Matthew Hull shares his journey to become an attorney, plus his Stark County favorites

Part and Parcel with Matthew R. Hull, Esq. of Krugliak Wilkins Griffiths & Dougherty
Part and Parcel with Matthew R. Hull, Esq. of Krugliak Wilkins Griffiths & Dougherty

The road to becoming a corporate attorney wasn’t something that Matthew Hull planned.

The 2009 Fairless High School graduate thought he’d follow in his older brother’s footsteps at the University of Akron and study pre-med.

But a semester of chemistry, biology and calculus taught him that pre-med wasn’t the career path for him. As the middle son of two educators who often would make their children do homework in the summer, Hull knew he didn’t want to pursue a career in the education field either.

Hull figures that his best friend’s dad, longtime Stark County Family Court Judge David Stucki, somehow planted the seed of being a lawyer in his mind. Stucki, who retired from the court in 2011, had helped Hull practice his oral arguments for the high school mock court competition.

Even after Hull graduated with his law degree from the University of Akron in May 2016 — where he finished first in his class — he still wasn’t sure which area of practice he wanted to pursue.

“In a lot of ways, sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good,” Hull said.

The law firm of Krugliak, Wilkins, Griffiths & Dougherty Co., where Hull had spent the previous two summers working as a law clerk, needed someone in its corporate law division.

“I had done a lot of corporate type of work in both summers and knew I would like it,” he recalled. “I’m glad that’s the path that opened for me.”

He joined the firm as an associate attorney in October 2016, just three months after passing the bar exam and a month after marrying his high school sweetheart, Ellie.

Hull said he continues to find corporate legal work fulfilling, now five years later.

“Certainly, the best part of it is the clients we get to work with,” said Hull, who also works in Krugliak’s real estate division. “Most of our clients are local family-owned businesses. I like the fact that I get to be a very small part of what they are trying to build.”

Hull’s expertise spans the life cycle of a business. He helps with forming the business, contract negotiations along the way and when the business owner is ready to evolve to the next step, whether it’s transferring ownership onto the next generation or merging with or acquiring another company.

“Whether it’s on sell side or buy side, it’s always a fun transaction,” Hull said. “There’s a lot that goes into it. When you make it to closing, you feel like you accomplished something, and it’s a big celebration for your client.”

Beyond work, Hull, 31, serves as the board president of the Boys and Girls Club of Massillon, an organization he joined in 2017 that helps youth develop the qualities they need to become responsible citizens and leaders.

“They obviously are the future,” he said. “If you can change the life of one kid — and I think through the Boys and Girls Club, we have the opportunity to change the lives of so many different children — not only have you changed their life for the better, you are impacting their future children’s lives and their children’s lives. You can have a generational impact.”

Hull, who lives in Bethlehem Township with his wife, Ellie, and their two dogs, also is a member of the Bethlehem Township Zoning Board, on the board of the Massillon Rotary Foundation and a member of the Massillon Rotary Club, where he previously served as board president.

“Stark County is such a great community with so many different ways to get involved,” he said. “No matter what your interests are and what your passions are, there’s something that you can get involved and give back to the community.”

Attorney Matthew Hull shares his local favorites

Favorite local restaurant: Social at the Stone House. “It’s hard to top the unique atmosphere of being in an 1800s stone mansion, whether you are going for dinner or simply drinks. Not to mention, the food is great.”

Most memorable spot: Our Lady of Peace Church and school. “I went there for school kindergarten through eighth grade, studied for the bar exam and got married there. My dad was also the principal there for a period of time. Not too many other spots have a history like that for me.”

Favorite thing to do: “Given I have two very energetic dogs, I love taking advantage of the Towpath Trail and Tuscarawas River for walking and kayaking as much as possible.”

Favorite date night: “As long as turtle soup at Bender’s Tavern is involved, the rest of the night can vary from time to time.”

Favorite place to take the pups: “The dog park at Veterans Park in Plain Township.”

Favorite indoor activity: “Friday happy hour during the winter at Fat Head’s Brewery in Belden Village.”

Favorite lunch spot: “Depends on which office I am working in. Papa Gyros in Belden Village — the host there is top notch. Or Smiley’s in Massillon — can’t beat the food, prices and portion sizes.”

Favorite entertainment spot: “Centennial Plaza in Canton is a really cool place to grab a drink and watch a game, not to mention the other types of entertainment that goes on there.”

Favorite coffee shop: Anderson’s in the Village in Navarre. “It’s great to walk the dogs to and hang out on the front porch when the weather is nice, or by the fireplace inside when it’s not. Tremont in downtown Massillon is also a great spot.”

Favorite spot to grab a drink: “Paradigm Shift Brewery in Massillon — hard to beat a brewery that is walking distance from the office.”

Favorite spot to exercise: “My basement. Although, Stark Parks has a lot to offer for anyone looking to get outside and do something.”

Favorite event: Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week. “It’s hard to pick just one event, but it’s great to see all of the Hall of Famers, athletes, national media, etc. in town.”

Favorite volunteer opportunity: “Anything related to the Boys and Girls Club of Massillon. If you want to make the world a better place for generations to come and have a positive impact on a child’s life.”

Favorite place to see live music: “I love that both downtown Canton and downtown Massillon have venues for outdoor concerts now with Centennial Plaza and Duncan Plaza.” 

Most unusual or unique Stark County product: “The product itself isn’t unusual or unique, but I think it’s pretty cool that Stark County’s own Brewster Dairy is the largest producer of Swiss cheese in America.”

Favorite theater: “The Palace Theatre because of the ceiling, obviously.”

This article originally appeared on The Repository: Matthew Hull talks about becoming an attorney with Krugliak