Native Bruin: Past, Present & Future – Matthew de Lira

This October we are highlighting Native Bruin Matthew de Lira Class of 2007 and Class of 2011.

Matt started college at Chapman University in Orange, California. There he took American Indian history, anthropology, film, and sociology classes under Professor Paul Apodaca (a Native Bruin, UCLA Ph.D.) Matt then transferred to UCLA and graduated with the class of 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in American Indian Studies. Additionally, Matt received the UCLA Chancellor’s Service Award for his volunteer work with Native youth at the American Indian Club House at UAII in Los Angeles.

Matt participated in the joint degree program with UCLA School of Law and a master’s degree in American Indian Studies (Class 2011).

Matt is now a partner in a private law firm, practicing plaintiff litigation in northern San Diego County.

The American Indian Studies program’s extraordinary faculty, staff, students, and alumni have imparted sharp critical thinking and layered problem-solving approaches that have given greater insight and concern to Native issues, enhancing Matt’s service to Native peoples. Matt is active in sharing ongoing legal realities within the plaintiff’s bar that impact tribal rights and claims.

Personal Quote:

“The American Indian Studies program and the law school taught me excellent research and analytical skills. So much of what I learned comprises what I do daily, it lives with me, and bears fruit for others.“