The San Diego FBA selected Shireen Matthews as the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award at its 2022 Annual Conference & Award Ceremony.
The Distinguished Service Award recognizes extraordinary service by an attorney, law firm, or organization to the San Diego and/or Imperial County communities. Such service includes service to the legal profession; service to the local community; service to education; service to equality, diversity, or inclusion; and service advancing access to justice. For example, recipients demonstrate service to the FBA or to volunteer programs such as the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California’s Pro Bono Program, Open Doors to the Court, Credit Abuse Resistance Education (CARE), and mock trial programs.
Ms. Matthews epitomizes what it means to serve the San Diego community. She served as the President of the San Diego FBA from 2010 to 2011, served on the Chapter’s Board of Directors from 2006 to 2012, and served as an Advisory Board Member to the Chapter from 2012 to 2015. In addition to her Chapter leadership, Ms. Matthews has been involved with myriad organizations in San Diego, including as: Chair of the Southern District of California’s Lawyer Representative Delegation; President of the South Asian Bar Association’s San Diego Chapter; Advisory Board Member to the American Bar Association’s Immigration Justice Project; Member of multiple Magistrate Judge Selection Panels; and Delegate to the Ninth Circuit Lawyer Representative Coordinating Committee.
In addition to her service, Ms. Matthews has spearheaded multiple programs aimed at improving the legal practice in San Diego:
In 2012, for example, Ms. Matthews helped to create the “Introduction to Civil Litigation in Federal Court” program because she saw a void in education in that area for new federal practitioners. Ten years later, the now annual program features a wide array of judges and federal practitioners teaching the ins and outs of federal civil litigation to new lawyers.
Also in 2012, Ms. Matthews began the tradition of inviting renowned Supreme Court scholar Erwin Chemerinsky to San Diego to provide a review of the Supreme Court’s term—a tradition that the FBA has continued for many years.
Drawing on her skills as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Ms. Matthews also partnered with former Chief Judge Larry Burns to create a Criminal Trial Practice Seminar.During the seminar, top trial lawyers from San Diego showcased their skills as they presented opening statements, direct and cross exams, and closing arguments to a courtroom packed with young lawyers.
Ms. Matthews also organized a two-day district conference that educated judges and members of the Court on pertinent and timely issues, including best practices for using social media, how the court can better serve litigants with special needs, and insights into the experiences of human trafficking victims.
Ms. Matthews is currently a partner in Jones Day’s San Diego office in the Investigations & White Collar Defense group. She also serves as the hiring partner for the San Diego office and is a member of the firm’s Diversity, Inclusion, and Advancement Committee. Prior to joining Jones Day in 2013, Ms. Matthews served as the Criminal Health Care Fraud Coordinator for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of California. During that time, she prosecuted violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute, criminal false claims, and aggravated identity theft. And, fresh out of law school, Ms. Matthews served as a law clerk for former Chief Judge of the Southern District of California, the Honorable Irma E. Gonzalez.
Shireen Matthews (Left) Receiving the Distinguished Service Award with Rising Attorney Award Winner Tarina Mand (Center) and Outstanding Advocate Award Winner Ryan Stitt (Right)
Ms. Matthews has left a lasting impact on the San Diego community.The San Diego FBA congratulates Ms. Matthews on her award and thanks her for her outstanding service to the FBA and members of the federal bar in San Diego.