News @ Georgia Law November 2012 Student Profile
Name: Matthew V. Noller
Hometown: Fayetteville, GA
Expected graduation year: 2013
Georgia Law achievements and awards: Best Student Note, Georgia Law Review; Highest Academic Average 2011-2012; Excellent Achievement in Torts, Civil Procedure, Property, and Legal Profession; Winner, Talmadge Moot Court Competition
Georgia Law extracurricular activities: Georgia Law Review (Executive Articles Editor), Moot Court, Supreme Court Discussion Group
Undergraduate degree(s)/institution(s)/year(s): A.B.J Magazine Journalism & A.B. Film Studies / UGA / 2010
1. What did you do before attending law school?
I came straight to law school after graduating from the University of Georgia, where I double-majored in magazine journalism and film studies. During college, I worked as a film critic for several online publications and served on the programming committee at Ciné, helping to select the films shown at the theater.
2. Why did you choose to attend Georgia Law?
First, the value is off the charts — I didn’t have an option of any other school better per dollar. And I had built up a life in Athens during college — girlfriend, friends, hobbies — that I wasn’t eager to leave. There hasn’t been a single day that I regretted that decision.
3. What are your plans after graduation?
From 2013-2014, I will be clerking for Judge William A. Fletcher of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in San Francisco. After that, I will go to New York City to practice at Cahill, Gordon & Reindel, where I worked as a summer associate last summer.
4. Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
With all my loans paid off, hopefully. Other than that, I’m not really sure. I know I want to practice at a firm for a while, since I had a really good experience over the summer. Eventually, I see myself either working for the government or in academia — but I don’t know when, exactly.
5. Who is your favorite Georgia Law professor? Why?
Assistant Professor Christian Turner has had a bigger impact on my thinking and progress than any professor I’ve ever had, and I genuinely don’t think that I would have been as successful as I have been without his teaching. He really cares about his students, and he wants them to find the same interest and wonder in the law that he has. I did. And among all the other things I owe him, that’s probably the biggest.
6. If you could share an afternoon with anyone, with whom would you choose to spend it?
My girlfriend. She is currently in medical school here in Athens, and we are both so busy that it’s hard to find down time together. Especially given that she will have to stay here while I am in San Francisco, and possibly for the beginning of my time in New York, it’s important to me to take and treasure every opportunity we have.
7. Where is your favorite place to study? Why?
I prefer to study at home. I just feel more comfortable there, more like the work is part of my life than something I am giving up time from my life for. I might work more efficiently with less access to distractions like TV and books and the view out of my window and now I’ve forgotten what I was talking about. But I’m willing to trade a little loss of focus for a big gain in comfort.
8. What are two things you always have with you when you study?
A pen and music. I still handwrite all my notes, for which the pen is important. And I have to listen to music while I work — either through my laptop or my iPod — because it helps me shut out other noise and concentrate better.
9. What do you like most about living in Athens?
The mood of the city is fantastic. There’s plenty of stuff to do, but it’s not a hectic or a stressful city. It’s very relaxed, which helps deal with school, and the people here are fantastic.
10. What do you do to handle the stress of law school?
A lot of it I genuinely just enjoy and find interesting, so those aspects aren’t that stressful. The parts that are more like work are, by this point in my third year, so much a part of my life that they are less stressful than just things I know I have to bear down and finish. It’s important to keep a healthy balance, never forgetting or neglecting the other people and things in your life. That’s been a huge help for me.