Matthew T. Glavin (JD ’09)
ST. ROBERT BELLARMINE AWARD
The St. Robert Bellarmine Award recognizes a graduate who earned a JD within the past 15 years for distinguished service to the community, to the legal profession, and to the School of Law.
Some children want to be doctors when they grow up. Others want to be teachers or, of course, lawyers. When Matthew Glavin was a kid, he wanted to be exactly what he is now: a lobbyist.
More accurately, he thought he’d like to be a congressman, but, he says, “I quickly realized that you can do a lot without being an elected official. I feel like I’m doing my best work when I’m making other people shine.”
As senior principal in the lobbying arm of Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies, Glavin helps clients navigate the legislative and regulatory landscape in industries from sports to health care to energy and more.
His resume also includes a longlist of agencies for which he has volunteered over the years, including Equality Illinois, promoters of LGBTQ+ rights; Juvenile Justice Initiative, advocates for humane treatment of youth in the justice system; and the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, a voice for the state’s businesses.
At first glance, no theme emerges from the list, but Glavin sees it differently.
“Every place [I volunteer] needs help dealing with government—maybe securing funding or getting bills passed,” he says. “That world can seem complex and intimidating, but I know that world well.”
“I feel like I’m doing my best work when I’m making other people shine.”
When directors at Youth Guidance, a nonprofit agency providing in-school counseling to help teenagers overcome obstacles in their lives, heard rumors that their funding from the City of Chicago might be reduced, they promptly contacted board member Glavin, who was vacationing with his family at Disney World.
“My kids were spinning around in the teacups while I was reaching out to people in the mayor’s office to talk about the great work of our organization,” he says.
When the final budget was released, “it was clear that the message had been received,” he says.
Glavin, a member of the Law Alumni Board of Governors, says Loyola played a big role in his journey.
“You hear that law school is a brutal, cutthroat environment; my experience at Loyola was the opposite,” he says. “People helped each other at every opportunity. Success never came at the expense of anyone else. Now that’s my job: building and maintaining relationships.”
Glavin’s affection for his class is reflected in his leadership to establish the Bran Harvey Opportunity Scholarship at the School of Law with three of his classmates. Harvey, a classmate, died in 2020 at age 48.
“We were all close, even though Bran was at a different point in his life. He was a grinder, balancing law school and a busy family life,” says Glavin. “I think of him all the time. His zest for life still motivates me.”