Detroit Mercy Law student sports business background with S.E.C.

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Photo courtesy of Matthew Snyder

By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Matthew Snyder entered undergrad at Florida’s Stetson University knowing his future plans included law school—and chose an undecided designation to explore different majors. An “Introduction to Business Administration” course immediately interested him because of its various specialties.

“When we covered market theory and corporate finance briefly in the course, I was hooked,” he says.

Transferring to the Business School in his senior year and declaring a finance major, Snyder was selected for the Roland George Investments Program, a national award-winning student-directed portfolio which has grown to more than $5 million.

“Analyzing the companies, investment vehicles and economic indicators while investing real money in the markets captivated me and I decided to delay my law school applications and apply for several jobs in the Central Florida area despite the Great Recession when I graduated in May 2009,” he says.

Landing an operational role at BNY Mellon | Pershing, Snyder—who went on to earn an MBA by taking evening classes while working full-time —participated in a Management Training Program, then served as vice president and senior account manager.

Snyder’s time working with Pershing attorneys on client related issues, as well as with the compliance team, once again piqued his interest in pursuing a law degree.

“I admired their ability to understand the rules and regulations of the industry and ability to communicate them,” he says.

Snyder adds that leaving BNY Mellon | Pershing after a little over 11 years was one of the hardest decisions he has ever had to make.

“Sometimes it truly felt like a family,” he says. “I also had the privilege of enjoying the clients I worked with as well as managers that genuinely cared about my career progression. Most of them invested as much in me as I invested in the company and I will always appreciate their guidance. One of my former managers is no longer with us. One of the last conversations we had was him giving me a letter of recommendation for law school. He knew it was a dream of mine and he always supported my decisions. I found out he passed when I called to tell him the good news I’d been accepted into law school—something I’ll never forget.

“Pershing is the largest clearing firm in the industry and working directly with its largest clients allowed me to keep a pulse on industry trends,” he adds. “In a hyper-regulated industry, it’s important to pay attention to details and make sure your communication is clear and understandable. I believe this experience has played a major role in my early success in law school.”

In late 2019, Snyder applied to law schools; picking Detroit Mercy Law as the best fit, he has enjoyed unwavering support from faculty and administration, especially during the challenges presented by the pandemic.

“Many things can impair the 1L experience when it has to be remote, from not connecting or interacting with fellow classmates to not connecting to the technology/platform for learning because of Internet issues,” he says. “Despite these complications, I felt like I knew where to go if I had an issue and the members of the Detroit Mercy community were always willing to jump on another FaceTime or Zoom despite the inevitable camera fatigue setting in.”

Learning about fellow classmates has been one of the greatest joys, he adds.

“The school is so diverse and the experience they bring to the classroom conversation is inspiring. I look forward to reconvening in the fall to learn about summer internships and hear about those experiences.”

His interest in Finance and Securities Laws and Regulations led Snyder to remotely intern with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in the Division of Examinations.

“I’ve really enjoyed the work, using the legal writing and research skills I acquired over the academic year and diving deeper into securities regulations using my general knowledge of the markets,” he says. “I was able to quickly understand the work of the department and almost immediately started participating and performing the work required for examinations that the SEC performs on SROs—Self-Regulatory Organizations—including document review, developing inquiries and interviews, and documenting exam findings. “While the experience is remote, I’ve been able to network to learn about every division within the SEC and it’s been interesting to learn more about its structure and how it regulates the markets.”

His goal at Detroit Mercy Law is to build on his knowledge of securities laws and regulations along with exploring related areas of interest like general Business/Corporate Law, Corporate Governance, and Estates and Trusts; but he also is open to other interests.

“My goal entering law school was to keep the blinders off and explore several new areas to increase my exposure in the broad field of law,” he says. “During 1L year, we had a voluntary opportunity to join a roundtable discussion that met a couple times throughout the semester. I chose immigration law because the diverse student body invigorated me to expand my knowledge given the recent environment and current events. It was eye-opening and I really enjoyed it, so I want to keep learning about other areas while I have the time and opportunity in law school. I also was offered a Junior Member position in Law Review, so I’m thinking about different topics to write my article on.”

Snyder is open to different opportunities after graduation including working for a law firm, clerking for a judge, or as in-house counsel for a corporation. He hopes to bring in the strengths and professional skills he developed in his past career to propel his future law career.

“Ultimately, I’ve enjoyed my time working at the SEC so I could see working again for them someday down the road,” he says. “Being able to help influence policies that don’t hinder financial advice companies but still protect investors would be a worthwhile goal.”

Snyder became secretary of the school’s OutLaws organization in May, and while the pandemic nixed some in-person events, he hopes to restart these, and to have prominent LGBTQ+ lawyers visit as guest speakers.

A native of Orlando, Snyder has made Royal Oak home for three years, with his fiancé Stephen Allegro, D.O., and with Farrah and Gunnar, 6-year-old mixed breed rescues.

“My fiancé has been amazing on the home front during the pandemic,” Snyder says. “He’s a resident so he sometimes has long hours but he’s extremely understanding when my studies have to come first. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without him. He’s been a huge support in my attending law school. I can’t thank him enough for his patience in the amount of time I’ve had to dedicate to my studies.

“We met in Orlando and I followed him here from Florida. We did long distance for a year. I proposed in February 2020 right before the pandemic, so we’ve delayed scheduling the wedding day until our family from around the country can join us.”

The couple enjoys life in the Motor City, especially the dining experiences.

“We have our favorites in the Birmingham and Troy areas but coming from Florida—where everything is chain restaurants—I’ve enjoyed the family-owned restaurants,” Snyder says. “We’ve been wanting to explore more of Michigan—we’ve been to Mackinac Island, Traverse City, Charlevoix, and Frankenmuth and hope to get to the west side of the state soon.”




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