Matthew Lanthier

Juvenile Defense

Matthew Lanthier works hard. He didn’t just go to law school; he went to law school while also working as a reserve firefighter.  He doesn’t just work for the Cohen Defense Group; he works for the Cohen Defense Group and is also an officer in the National Guard. You’d be hard pressed to find someone who works harder than Matt.

In all of his endeavors, Matt is driven by a desire to help people. At the Cohen Defense Group, Matt prioritizes getting to know his clients and developing a strong relationship with them.  This relationship helps Matt advocate vehemently for his clients in court.  He won’t back down from a fight and he uses all the tools in his arsenal to get the best result in each and every case. According to founding partner Alison Cohen, “Matt practices law for all the right reasons.  He is brilliant, compassionate, and willing to dig in and find solutions for people.  We are lucky to have him on our team.”     

Matt admits that he wasn’t a serious student in his early life but all of that changed when he found the legal profession.  A natural “rules” person and academic, Matt flourished in the law school environment and truly found his passion. “I like the research. I like the writing. Everything kind of clicked for me,” he says about his time at the U.C. Davis School of Law.  

At the Cohen Defense Group, Matt has discovered another passion:  defending children in delinquency court. Children can be charged with all levels of crime, including sex offenses, DUI’s, and serious felonies.  They may be experiencing drug addiction, mental illness, or homelessness.  Matt works closely with his minor clients, letting them know that they have the ear and attention of someone who is there to help. Even if the client doesn’t get everything they want in court, Matt wants them to know they have someone on their side who is working hard for them. As he says, “Juvenile defense lets me work with real people on real issues, all kinds of people facing all kinds of real problems.”    

A resident of Davis, Matt enjoys running, visiting the farmer’s market, and cooking with his girlfriend.  During law school, he worked as a reserve firefighter for over three and a half years.  A member of the ROTC in college, Matt remains an officer in the National Guard.  He recently returned to U.C. Davis to teach graduates how to pass the California bar exam. 

Born in Palo Alto, California, Matt was admitted to the California Bar in 2022.  Education:  University of California, Santa Barbara (B.A., History, 2018); University of California, Davis School of Law (J.D., 2022).  Matthew is a member of the Pacific Juvenile Defender Center, California Public Defenders Association, and the Placer County Bar Association.

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