Matt M. Paavola was born and raised in a working class neighborhood in East Baltimore. Coming from a blue collar family, he has a deep-rooted affection for labor rights. Matt now resides in Baltimore County with his family. They are active with Grace Fellowship Church of Timonium.
A graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law, Matt began the practice of law in the Essex area in 1982. He founded his own firm in 1986. Now known as Workers' Comp Law Firm, LLC, the firm concentrates in workers' compensation law. Mr. Paavola also owns White Marsh Law Firm which handles wills, estates, elder law, criminal charges, small business matters, and personal injuries. Mr. Paavola has tried cases at virtually every level of Maryland's judicial system, from the various courts of original jurisdiction to the Court of Appeals of Maryland. He has also been involved in a great deal of federal litigation. Mr. Paavola's greatest source of pride is his trial skills in workers compensation law. He has tried well over 2,000 Workers' Compensation cases and appeals.
Mr. Paavola is a member in good standing of the Maryland Association for Justice (formerly the Maryland Trial Lawyers Association). The thrust of his focus has been workers' compensation legislation that improves the status of the injured worker. He was nominated and elected to the Board of Governors in 2000 and retired in 2005 when he received the MAJ prestigious Defender of Justice Award. Mr. Paavola was also busy on the Board of Kids' Chance, an organization founded to help provide scholarship money for the children of seriously injured workers, for over a decade. He co-hosted the Lawyer's Show for over 5 years which aired on WJFK Radio every Saturday morning.
Mr. Paavola is also very active in charitable groups. He has served at the Helping Up Mission as a coordinator and volunteer with the Legal Aid Ministry of Baltimore for over twenty years. This is a not-for-profit organization that furnishes pro bono assistance to the indigent. He has served as State Membership Director of the Greater Baltimore Christian Legal Society (now known as Maryland Christian Legal Society) for over three decades. That effort has led to the creation of a law student mentoring program connecting students with local members of the Christian Legal Society. His volunteer efforts have also led Mr. Paavola to work with the Essex/Middle River/White Marsh Chamber of Commerce (now known as the Chesapeake Gateway Chamber of Commerce) and Sta-Put Educational Committee. This committee was instrumental in establishing a resident mediation program to facilitate community stability in impoverished areas of eastern Baltimore County. He is also active on the Baltimore County Bar Association and the Maryland State Bar Association serving on the Insurance, Negligence and Worker's Compensation subcommittees. Mr. Paavola has twice chaired the Public Awareness Committee for the Baltimore County Bar Association.
Memberships & Associations
- Member, Maryland Association for Justice (formerly the Maryland Trial Lawyers Association)
- Director, Maryland Christian Legal Society (formerly the Greater Baltimore Christian Legal Society)
- Co-Director of Legal Aid Ministry of Baltimore (L.A.M.B.)
- Chesapeake Gateway Chamber of Commerce (formerly the Essex - Middle River - White Marsh Chamber of Commerce)
- Baltimore County Bar Association and Maryland State Bar Association - Insurance, Negligence and Worker's Compensation Subcommittees
- Board of Directors of Kids Chance Inc. (Scholarships for children of injured workers)
- Member, MTLA Workers' Comp Legislative Subcommittee
- Formerly a Legal Commentator on WJFK Radio since 1998
- Martindale Hubbell AV rated attorney
Awards & Recognitions
- Named by Who's Who Directories as a Top Attorney of North America in 2017
- Defenders of Justice Award In Grateful Appreciation of Matt's Work In Preserving The Civil Rights of Maryland Citizens During the 2005 Maryland Legislative Session for the Maryland Trial Lawyers Association.
- Induction into the Honor Guard Award bestowed upon Matt M. Paavola for faithful Pro Bono Service and Kingdom Lawyering by the Alliance Defense Fund, September 12, 2006.
- Essex - Middle River - White Marsh Chamber of Commerce Special Recognition Award presented to Matt M. Paavola for his dedication and service to the community, 2005.
- The Maryland Bar Foundation's Election as a Fellow for demonstrating outstanding dedication to the community, the administration of justice and the traditions of the profession of law.
- 2015 co-recipient of the prestigious Trial Lawyer of the Year Award conferred by the Maryland Association of Justice.
Recognized by Worker's Injury Law & Advocacy Group as a one of The Nation’s Top Injured Workers’ Attorneys for 2020