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ASU Law graduate uses tech background to fuel new career

A brown-haired man in a brown suit poses outside.

Matthew Lutz

April 24, 2023

Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2023 graduates.

Matthew Lutz never intended to go to law school. 

He was content working in the technology consulting field as a project manager. It wasn’t until his wife, Caroline, started earning her juris doctor degree at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University that he thought about doing the same. 

“I had no previous exposure to the practice of law, but as she went through her JD program, I started to realize the wide variety of career paths available and the opportunities to use my technology background in a legal practice,” said Lutz, who is originally from Arlington, Texas. “Once that started to click, I knew ASU Law was the right choice for me.”

He earned a full tuition merit scholarship, was a Lisa Foundation Advanced Patent Scholar and won the Daniel Strouse Prize, all of which enabled him to pursue his new dream. During his time at ASU Law, Lutz participated in the Lisa Foundation Patent Clinic, the Arizona State Law Journal and the Center for Law, Science and Innovation.

After taking the bar in July, Lutz plans to practice patent litigation in the Phoenix office of Perkins Coie.

“ASU Law is a great school, and it keeps getting better every year,” he said. “Whether you hope to practice in Phoenix or elsewhere, ASU Law can get you where you want to go.”

Question: What was your “aha” moment when you realized you wanted to study the law?

Answer: I never considered law as a career path until my wife went to law school. I was working in cybersecurity and technology consulting and had only envisioned myself going back to school for a master's of business administration. I originally moved to Phoenix in 2017 when my wife, Caroline, got admitted to ASU Law, and during her time there, I started thinking about law school for the first time. 

Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU Law — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you or changed your perspective?

A: It's a cliche, but law school really does change the way you think. My first year of law school taught me that reasonable minds can differ on so many issues, and there are valid arguments on both sides of most debates.

Q: Why did you choose ASU?

A: For me, ASU Law was an easy choice. I knew that I wanted to practice law in an area that leveraged my technology background, and the Law, Science and Innovation Center at ASU Law offers so many opportunities to learn about the interaction between law and emerging technologies. The Intellectual Property program is also top-notch, with a huge course selection, amazing professors and incredible opportunities for practical experience and networking.

Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU?

A: More than any particular lesson, I really appreciated the example set by professors who taught courses as a way to give back. It is so inspiring to see people who have achieved so much professionally come back to the law school to teach courses for far less pay than they could make elsewhere, simply to pay it forward to law students just getting started in their careers.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you would give to students?

A: Take care of yourself, physically and mentally! Law school is intense.

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: I don't think $40 million is sufficient to solve any major global problem, but I would put it towards alleviating food insecurity somewhere. It's hard to believe how much food we have, and how many people are nevertheless facing hunger or starvation.

Q: What does graduating from law school mean to you and your loved ones?

A: I feel so fortunate to have received the opportunity to go to law school; it's not something I ever envisioned for myself growing up.

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