Matthew Bresette, JD ’01

Partner, Nutter, McClennen & Fish LLP, Cape Cod

When Matthew Bresette, JD ’01, began his professional life as a commercially licensed boat captain and boatyard manager, he found contentment in his work, but knew he had different career interests long-term. 

“I wanted a career that was intellectually challenging and put me in a position to be a problem-solver,” Bresette says. “I was also attracted to the idea that a law degree would be an excellent background for public service either through nonprofit governance and advocacy or direct government service.”

Bresette says he was drawn to Washington University School of Law by the “great people, unexpectedly great city, terrific community at the law school, and the Admissions professionals.”

After graduating in 2001, he began specializing in trusts and estates as an associate at the Boston office of Nutter, McClennen & Fish. He says his area of focus was heavily influenced by his time in Professor David Becker’s property class. “I really connected to the idea that advice and planning that I might provide for a client would have lasting impacts and result in a client relationship lasting years and over generations,” Bresette says.

Four years later, Bresette started a new branch of the Trust and Estates Department in the firm’s Cape Cod office. By his seventh year, he had made partner and now acts as both the managing partner of the Cape Cod office and chair of the firm’s Hiring Committee.

He credits the skills training he received through the Clinical Education Program, a class in estate planning, and his first-year summer associate position at the firm with paving the way for his position after graduation.

He continues to be a true believer in giving back, holding various positions throughout the Cape Cod community. Bresette is past president of the Barnstable Bar Association and is a member of the Estate Planning Council of Cape Cod, as well as a guardian ad litem appointed by the Barnstable Probate & Family Court. Additionally, he is co-chair of South Coastal Counties Legal Services, which provides legal services for indigent clients for civil cases in Barnstable, Plymouth, Bristol, Nantucket, and Dukes Counties. Finally, Bresette serves on the Board of Directors of Cape Cod Child Development, Cape Cod Times Needy Fund, and the Cape Cod Foundation.

Twelve years since starting on this new path in life, Bresette has found that his current career has provided him with the challenge he was searching for and much more. When reflecting on what he enjoys most, Bresette says, “Building long-term relationships with clients and knowing that I am making a difference in their lives and the lives of their families.”