We had the good fortune of connecting with Reginald Matthews, J.D. and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Reginald, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
If you were to ask me this question at the beginning of 2019, I would ask you for the definition because I had no idea what that was. I was in law school, working at Apple, working as a teaching assistant, interning at the Sun Belt Athletic Conference, traveling all over the country for networking events, interviews, and conferences. I was doing it all, and I was doing it well, but I wasn’t taking care of myself. So I had to make the conscious decision, to start taking care of myself. I had to learn how to say “No” when people ask me to do something or ask for my assistance with something. I started prioritizing my health and going to the gym and start boxing again; but most importantly, I started taking care of my mental health as well. I reached out for help from a mental health professional. There is this negative stigma with asking for help from mental health professionals -especially in the black community. We hold on to so many different things in our lives that spill over into our everyday lives ( personally and professionally) and throws us off balance. We have to deal with the issues and stop acting like they do not exist – this is why so many people ( including myself at the time ) do not have balance. My therapist quickly made it known that if I continued to operate at this intense level of productivity; although at that particular moment I was doing it well, the crash and burn moment was imminent. So, in the current moment, my calendar is my best friend because it allows me to map out my work time, goals, and accomplishments; but now I also have it in my calendar where it says ” Reginald, go work out” or ” You are not working this weekend, take this time off” so that I do not burn myself. Work-life balance is so important and I urge everyone to make a work-life balance plan and stick to it. We all have so many things to do, so many projects, and so many goals; but if we don’t take of ourselves and establish some semblance work-life balance, we will never reach those accomplishments. I also urge everyone that is struggling with their mental health or life balance to seek help whether it is in a friend, family member, colleague, or professional; ask for help.So, in the current moment, my calendar is my best friend because it allows me to map out my work time, goals, and accomplishments; but now I also have it in my calendar where it says ” Reginald, go work out” or ” You are not working this weekend, take this time off” so that I do not burn myself. Work-life balance is so important and I urge everyone to make a work-life balance plan and stick to it. We all have so many things to do, so many projects, and so many goals; but if we don’t take of ourselves and establish some semblance work-life balance, we will never reach those accomplishments. I also urge everyone that is struggling with their mental health or life balance to seek help whether it is in a friend, family member, colleague, or a professional; ask for help.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My professional life is a bit all over the place, but I am lucky enough that I can wear so many hats and wear them all so well. As I prep to sit for the Georgia Bar Exam, I am lucky enough to be working as a law clerk at an incredible firm. I joined Crespo Law Office (CLO) at the beginning of 2020 and have been able to work on some incredible projects. At CLO, we represent entertainment content creators, multi-national publicly traded companies, private corporations, and media conglomerates in complex commercial deals and general real estate and corporate transactions. I have been able to have the first-hand experience with television deals for major networks, television franchises and unscripted television shows. I have also assisted in recording contracts, featured side artist agreements, publishing and general copyright matters on behalf of Grammy-Award winning recording artists and songwriters; synchronization deals on behalf of independent songwriters and for film production companies. We also get the opportunity to explore new and constantly developing areas of law such as podcasts, new media deals, adult and kid influencers, brand sponsorships, and new IP licensing deals. I think some of my favorite work that I get to do is work with different minority and woman owned brands and small businesses. We can provide them with the opportunity to have legal representation to secure and protect their brands as they grow and become juggernauts in their respective fields. I love the fact that we can work with so many talented and influential people of color who are doing great work in their respective businesses and also give them the legal representation that they deserve. Outside of law, I have been able to leverage my old love of journalism and media to write for several different magazines and online news outlets. I have also been able to create content for different law firms, sports organizations, and non-profits. From a community service standpoint, I have the esteemed pleasure to serve on the board on Millennials of Atlanta. Under the direction of Ms. Briana Holmes we can provide social experiences through original mixers, fitness opportunities through group fitness classes, community service in the Atlanta area, and panel like-events that encourage and active learning style. This organization was created to connect millennials across Atlanta who are new to the city and who do not have friends or family members in the Metro-Atlanta area and provide those relationships and connections. Although Covid-19 has drastically affected our lives, Millennials of Atlanta will be back stronger than ever after Covid-19 clears up I continue my work with Page Turners Make Great Learners. I am based in Atlanta now and hopefully I wIll be able to be more involved in the organization. Like many other non-profits, Covid-19 has had a huge impact on how non-profits operate. I am looking forward to the days where Page Turners will be able to do Read-A-Thons in Atlanta schools. With all that being said, There are so many different factors that have played a role in getting me to where I am today. I think that the two biggest factors in helping me is honesty and openness. Being honesty with myself about what I do not know, what my short comings are, what I am good at, and what I am horrible at. However, being open and willing to learn, grow, and experience things that are not only going to nurture me professionally but also personally and obtain skills to be successful all around. Before realizing that I needed to be open and honest, I was so close minded and believed that I knew everything, I was at the top of my game, and that no one could tell me anything and that was also when I was not progressing in my career and no one wanted to work with me. Being open and honest with yourself not only makes you a well rounded individual, but it lets people know that you are serious about your craft and you are teachable . They will be willing to work with you, mentor you, and guide you into positions, roles, and opportunities that you would never be able to imagine.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My best friend of 15 years has not come to visit me in Atlanta yet, but I mentally already have this planned out. He is naturally a big superhero movie buff so I would have to take him on the Atlanta Movie Tours. I would continue with the naturally touristy things that are quintessential to Atlanta culture. Things such as the World of Coke, Civil Rights Museum, Georgia Aquarium, Piedmont Park, Centennial Park, The Atlanta University Center ( to visit my alma mater Morehouse), King Center, Auburn Avenue, Lenox Mall, the traditional Atlanta staples. I would also explore Atlanta’s outdoor scene like Stone Mountain, Kennesaw Mountain, and East Palisades Trail. I also would do a Cabin Trip to Blue Ridge. In terms of food, I feel like there are so many restaurants to eat at that this list could go on forever. One of my favorite spots is Hankook Taqueria. Other spots like La Fonda, Thumbs Up, Ponko Chicken, Slutty Vegan, Teds Montana Grill, Qing Mu Noodles, Paschels, West Egg, Antico’s, South City Kitchen, as I said, the list goes on and on. My favorite brunch spot in the ENTIRE city is Canoe. Their Duck and Beef burger is the best! I would also like for him to experience the Atlanta sports scene, depending on the time of year we would definitely go to an Atlanta Falcon game, Atlanta Hawks game, Atlanta United game and attending the tailgate before and after. To wrap it all up go to Cam Newton’s Cigar Lounge Fellaship
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many different people and organizations that I have to thank. I am a firm believer that I would be nowhere near where I am in life without the support of my tribe. I have to thank my parents for all their hard work, dedication, and sacrifices that they made to make sure that I had everything I needed in life to become successful, and then some. Institutions like Morehouse College that helped me figure out my goals and aspirations and helped me develop the skillset and mindset to reach whatever goal I set for myself and push through adversity and overcome any obstacle that was placed in my way. Organizations like Page Turners Make Great Learners (special shout out to the Founder and Executive Director Fefe Handy), Judson Lyons Society ( Morehouse Lawyers Association), United Way VIP, and Millennials of Atlanta who supported me through undergrad, law school, and in my career. They have all given me the tools and resources to be successful at anything I want to do but also encourage me to reach back and help others in their personal and professional endeavors. I would also be remiss not to mention all of the black attorneys and attorneys of color who paved the way for me and continued to help guide and mentor me through my career, Attorneys like Derek Alphran, Curtis Mack, Michael Binns, Jennifer Duval, Marissa Crespo, Marla Dickerson, Kerii Landry-Thomas, and the list goes on and on and on. I cannot thank any of these people or organizations enough because they have all stood by me through various times in my educational endeavors, professional ventures, and my personal life. Last but not least, friends, family, and friends that have become family for dealing with my crazy ideas, 2 a.m. phone calls, and just lending an ear in my time of need.
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