MATTHEW LORINI '16
Judge Advocate, United States Army
Hometown: Currently living in Georgetown, Texas. Born and raised in Colonie, New York.
Studied while at Siena: History major, history honors certificate, political science minor, pre-law certificate.
Current Involvement: Albany County Bar Association, Siena College Moot Court/Mock Trial Team
Involvement while at Siena: Student Senate, Phi Alpha Delta, Pre-Law Society
How do you involve yourself in your community?
When I was living and practicing law in Colonie, I would coach the Siena College Mock Trial Team two nights a week. Working with the students is one of the most rewarding experiences a young attorney could ask for. I highly encourage young alums who can make the time to work with our team. I still try to keep in touch with the team members and virtually coach when the time (and time zone difference) allows. Currently, I am exploring opportunities for local volunteering and mentorship in and around Fort Hood.
Describe a typical day in your life.
Army Judge Advocates are expected to partake in physical training just like any other soldier (Soldiers first, Lawyers always!). We usually complete a distance run or strength drills from 0630 to 0730 in the morning. Our duty day starts between 0800 or 0900, and ends at 1700 (5:00 PM). I recently completed my Officer Basic Course at the Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School in Charlottesville, VA, where we learned about topics from court-martials to military administrative law. This included practical exercises to get us hands-on experience with our lecture topics. At Fort Hood, I practice mainly civil law, handling client services for soldiers on post in need of legal assistance. By the end of the day at 1700, I like to go home and unwind by experimenting with new dinner recipes or reading a good book.
How did your Siena education prepare you for the work you’re doing today?
My Siena education, especially in the Pre-Law program, truly inspired me to use my legal degree in the arena of public service. I’m finding as I grow in my career that a successful advocate is one who truly embraces and understands the Franciscan values. Every client we serve is an individual with unique life experiences, opinions, and needs. The ability to empathize and examine facts from another person’s point of view is essential when advocating for a client, and the best way to develop that empathy is to approach every case with an eye to our D.O.R.S. values.
On the practical side, I was challenged in my opinions every day by my professors. Not only did we have to analyze and generate arguments, but we had to vigorously defend them in class. The ability to think critically on my feet has helped me both in law school and in practice. If you can survive a thirty-minute grilling from Dr. Cutler, there is no courtroom in America you won’t be ready to practice in!
Describe your professional progression since leaving Siena.
Once I left Siena, I went directly to law school. I studied for three years at Boston College Law, where I specialized in Constitutional Law and Criminal Trial practice. I interned in the Massachusetts Senate, United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, and the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Special Investigations Unit. Upon graduating I was recognized as a Public Service Fellow with special recognition for Pro Bono work I did as a student.
I passed the New York Bar Exam and practiced as the Court Attorney in Colonie Town Court from 2019 to 2021. My job was to assist the three judges of the Court in drafting opinions and researching unique issues that inevitably come up in such a busy court. In August of 2021, I commissioned as a 1st Lieutenant in the United States Army and am currently serving as a Judge Advocate assigned to III Corps at Fort Hood, TX.
Advice for current Saints:
Take full advantage of every opportunity that you have interest in. Whether it’s a networking event, club, or intramural sport, I find the more involved you are the more you will get out of your Siena experience both socially and professionally. Faculty, Staff, and the Alumni Network will always be happy to help you but staying involved will help you fully cultivate those relationships.
Career advice for current students:
Keep an open mind about your academic and professional career! I initially thought I wanted to go into corporate law, I finished law school by developing a love of criminal trial work (which I should be returning to soon!) and now I practice law for the military covering one of the widest ranges of topics of any position in the legal field. There’s nothing wrong with adjusting your path as your academic and personal interests shift. Keep as many doors of opportunity open as possible, because if, and when, you land in a job you truly love, the rewards you reap will be limitless.