Meet Matthew Hooker (JD ’20)

Photo of Matthew Hooker

Matthew Hooker (JD ’20) is exploring opportunities in civil litigation, so he can advocate for clients while also exercising his passion for research and writing. During his 1L summer, he interned with Womble Bond Dickinson, where he was able to contribute to a wide variety of practice groups.

Where do you call home?

Gaithersburg, Maryland

Where did you study for your undergraduate degree?

Thomas Edison State University

What did you major/minor in for your undergraduate degree?

Communications

Describe your 1L and/or 2L summer work experience. Was there any particular experience that stood out to you?

During my 1L summer, I worked as a summer associate at Womble Bond Dickinson LLP in Winston-Salem, NC. I had the opportunity to work in a variety of different practice groups and was given a range of responsibilities such as drafting a motion to dismiss for federal court, writing a memoranda on various litigation and transactional issues, and drafting a response in a United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) matter.

One of the best experiences I had was getting to research various liability issues for a client. I was able to present my findings and analysis to the client’s board of directors on an hour-long conference call.

This was a fantastic opportunity for me to see the practical effects of my research. Rather than just writing a memo and delivering it to the associate or partner, I actually interacted with the client, fielded questions on the spot, and was responsible for accurately delivering an analysis that I developed with the supervising attorney’s guidance.

During my 2L summer, I will be working as a summer associate at Jones Day in Washington, D.C. I will also be returning as a summer associate for the Womble Bond Dickinson Winston-Salem office.

Are you working in a specific area of law? If so, what do you find interesting about it?

After working as a summer associate at Womble Bond Dickinson, I was able to evaluate different practice areas and identify what might be a good fit for me. I am currently very interested in civil litigation practice, because I enjoy the research and writing components as well as the opportunity to advocate for the client. I am particularly interested in pretrial practice.

Why did you decide to attend Wake Forest Law?

Almost as soon as I stepped foot on Wake Forest Law’s campus, I felt at home. I was impressed by the rigorous academics, the high caliber of professors, and the community feel. Additionally, Wake Forest’s reputation and success in trial advocacy and moot court helped solidify that this would be a great fit for me.

Describe the Wake Forest community.

The Wake Forest community is unique, because it provides a blend of cooperation and healthy competition. As a general rule, students are professional, hard working, and express more concern about excelling than about putting others down.

Law school is naturally a highly competitive, high stress environment, and Wake Forest is no exception. But the community at Wake Forest helps mitigates some of the stress by providing a collegial, professional environment where students treat one another with respect and dignity.

I also really appreciate the opportunities to interact with professors. I have been able to develop good relationships with some of my professors. I continue to receive great advice from them while also having opportunities to contribute to their research.

What is your most memorable experience during law school (thus far)?

One of my most memorable experiences has been competing as a 1L in the 2018 Walker Moot Court Competition. Coming into law school, I knew that moot court was something I wanted to be involved in, and this competition confirmed that for me. I was fortunate to finish the competition in the Elite Eight and earn membership on the Moot Court Board. But more than that, I enjoyed the chance to be challenged through competition and to hone my written and oral advocacy skills.

What are you involved in outside the classroom (i.e. student organizations, pro bono project, intramural sports, etc.)? How does this add value to your overall law school experience?

I am involved in a variety of students organizations and other projects. I am a staff member on the Wake Forest Law Review, a member of the Moot Court Board, a board member for the Transactional Law Competition, a member of the Student Trial Bar, a teaching assistant for the first-year Legal Analysis, Writing, and Research (LAWR) program, and a mentor to an international LL.M student.

I also participate in Teen Court, a pro bono project that serves as a diversion program for young juvenile offenders in Forsyth County. I love being involved in Teen Court, because it gives me the chance to use what I’m learning in law school to help kids have a second chance and keep minor offenses off of their juvenile record.

What do you do for fun in Winston-Salem when you aren’t studying?

Winston-Salem is a neat city! When the weather is good, I love hanging out in Bailey Park or going for a run on the Reynolda Trails or at Salem Lake. I’m also a big fan of the fantastic art exhibits at the Reynolda House and enjoy exploring the breweries downtown and checking out the various festivals and live music.

Where do you want your law degree to take you?

My hope is to work in private practice as a litigator. But one of the great things about a law degree is just how many opportunities are out there. I’m excited to not only develop a strong legal practice, but also use my law degree to support my local community.