President Texas Workers’ Advocates, 2012 to 2014
Chairman Planning & Zoning Commission, City of Saginaw, TX, 2009 to Present
Appointed Workers’ Compensation Exam Commission, Texas Board of Legal Specialization, 2009 to 2015
Elected Council Member – Workers’ Comp Section of the State Bar of Texas, 2015 to Present
Awards & Recognition
Board Certified In Texas Workers’ Compensation Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization, 2004 to Present
Top 100 Lawyers, by The National Trial Lawyers, 2014 to Present
Texas Super Lawyers, 2012 to Present
Texas Super Lawyers, Rising Stars, 2009 – 2011
AV Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell, 2009 to Present
AVVO Rated 10.0, 2010 to Present
Biographical Background Of Matt Lewis, Attorney At Law
A lot of who we become is influenced by where we’ve been and who was there along the way. That’s true for me, anyway. There is no doubt that I’ve been blessed to be in good places at the right time with some awesome people. I’m proud to have had the opportunities I’ve had to know some really smart people who taught me how to be, how to think, and how to love people. That was the foundation that allowed me to become Matt Lewis, attorney at law.
I was born in Newport, AR and spent the first three years of my life in the smallest town I’ve ever known…Oil Trough, AR. The 2010 census says the population is 260 people. My extended family there were the Burrows. My memories of Oil Trough revolved around farming. The Burrows worked from sunup to sundown. At sunup, there were eggs to collect in the chicken houses. At sundown they were in the pastures shoveling hay for the cows to eat. In between there were fields to plow and attend.
Over the years, I got to “help”. My favorite part was feeding the cows. Before I was ten years old I was driving the truck through the pasture while the guys in the back threw hay out for the cows. They had to hold on because the bumps were my favorite part. This was always followed by an orange pushup at the general store on the way back to town.
But, as they say, I got to Texas as fast as I could. I grew up in Orange, Texas, where Louisiana, Texas and the Gulf of Mexico all come together. I was the son of a preacher man, as the song goes. A preacher’s kid. I know what you’re thinking, but I was one of the good ones, relatively speaking. I spent a lot of time in church.
Church is where I first learned a lot of the art of being a lawyer. I learned to listen. When your dad’s the preacher, you learn not to say what you think right away. It has to be thought through. You have to consider who is involved, their position, the way they think, and who they know. That’s kind of like dealing with opposing counsel and judges today. Who they are matters. Who they know might be even more important.
Over the years, I served in a dozen different church mission trips to the Navajo and Hopi Indian Reservations in Arizona and New Mexico. Those were some of the greatest experiences of my life. I developed a love for the Southwest and still travel there frequently. Here’s one of my favorite photos that I took in Monument Valley:
Being the preacher’s kid, I got thrown up in front of the church quite a bit. From reading scripture, leading the song service, leading prayer, serving communion or delivering the sermon, I was in front of a large group of people all the time. I still am today. Those experiences served me well for the legal profession.
High School Years
I graduated from West Orange Stark High School in Orange, Texas. Not many people tell you about where they went to high school in their professional bio, but mine was exceptional. WOS is the home of the winningest football team in Texas High School football history. From the age of 7 through high school graduation, I never missed a game.
In high school I was fairly active. I lettered in Band and in Soccer. I served as captain of the soccer team and was named to the All-District team. Those were some great times and I played with some exceptional people. So many different personalities and abilities. Playing on teams like that teaches you how to deal with many types of people. Most importantly, you learn that teams can’t win just because of their great players. They have to have everyone else carry their load too. It takes superstars, but it also takes role players. Not everyone can be a superstar, and not everyone can accept a role. Managing people’s expectations about who they are is a talent that great leaders develop. I’ve learned that the same dynamic exists in every law firm.
I was a band geek, and I’m proud of it. I loved band. And, I still love making music. My freshman year, our marching band finished 3rd in the State marching band contest. I played the second bass drum that year. I had to accept a role. But, marching up the 50 yard line in the push section of our closer at UT’s stadium in the state finals is one of my greatest memories.
My freshman year I learned a great leadership lesson. Our band director was a guy named Glynn Finley, a true legend in Texas High School music education. Aside from my dad, he had the greatest influence on me. As a freshman I had made it to second chair of the percussion section. My friend, Karen, was the first chair player. I think she was a Senior at the time. She was an incredible player. There was no doubt that she was on a level way above me. But I challenged her for her chair.
A challenge plays out like a duel. The band director chooses the material and we both play and the director chooses the winner. I played good enough to make it close. In the end, though, I won. Mr. Finley named me first chair of the percussion section. Of course, she challenged me at the next opportunity and took it back. Thinking back, I’m pretty sure the director gave it to me to motivate both of us. I got the reward of getting a taste of being at the top, and she got the kick in the pants to be better. She went on to make All-State Band that year. It worked.
When it was all said and done, I earned my fair share of All-Region and All-Area bands and orchestras. My senior year I finished as an alternate in the All-State Band competition. That finish still bothers me today. Even so, I was offered a full-ride music scholarship and I had a choice to make.
Deciding To Become Matt Lewis, Attorney At Law
In 1980 I was in third grade. It was a presidential election year. The teacher declared that we were going to have an election in class. She chose me to play the part of Ronald Reagan, and I had to make a speech. That was the moment when I decided that I wanted to be a lawyer.
The dream of being Matt Lewis, attorney at law, was born. I noticed that a lot of representatives and senators were lawyers and that they were the ones that tried to become the President. I wanted to be the President, so I decided to become a lawyer. Over time, the desire to be the President faded, but the hope of becoming a lawyer continued to be the context that controlled all of my decisions about my future. That was the context of my choice. I had to decide to pursue music or the law.
I chose the law. That decision brought me to Harding University in Searcy, AR where I got a B.A. Degree in Political Science. While there, I had the opportunity to spend a semester abroad. I went to Florence, Italy and spent a semester traveling Western Europe and studying Art, History and the Italian language. It was pretty cool to visit the tomb of Machiavelli one day and then give a presentation on Machiavelli to all of my fellow students the next day. And gelato…there was that, too.
From there I went to the University of Houston Law Center and got a Juris Doctorate, which allowed me to take the bar exam and become a lawyer. I achieved my dream of becoming Matt Lewis, attorney at law, but there was a lot of work left to do. Sorry Houston, but I moved to Dallas immediately upon graduation.
Matt Lewis, Attorney
After graduating from law school, I worked in a family law practice for awhile. It wasn’t long before other lawyers noticed my work. I accepted an offer to work at a firm that mostly handled work injury cases. So, I began litigating Texas workers’ compensation cases in 1998. I learned the ropes from Peter Rogers, Janet Booker & Lupe Trevino. In 2004, I became one of the first Texas workers’ compensation attorneys to become Board Certified in Workers’ Compensation Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. I still hold that Board Certification today.
During that time, I was awarded an AV Rating from Martindale Hubbell, the leading organization for measuring a Texas attorney’s reputation. An AV rating is the highest rating you can get for both ethics and ability. That was a big deal.
Not long after that, the Texas Board of Legal Specialization asked me to serve on the exam commission for workers’ compensation law. In that capacity, I was responsible for writing and grading the test that all other lawyers took to become board certified in workers’ compensation law.
In 2015 I started my own firm, Matt Lewis Law. I expanded my practice from work injury cases into social security disability law and personal injury cases as well. After a few years, I combined my practice with that of Daniel Morris. We had two of the largest work injury law firms in Dallas and complimentary practice areas, so it made sense to team up. We now operate as MLF Legal, PLLC.
Being a lawyer is a great responsibility. We make a difference in people’s lives. We help them overcome persecution. Using legal strategies, we can help them save their homes and the things they have worked so hard to achieve. At times, we help people save their families. We help them minimize the damage from the mistakes they make. We help people get back up and carry on. Making a difference is what we do. That’s important to me. That is why I followed through on my dream to become Matt Lewis, attorney at law.
Away from the office I stay busy with my family. I married Diana Lewis 19 years ago, and we have two teenage kids. I spent many years playing golf, but gave that up to play with the kids. Today, I love photography. I’m always looking for a great capture of creation or a glimpse of the glory of God. Once a preacher’s kid, always a preacher’s kid.