Precision pays off

“That emphasis on precision and on careful wording has just become part of the way I think now. It’s so important to write precisely. In the work that I do in drafting contracts, that sort of precision is imperative.

In his Legal Analysis & Writing classes, Matthew Eldred ’15 was a star – he even won a University-wide honor, the SUNY Chancellor’s Award, for his academic excellence. “Matt has a very sharp intellect that cuts to the heart of any issue I presented,” says lecturer Patrick J. Long. “It’s analytical, but it’s also agile and flexible. His mind is a really interesting tool that he’s learned to use well.”

Now Eldred, who graduated magna cum laude, is using those skills every day as an associate at the Rochester law firm Harris Beach. There’s he’s on the firm’s “drone team,” which will provide legal advice in the burgeoning field of unmanned aircraft systems. Mainly, though, he’s doing transactional work, analyzing the needs of companies that are merging with other companies or buying their assets.

The lessons of his first-year research and writing classes have stayed top of mind. “With me, Pat Long really stressed syntax,” Eldred says. “That emphasis on precision and on careful wording has just become part of the way I think now. It’s so important to write precisely. In the work that I do in drafting contracts, that sort of precision is imperative.”

As well, he says, his School of Law training grounded him for the learning curve that every new lawyer climbs. “I understand why I’m doing things the way I’m doing them,” Eldred says. “With this sort of drafting, you have to do it right the first time so you don’t have to deal with it later.”