Matheson is an appellate law specialist in Satellite Beach, Fla., where she lives with her husband, Gerald. Recently, she started her own law firm, Matheson Appellate Law, P.A., a career move that evolved after growing frustrated with teaching.
The oldest of 10 children, Matheson did not feel graduate school was an economic option after earning a degree from Cabrini. She went on to teach English, “because it was what I knew and loved,” she says.
Matheson carved out a fulfilling career as an educator, but grew restless after 15 years. “I became weary of the school system and decided to make a change,” Matheson says.
She enrolled at University of Florida College of Law.
“At the time,” she says, “I knew nothing about the practice of law. Luckily, I discovered the analytic skills and scholarly disciplines I developed as an English major at Cabrini were perfect for an appellate lawyer.”
In law school, Matheson served as senior research editor for the Florida Law Review and was chosen as a fellowship instructor to teach legal research and writing to law students. She received a Juris Doctor in 1987.
“What I love most about my job is the constant challenge,” she says. “And, contrary to common perception, lawyers do occasionally get to help people.”
Matheson has dedicated her time outside of the law firm to legal organizations, including the Vassar B. Carlton American Inn of Court; the Florida Bar Journal and Florida Bar News Editorial Board; and the A. Max Brewer Memorial Law Library, where she served on the Board of Trustees.
Though her schedule is demanding, Matheson remains connected with Cabrini. She served on the Alumni Board in 2006, and was elected to the Board of Trustees in May 2007.
“I was enormously inspired to work with the wonderful alums of all ages who work so hard for Cabrini,” Matheson says. “It is quite moving to hear that each decade has produced alums who cherish Cabrini as I do.”