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NCLW Leaders in the Law: Matthew W. Sawchak, Shareholder Robinson Bradshaw 

Teri Saylor//June 20, 2023

NCLW Leaders in the Law: Matthew W. Sawchak, Shareholder Robinson Bradshaw 

Teri Saylor//June 20, 2023

Matthew W. Sawchak, Shareholder Robinson Bradshaw 


A life journey that includes seminal stops at both Burger King and Harvard may not represent the typical path for a successful Carolina litigator, but Matthew W. Sawchak is not your typical lawyer.

Sawchak grew up in upstate New York and Washington, D.C., and met his wife, Maureen, when both worked at the home of the Whopper. Just a few short years later, he graduated cum laude from Harvard, where he also served as music director of the Harvard Opportunes. He earned his J.D. and a Master of Laws degree from Duke, graduating with honors, and was editor-in-chief of the Duke Law Journal.

Today, Sawchak is a shareholder at Robinson Bradshaw in Raleigh, where he focuses on complex litigation, antitrust, and appeals. He has argued at all levels of the federal and North Carolina court systems, including the U.S. Supreme Court.


Before joining Robinson Bradshaw, Sawchak served as North Carolina’s solicitor general from 2017 to 2020, acting as lead counsel in the state’s highest-stakes civil appeals. 

With an affinity for music, Sawchak is a member of the North Carolina Master Chorale, and a member of the North Carolina Opera. He also volunteers at A Place at the Table and at A Note in the Pocket, local nonprofit organizations that help people with limited resources.

Practice area: I handle complex litigation and appeals. I enjoy taking a tangle of law and facts and turning it into a clear and persuasive case.

Personal accomplishment: Being a husband to my wife Maureen and a father to our son and daughter, Ben and Julia. Our family relationships are our best opportunity to make a contribution that will outlive us.

First job: I was the bugler at a summer camp. Every week, the campers would throw me and my bugle in the lake as revenge for waking them up each day. This experience taught me the importance of practicing sprinting more often.

Biggest career challenge: Balancing work, family, and other pursuits is challenging, but involving my talented colleagues in cases from the outset is a big help.

Advice for aspiring lawyers: Dedicate yourself to being a lifelong learner. You can always improve your writing, your interpersonal skills, and more.

Work-life balance: Start your day when your family is asleep. You can get a lot done in those quiet hours, and no one will have to watch you do it.

Childhood goal: I wanted to be a lawyer (believe it or not).

Favorite vacation spot: Barcelona, Spain.

A month off: I’d like to go to a summer camp for a cappella singing and/or conducting. 

 You didn’t know: I sing with the North Carolina Opera, and Maureen and I have three rescue dogs (and constantly joke about adopting more).

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