Changing Lives Through Law

Matt Vandermyde

Honduras. April 2006. Working with community leaders and the Association for a More Just Society (AJS), School of Law student Matt Vandermyde studied complications in property laws that fuel poverty while generating social strife and violence. Matt’s study found that a number of factors, including lack of transparency, government noncompliance, and the politicization of property law, left Honduran families facing financial turmoil and the threat of physical violence. AJS held a press conference and presented the results of Matt’s findings. His passion for changing lives through law is not purely academic. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Matt served a two-year mission in Argentina after his freshman year in college. There, he saw firsthand how the law can affect the everyday lives of people. Inspired by an American attorney working to change unjust laws in Chile and Argentina, Matt committed himself to the law and to a life of helping others. After serving as an editor of Pepperdine Law Review, he received an offer from the prestigious firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, where he intends to work upon graduation. After his experiences abroad, Matt returned to Malibu reinvigorated and committed to his studies and to serving needs of others through his work.