud and embezzlement recovery practice groups.  I am a trial lawyer who handles a wide array of matters, including fraud and embezzlement recovery, commercial disputes involving false claims, trade secret/confidentiality and unfair competition claims, as well as regulatory, antitrust, grand jury and other state and federal investigations.  I also conduct internal investigations for corporations, municipalities, educational institutions, and other organizations, and handle wrongful death and personal injury matters.  

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy being able to partner with a variety of our firm's clients which include individuals and organizations, to work with them to successfully resolve sometimes very difficult, stressful and complex cases and matters.

What impact did the dual degree program have on you personally and professionally?

From watching "A Man for All Seasons" as a brand new first year to reading the St. Thomas More prayer as a third year at the baccalaureate mass, UDM has helped instill in me a strong sense of my catholic faith and the values of ethics, civility, responsibility, and integrity. My in class and externship experiences were invaluable and had a significant impact on me both personally and professionally.  Whether it was clerking for the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Michigan under the supervision of then AUSA and former Chief Justice Maura Corrigan; learning evidence and trial techniques through moot court and American Inn of Court with Professor Maveal; representing indigent clients on misdemeanor criminal matters in the Harper Woods District Court; or standing up in Fr. Joseph Daoust's property class to recite the facts and holding in Pierson v Post; all of these experiences had a profound impact on my growth not only as a law student, but as a person and lawyer. 

How have relationships you formed in law school furthered your professional career?

Relationships are very important so I have tried to keep in touch with law school classmates in Western Michigan as well as across the state and country through lunches, phone calls or sending a note when they have professional accomplishments.  I regularly see some of my classmates as they are good friends and we have given/received referrals from each other.  I have also had the pleasure of appearing in court before them.  

What advice do you have for prospective dual JD students today?

Set goals for yourself, work hard to achieve them, and be open to both traditional and non-traditional career possibilities for your legal education.  

Why would you recommend UDM Law to a prospective student?

UDM provides a first class legal education grounded in the Jesuit tradition emphasizing the values of ethics, integrity, responsibility, and community service.  The UDM education may be used for a traditional career in the practice of law or as the foundation for wherever your dreams take you.