Former Moot Court Champion Advances in the Legal World
Matthew Laroche, BA ’05, MA ’07, took full advantage of UAlbany’s top-rated criminal justice program and location in the state capital to secure a law degree and a clerk position with a U.S. Court of Appeals judge.
ALBANY, N.Y. (October 7, 2013) — A quality education. Excellent preparation. A great network of alumni. A location brimming with opportunities.
These are University at Albany attributes that Matthew Laroche, BA ’05, MA ’07, reflects upon now more than during his college years. “I definitely enjoyed my time at UAlbany,” said Laroche. “But it wasn’t until after I graduated that I began to see how lucky I was and how many opportunities came my way because of where I went to school.”
Laroche, who went on from UAlbany to earn a law degree, now clerks for a fellow UAlbany alumnus, Richard C. Wesley ’71, federal judge on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, based in lower Manhattan. Among the recommendations sent to Judge Wesley in support of Laroche was one from UAlbany football coach Bob Ford, who had coached not only Matthew’s brother Michael ’04, but Wesley himself.
Michael Laroche had influenced his younger brother to attend UAlbany in the first place. “My brother couldn’t say enough about how much he loved the University,” said Matthew. “That was good enough for me, even though I started out like a lot of other college kids, not really sure what I wanted to do.”
Laroche heard great things about UAlbany’s perennially nationally top-ranked criminal justice program, so he gave it a try. He became involved with the moot court program run by Professor James Acker and discovered a superior talent for making oral arguments. He and his UAlbany teammate, Alison Bain-Lucey, won the American Collegiate Moot Court Association eastern regional in 2006 and advanced to the national tournament among 72 teams. They reached the final four before bowing out to the eventual tournament champion.
“Professor Acker had a huge influence on my overall development, my decision to go to graduate school and then, eventually, to law school,” said Laroche. “My relationship with him continues to this day.”
While earning his master’s in criminal justice, Laroche took advantage of both the school’s reputation and UAlbany’s location in the state capital to work at the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. He went on to attend Albany Law School, graduating in 2010.
“My master’s degree in criminal justice prepared me to succeed in law school immediately,” said Laroche. He lauded both UAlbany and the SUNY system for providing a quality education at a reasonable cost.
“Anyone who suggests ‘it’s a state school, it doesn’t give you the opportunities,’ doesn’t know what they’re talking about. I can tell you that I still draw on my UAlbany education and connections. The UAlbany alumni network is very strong and I’m proud to be a part of it.”
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