Matt M. Paavola
Workers Comp Law Firm LLC and White Marsh Law Firm, LLC
After witnessing the long hours his stevedore father clocked unloading cargo at the Baltimore harbor, Workers’ Comp Law Firm, LLC, and White Marsh Law Firm, LLC, managing partner Matt Paavola said he takes pride in working hard for the blue-collar clientele he now serves.
Paavola served as lead counsel on the landmark decision of Swedo v. W.R. Grace Company before the Maryland Court of Appeals, which streamlined and clarified the appeals process for injured workers, a feat he calls his crowning achievement. His proudest accomplishment was winning the prestigious 2015 Maryland Association of Justice Trial Lawyer of the Year Award, he said.
“Good trial lawyering is all about energy, enthusiasm and preparation. I have always had the enthusiasm and energy necessary for thorough preparation,” Paavola said. “There are a lot of brilliant lawyers considerably smarter than me in transactional matters. And there are a bunch of lawyers who are faster than me in trial advocacy. But there are few trial lawyers that prepare more than I do.”
Paavola, who credits faith and strong family and coworkers to his success, mentors law students through the Maryland Christian Legal Society, and reiterates to them that preparation is the key to successful lawyering.
Since co-founding the Legal Aid Ministry of Baltimore, Inc., Paavola has helped men arriving at Helping Up Mission, a Baltimore shelter for homeless veterans and men, with about 100 cases—earning him a pro bono award five years ago from the Maryland State Bar Association. Paavola said that the men go to the shelter needing help resolving everything from family to criminal law, and the work forces him to recall his first 10 years practicing law.
“My day-to-day grind is I just enjoy so much of what I do, and the other stuff just follows,” he said.