Written by The Business Journal Staff
Baker Manock & Jensen
Education: B.S. in Business Administration from UC Riverside, JD from Hastings College of the Law
Family: Married to Vicki for 18 years with three kids — sons David, 16, Jake, 5, and daughter Allison, 14
When did you decide to become a lawyer and why, Matthew?
I decided to become a lawyer in my senior year at UC Riverside. It was at that time that I determined that the most effective way I could use my business training to help business owners was to go to law school so that I could combine my business background with legal training in tax and business issues.
What type of law do you specialize in, Matthew?
My practice largely focuses on business owners and assisting them throughout the lifecycle of their business. This includes general business law, corporate and individual tax matters, entity formation and advising business owners on sales and other transitions of their businesses. In addition, I advise individuals and businesses on a wide variety of real property issues and estate planning matters.
What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in the legal industry over the years, Matthew?
The practice of law is and will always be a people business at its core. The greatest challenge of any law firm is finding, retaining and motivating smart and dynamic individuals to best serve its clients and community.
As managing partner of the firm, what key factors lead to the decision to open an office in Monterey, Matthew?
Although Baker Manock & Jensen serves individuals and legal entities from a variety of industries throughout the United States, our law firm has really been built around its expertise in agribusiness and all of the related industries that serve our local agribusiness economy. We see a tremendous opportunity to expand our business by bringing our considerable expertise and experience in agribusiness to the Salinas Valley and other areas along the Central Coast. By opening an office in Monterey, we hope to further expand our reach and brand outside the Central Valley by offering the Central Coast a law firm of consistent quality and proven value— a law firm that has provided its clients with outstanding legal representation since 1903.
What advice would you give a young person today who is considering a legal career, Matthew?
Do not pursue a career as a lawyer based on compensation expectations or the entertainment industry’s portrayal of the practice. Rather, talk to actual practitioners to determine if the requirements of the profession are well aligned with your strengths, goals and personality type.
What was the best advice you ever received and who did it come from, Matthew?
“There are no substitutes for honesty and integrity when pursuing personal or professional success.” My father – David Hoffman.
Who or what has been the biggest influence on your career, Matthew?
The biggest influence in my career is the mentoring and guidance I have received from other more senior members of my law firm. Baker Manock & Jensen culture of client service and professionalism has shaped me as an attorney.
What are your roots in the Central Valley, Matthew?
I moved to the Central Valley from the Bay Area back in 1994. I met my wife in Fresno and we are raising our three children in Fresno.
What was your very first job and what did you learn from it, Matthew?
My first job was as a paper delivery boy when I was 11 years old. I woke up each morning at 6 a.m. and delivered 80 papers on my bicycle. That experience taught me some of the most fundamental lessons of being a productive member of our society at a very young age: hard work, commitment and responsibility.
What do you like to do in your spare time, Matthew?
Spending time with my children and taking an active role in their athletic endeavors, which include water polo, swimming, baseball, soccer and cheerleading. One of my great joys has been coaching my sons and other local youth in baseball and soccer.