Wayne Law student follows in the footsteps of his attorney father


by Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

The son of Farmington Hills criminal defense attorney Raymond Cassar, and brother of an attorney at Foster Swift in Lansing, Wayne Law student Matt Cassar reckons love of the law must be in his genes.

“My dad is not only my biggest supporter, but he’s also the best lawyer I know,” Cassar says. “That, combined with my interest in problem solving, led naturally to the decision to study law. On top of that, my older brother Michael is now an attorney. I've been sharpening my oral advocacy at the dinner table all my life which I like to think gives me quite the advantage!”

Cassar and both his brothers  followed in their father’s Wolverine footsteps by studying at the University of Michigan; younger brother Nicholas is currently in undergrad and may go into law. Cassar earned his bachelor’s degree in political science, drawn to that major with his passion for leadership and problem solving.

“I’ve always considered myself a leader and still desire to be the best version I can for those around me,” he says. “I like to help people out and I enjoy the process of finding good solutions to life’s problems. Studying political science felt like the academic equivalent to my interests.”

In undergrad, Cassar gained experience with two internships. The first, in 2014, was a government affairs internship for Bosch North America in Farmington Hills, and in 2015 he spent the summer as a legislative intern for Sen. Debbie Stabenow in the nation’s capital, assisting primarily with the tax/finance policy portfolio.

“While both internships revolved around government, working at a large corporation like Bosch provided one view while working in Congress for Senator Stabenow provided a different one,” he says. “Seeing the interplay between business and government from opposite perspectives was really interesting.”

Cassar then followed his older brother to Wayne State University Law School, with graduation in sight next year. He is very involved in the school, both as a mentor and as a teaching assistant for civil procedure, and is a member of the Mock Trial and Moot Court teams.

“I enjoy the camaraderie of Wayne Law,” he says. “I always tell people that law school isn't particularly fun a lot of the time, but going through it with other like-minded people makes it more enjoyable.”

He spent the past year interning for Judge Gershwin A. Drain in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

“Working in chambers allowed me to witness advocacy across the spectrum from the good to the bad which I feel is very valuable to a law student,” he says. “In addition to the valuable exposure, Judge Drain allowed his interns to actually work on the cases, so I was able to get some great practice with legal research and writing.”

This year, Cassar will be a summer associate at Dykema Gossett in Detroit. “I hope to continue growing into a successful litigator by learning from some of the best in the business,” he says. “It became clear to me very quickly that the lawyers at Dykema reflected many of my same values and the firm would be an excellent place for me to practice law.”
The Farmington Hills native now makes his home in Detroit, where he enjoys playing sports, helping referee peewee basketball, and spending time outdoors exploring new places.

“Also, I really enjoy going out to eat with my friends and family, it’s my favorite way to relax and have fun,” he says. “I enjoy being a part of the city I grew up around during its revitalization. Every day I see the city get better, and I take pride in being a part of it.”