Mr. Mataele was born in Hawai’i, and raised in Utah. After graduating from a top tier law school, Richardson School of Law, he moved to San Diego, California, to practice law. As a result, Mataele Law Office was established in 2009. You can read about his insight into the legal community, and the services his office provides on his website:
Mr. Mataele chose law for his profession because he always wanted to help people. Having played football in college, he was a natural competitor. He explained that playing sports teaches a person how to work effectively with others on a team, be competitive, and exercise discipline. In fact, many attorneys have an athletic background. Mr. Mataele went on to say that, "Law is aggressive." A litigator has to know how to argue on his feet, handle confrontation well, and recover quickly from verbal sparring. Combining his desire to help others, and his fearless attitude toward obtaining solutions, he knew that becoming an attorney would allow him to capitalize on his strengths. Through law, he can advocate on behalf of others.
He advises that everyone should know their rights because "people who don’t know their rights can’t assert them." Representatives - attorneys - can assist in asserting these rights. Some clients are not aware that they have a case when they actually do. An attorney can assist them in determining whether they have a case or not. Hiring an attorney will increase the chances in resolving the client’s matter.
Mr. Mataele found mentors in his family, culture, and church. He witnessed the importance of higher education in the lives of his parents. His mother was the first Tongan female to obtain a graduate degree. His father attended college as well. His Tongan culture also cultivated his leadership skills by requiring the youth to participate in public speaking. These events fostered a love for story-telling. (Mr. Mataele reminded me that the trial process is all about telling stories. "Both sides try to present the best story with a theme. <In law school> we are taught to make it a compelling story that the facts will support.") Moreover, witnessing his elders fearlessly grab the microphone, speak from the heart, tell stories, and issue instructions, prepared him for civil litigation. Later, he was sent on a mission for church. On this mission, he spent significant time with the mission’s president who was an attorney. All of these experiences and people actually guided Mr. Mataele toward the prestigious career of being an attorney.
Refreshingly, he remains compassionate in an adversarial career. Mr. Mataele said that great attorneys uphold civility in the court room – not to be nice, but to be effective. In a court room, the opposing counsel is also a colleague. This means that the litigators must work together. It’s easier to convince the opponent to move a hearing date or negotiate terms when the litigators are reasonable. Mr. Mataele also recognizes the need for "affordable attorneys." You can read about his thoughts on the subject in his blog articles on his website. There is an affordability gap between clients who need resources to obtain justice and the resources to do so. Seeing people struggle to find affordable legal representation left an impact on Mr. Mataele. He believes in high quality representation for the people, but he also believes in getting that representation to them. The affordability gap should not be a hindrance to justice.
Like many great attorneys, Mr. Mataele is versatile. His Bachelor of Science is in Computer Information Systems. Unlike other graduate schools, law schools do not require prerequisites. But they do look for leaders! Remaining steadfast, Mr. Mataele attended law school full time while supporting himself and working part time in various jobs. He completed his law school education in the standard 3 years.
‘Isi Mataele is a heavy weight champion in his own right. Through hard work and commitment, he’s made a success out of his legal career. There are so many news reports of the decline in attorney careers and attorney opportunities. Yet, Mr. Mataele remains unscathed. He’s also someone who continually points toward his upbringing as the foundation for his strength and accomplishments. Mr. Mataele’s brand of leadership includes Polynesian elements of being civic minded and fearless.