Student Profile: Matthew Fritz-Mauer

Matthew Fritz-Mauer
Read about Matthew's adovacy and research on anti-wage theft laws >

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Dual degree you are pursuing: J.D. '15/Ph.D. in Criminology, Law and Society (expected 2019)

Research interests/agenda: Workers’ rights; Labor and employment law; Wage theft; Legal consciousness; Disputing

Past Education: University of Delaware, B.A. in Criminal Justice, graduate of the university honors program, 2009

Academic Experiences, Honors and Awards:
Honors, Awards, Academic Experiences

  • Pro Bono Achievement Award (2013 – 14)
  • Best Presentation in the School of Law, UC Irvine Associated Graduate Students Symposium (2014)
  • UC Irvine Law Review (Staff Editor, 2014 – 15)
  • Graduate Student Mentoring Award – Spring 2013, Winter 2014


  • Newkirk Fellowship – Fall 2010
  • Peterson/Center in Law, Society, & Culture Fellowship – 2014 – 15
  • Professional Development Fellowship, sponsored by the MAS program in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society at UC Irvine – Winter 2018


  • Introduction to Criminology, Law and Society Teaching Assistant – Spring 2011
  • Hate Crimes Teaching Assistant – Winter 2011
  • Legal Institutions and Society Teaching Assistant – Fall 2012, Fall 2013
  • Criminal Law Teaching Assistant – Winter 2013, Winter 2016
  • Naturalistic Field Research Teaching Assistant – Summer 2013, Summer 2014
  • Morality and Legal Reform Teaching Assistant – Winter 2014
  • American Law Teaching Assistant – Spring 2014, Spring 2016

Presentations, Publications, Speaking Engagements:

Lofty Laws, Broken Promises: Wage Theft and the Degradation of Low-Wage Workers, 20 Emp. Rts. & Emp. Pol’y J. 71 (2016).
Public Defenders: Zealous Advocacy in a Judgmental Environment, UC Irvine Associated Graduate Students Symposium, April 2014 (Awarded “Best Presentation in the School of Law”).
Public Defenders: Zealous Advocacy in a Judgmental Environment, Law and Society Association, Minneapolis, MN, May 2014.
Lofty Laws, Broken Promises: Wage Theft and the Degradation of Low-Wage Workers, Class Crits, Davis, CA, November 2014
Lofty Laws, Broken Promises: Wage Theft and the Degradation of Low-Wage Workers, Law and Society Association, New Orleans, LA, June 2016
Workers’ Rights and Wage Theft: Rights Consciousness and Disputing Among Low-Wage Workers in Washington, D.C., Law and Society Association, Toronto, Canada, June 2018 (expected)

Employment Highlights:

Legal Experience

  • Judicial Extern for the honorable Richard M. Aronson, California Court of Appeals, Santa Ana, California.
  • Pro Bono Legal Researcher for the United Farm Workers, La Paz, California
  • Summer Associate at Bredhoff & Kaiser, PLLC, Washington, D.C. (Summer 2015)
  • Coordinator of the University of California, Irvine School of Law Wage Theft Clinic (Mar. 2015 – May 2016)
  • Law Clerk to the honorable Harry T. Edwards, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals (August 2016 – July 2017)

Graduate Experience

  • Visiting Research Fellow, Georgetown University Law Center – March 2016 – July 2016    
  • Research Assistant, Professor Mario Barnes – Spring 2013 – October 2014
  • Research Assistant, Professor Donna Schuele – Summer 2013 – Fall 2013
  • Graduate Student Researcher, Program Learning Outcomes Evaluation Project, Dr. Susan Coutin – Winter 2013
  • Research Assistant, Anaheim Family Justice Center Research Project, Drs. Raymond Novaco and Valerie Jenness Research Assistant, Dr. Chrysanthi Leon – Fall 2009 – Winter 2009

What made you interested in pursuing dual degrees? I wanted to pursue both of my degrees for a number of reasons. I was immediately interested in both the law school and the department of Criminology, Law and Society at UC Irvine because both programs are filled with incredible professors and courses. The two programs are also distinct, but overlapping, and I believed that they would complement each other nicely. Following this course of action fit with my goals, too – I always wanted to practice law for some time before moving into teaching, and I think that UC Irvine has set me up well to do that. Finally, I wanted to challenge myself. Over the past seven years, the people at UC Irvine have provided the perfect balance of supporting me and my ideas while also encouraging me to push myself to be more rigorous and thoughtful than I would have otherwise been.

How would you describe your experience in the dual-degree program? My experience has beat all of my expectations. I can’t speak highly enough of the mentors that I have found and the support that I have received. When I decided to pursue the dual degree program, there wasn’t any formal structure in place. This was a little daunting, but without fail, both the law school and the department of Criminology, Law and Society have worked with me to make sure that the experience has been a positive and rewarding one. I wouldn’t have rather gone anywhere else.

How has the dual-degree program helped you achieve your goals? My graduate and legal training complement each other. My dissertation, for example, will rely upon both a discussion of socio-legal theories and an analysis of statutes and court decisions. I also think that being in a dual degree program makes me a more attractive candidate for jobs, and helps me stand out in interviews.

Full CV (PDF) >