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Former Moot Court Champion Advances His Standing in the Legal World

UAlbany's in and out-of-class experiences helped Matthew Laroche became clerk for a U.S. Appeals Court justice and now an associate at an international law firm.

Matthew Laroche, BA ’05, MA ’07, pauses from work in lower Manhattan.

ALBANY, N.Y. (January 21, 2014) — 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.”

Learn and view more about Matthew Laroche and other outstanding UAlbany alumni on the Outcomes Video Page.

Laroche, who went on from UAlbany to earn a law degree from Albany Law School, is now an associate at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP, which is based in New York City’s financial district and provides legal solutions for both U.S. and international companies and financial institutions. It was actually a return to Milbank for Laroche, who worked there a year and a half before accepting a clerkship for a fellow UAlbany alumnus, Richard C. Wesley ’71, federal judge on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

"My experience working for Judge Wesley was invaluable to my professional development," said Laroche, who was involved with a number of high profile cases. "I feel lucky to consider Judge Wesley a mentor and friend."

Among the recommendations sent to Wesley in support of Laroche’s clerkship application was one from UAlbany football coach Bob Ford, who had coached Matthew’s brother Michael ’04 and, before that, Wesley himself.

It was Michael Laroche who initially influenced his younger brother to attend UAlbany. “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,” he said, and 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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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than
120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.