Matthew Cooper: Legal work in Israel

by | Sep 3, 2019 | Other News

Matthew Cooper (back right) with fellow interns on Israel’s border.

When Matthew Cooper joined American and Israeli attorneys to sue Iran on behalf of terror victims who were harmed by Iran for financial support to terrorist organizations, he certainly stepped up his summer. As a legal intern for the Israeli non-profit Shurat HaDin, Cooper became actively engaged with an organization that uses court systems around the world to go on the legal offensive against terrorist organizations and their financial supporters.

Beyond the intense legal work, Cooper gained a new perspective when he attended Israeli Supreme court and IDF military court sessions. It gave him an eye-opening view of the Jewish state/ Middle East conflict from the front lines. Plus, he toured the country’s borders.

“We stood on the Golan Heights overlooking Syrian towns listening to an Israeli, who lived on the Syrian border, talk about the Syrian civil war,” Cooper says.

A UVa Law School student, Cooper’s focus is civil litigation. “I think it would be exciting to work with attorneys from all over the globe,” he says. “The legal issues grow exponentially more complex at the international level and require innovative legal strategies.”

“One of my favorite aspects of the internship was talking to my fellow interns about religious beliefs and thoughts on Israel. Several of the interns did not know much about Israel before the internship and talking to them made me appreciate the special place Israel had in my life as a Jew. It is a homeland for my people, and a place where I know I will always be accepted. Many of the conversations we had, while stuck in a tiny conference room, will stick with me long after I return to law school.”

Lisa Richmon