Rocky Mountain High

Matt Hayhurst finds his calling back home in Montana        

Published in 2008 Mountain States Super Lawyers — July 2008

In his Missoula office, Matthew Hayhurst surrounds himself with photos and artwork depicting the two joys of his life: family and mountains. In order to spend more time with both, the 35-year-old returned to his home state of Montana in 2002 after clerking for a 9th Circuit judge in San Francisco and working for Perkins Coie in Seattle.

He enjoys the diversity of his work as a small-town attorney at Boone Karlberg, working on everything from pet trusts to products liability claims. "I've discovered the benefits of having a broader litigation practice and what that can afford you in representing all different kinds of people and businesses and all different walks of life," he says.

Partner Randy Cox served with Hayhurst on his first jury trial. "He was well beyond his years," says Cox. "Matt is the most promising and talented young lawyer in Montana. He's just so doggone good."

Hayhurst has made pro bono cases a priority, working at least 100 hours a year. Compared to his regular cases, which he says are often financial disputes, "the pro bono cases I do are typically about more broad social issues, oftentimes immigration cases, and so you're trying to keep somebody from being deported."

His interest in helping the underserved extends beyond the office. For five years, including two as president, he's been on the board of Youth Homes, a nonprofit that offers foster care, short-term adoption and shelter to disadvantaged young people.

"Our house was just one of those places where my parents saw us and our friends as all part of the family," says Hayhurst. "And that's in some ways what the Youth Homes is trying to do."

It's also one of the reasons he chose Boone Karlberg. "I'm real lucky," he says. "I have partners who define themselves by their involvement in the community. I think that's a good model to follow."

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