Although Matt Roessing is now an assistant professor in the College of Business teaching law and ethics, he’s actually lived what he teaches. He served as an attorney in commercial litigation and international trade law in Washington, D.C.
Roessing learned a great deal about law, business and politics working five years at Arnold & Porter, one of the largest firms in the world.
“I chose Arnold & Porter for its reputation and its commitment to pro bono work,” Roessing said. “I chose Washington, D.C. for the opportunity to work with federal agencies, embassies and clients from many different nations and cultural backgrounds.”
When Roessing specialized in international trade law, he dealt with disputes on specific products. He had to learn how each product was made and understand its international supply chain.
“I found this fascinating,” he said. “Many of my clients were foreign companies and government officials, and I learned about business from a global perspective.”
Four and a half years ago, Roessing came to Georgia College. Since then, students have drawn on his unique experience.
“I have a very practical approach to legal education,” he said. “I want my students to understand how business law works in the real world. I often use role-plays to give my students the experience of dealing with a potential or pending lawsuit. I also bring in guest speakers and tell ‘war stories’ from my practice. My prior and current experience as a lawyer is integral to my teaching style.”
His background also led to help organize GC’s annual Constitution Day, which has featured the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia and several state legislators and judges.
“I became very involved in GC’s annual Constitution Day programming and have helped expand it to a week of events that foment discussion of our nation’s ideals from diverse perspectives,” he said. “We have had great discussions about our civil rights and responsibilities.”
Although this is his first year serving on the President’s Commission on Diversity, Roessing has been involved in the Diversity Action Plan since its inception. He has been a trainer in the Safe Space program providing LGBT education and support. He also works with the GC Cultural Center to provide in-class and co-curricular programming.
Outside of the classroom, Roessing can be found interacting with students, faculty, staff and the local community—where he serves as a lawyer, a Chamber of Commerce board member and an engaged citizen.
Ultimately, he hopes to impress upon his students to be active participants in our legal system.
“The law is alive and constantly changing,” he said. “Our legal system is designed to be responsive to social, economic and technological changes. But to do so effectively, it requires stakeholders to be informed and engaged.”