Patrick Mattina, Litigation Attorney for the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association of the City of New York
The New York City Police Department is charged with keeping safe the 8.3 million-plus people living in the U.S.’s largest metropolis. Patrick Mattina (’13), however, is responsible for protecting its police officers.
Mattina is a litigation attorney in the General Counsel’s Office of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association of the City of New York (PBA), the labor union that represents active and retired New York City police officers. The GC’s Office handles all of the union’s various legal matters, from counseling members on issues arising from employment in the NYPD to actively initiating litigation to aid the organization in achieving its policy goals.
“I could not have asked for a better place to begin my legal career," he says. “The litigation experience that I have obtained is beyond what most new attorneys are generally exposed to. While most of my work in some shape or form involves labor law, it also involves administrative law, constitutional law, and even occasionally military law.”
It is a perfect fit for Mattina, who wanted to be a litigator since an internship shadowing felony prosecutors at the Palm Beach State Attorney's Office during his freshman year at Florida Atlantic University. He went on to major in political science and criminology, and he completed a second internship with the Broward County Public Defender’s Office before graduation.
After a year of law school at another institution, Mattina made the decision to transfer to BU Law “because of the University's national reputation and the successful placement of its graduates in markets such as New York City." In retrospect, Mattina now recognizes how the School’s wealth of practical training opportunities equipped him for practice once he landed said successful placement.
For one, he was able to extensively exercise and refine his litigation skills throughout his two years at BU Law.
As far as in-class learning, he is glad to have taken Federal Civil Practice with Steve Donweber, “in which I learned how to draft a complaint and numerous other pre-trial motions," and Trial Advocacy with Judge Dennis Saylor, “in which I was able to participate in a mock trial held in a federal courtroom.” And participating in the Edward C. Stone Moot Court Competition gave him further opportunity to practice litigating in a simulated courtroom setting.
During his law school summers, Mattina deepened his understanding of labor and employment law by first interning with the Department of Homeland Security in Miami, and then the PBA in New York City, where he eventually landed full-time employment.
His experiences came to a head upon returning to campus for his 3L year, when Mattina joined the year-long Criminal Law Clinic. As a student attorney, he prosecuted real-world misdemeanor offenses on behalf of the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office under the supervision of Professor David Rossman. He handled his own caseload, made weekly court appearances, and had the opportunity to file and argue a motion before the court.
Looking back, he is happy to have taken advantage of the many opportunities available to him that have so well prepared him for his career as a litigator. “I had multiple opportunities at BU Law to gain practical legal skills," he says. “My experience prepared me for the transition from law student to lawyer.”
Reported April 23, 2014