Life of a Criminal Defense Lawyer

Q&A With Matthew Pillado.png

Q&A with Attorney, Matthew Scott Pillado

Matthew Scott Pillado is the owner of Matthew Pillado PLLC which is law firm based out in Hurst, Texas. Pillado practices criminal defense and his law firm also handle personal injury cases. We asked Pillado a few questions regarding his life and what it is like to practice criminal defense.

Did you always want to be an attorney?

It was either that or become a priest. As a kid, I used to tell my Grandmother that I was either going to be one of those. I think I just said, priest, because she liked to go to church all the time. Being an attorney is something I always dreamt of becoming.

What do you like the most about being an attorney? The least?

The best part of being an attorney is having the power and the ability to really help people and make a difference. Client's often come to us at their worse point in their lives; having the ability to offer an empathetic ear and a passionate and smart legal strategy is what makes being an attorney so special.

As far as least... I'd probably say the bureaucracy and high-regulation that the government places upon all licensed attorneys.

What has been the greatest challenge for you as a criminal defense attorney?

Tough question. Working in the criminal justice system on a regular basis you hear and see all the flaws within the system-some more dangerous than others. Knowing all that is tough because you are only one individual and you cannot fix the entire system. But I strive to fix the system by representing my clients to the best of my ability.

What is your earliest memory?

Another tough question. But I distinctly remember my Grandmother handing me a bottle of chocolate milk. Then I remember my Mom telling her that I needed regular formula not chocolate milk. To this day, I still love chocolate milk.

Was there anyone along the way that helped mentor or influence your work?

While growing up, I had a lot of exposure to the legal system and the prison system so my upbringing and childhood gave me my passion for the law. While I was in law school, I had an amazing group of mentors but one that stands out is Lisa Haines. She showed me a lot about how to practice criminal defense and how to really aggressively fight for my clients. Not to mention she is just a great attorney.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Really? Hmmm... I don't know. I'll let you know when I figure it out. I hope that my greatest achievement is still yet to come.

Is there anything you wish you would have done differently?

From a law viewpoint, I've always done everything I could to help a client; not all the cases turned out how I wanted but even then, client's knew the effort I put into their case. So from that perspective, no, but perhaps from a business end, I would have changed a few things.

How do you relax?

So there are different ways but my go-to is pretty much either a jog (prefer outdoor but I will often use a treadmill) or sit down with a fiction book and a nice hot cup of tea. It has not always been this way but for the time-being this is what soothes me when I need a break.

If you could go back in time, where would you go?

I would probably go back to the prohibition era. There was just enough excitement going on in the country at that time and a lot less regulation. The time was ripe for people willing to take risk. To this day, there are many families that can trace the beginnings of their fortunes to this time period.

What is some important advice you have for a first-year attorney?

Do not be scared to make a mistake. Our field demands perfection so making even one mistake can seem devastating. But in order to get better at your craft, you have to be willing to take risks, even if it means you may make a mistake; it is the only way you will get better.

How would you like to be remembered?

People who know me best say that I would like to go out with a bang. And I guess they are right. I once heard a song lyric that went "on the day that I die, I hope I'm still alive" and that has always stuck with me. I always want to be living life to the max and pushing boundaries whether those are in the courtroom or in some other aspect of life. I hope I am doing that until my last breath.

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  • State Bar Of Texas
  • Terrant County Bar Association
  • Dallas Bar Association
  • Texas Bar College
  • National Association Of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Texas Trial Lawyers Association
  • Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association

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