Matthew D. Tidwell was born and raised in Chattanooga. Matt may be new to the practice of law, but he is not new to the legal community. Matt is the youngest son of W. Gerald "Jerry" Tidwell and Gwendolyn Randles Tidwell. Jerry has been a practicing trial attorney for 39 plus years. Gwen, after practicing law for many years, served as both the city and criminal court clerk starting before Matt was born. When Matt was born, Gwen setup a nursery in her office. It can be stated without hyperbole that Matt grew up in and around the Hamilton County court houses.
Matt began his legal career by spending his summers as a runner for his father. Later, while attending Nazareth College of Rochester, New York, Matt decided to pursue a career as an attorney. After completing his BA, Matt spent two years working for his father as a runner/paralegal, gaining experience and perspective in the legal field that would help lay the foundation of his legal education.
Matt then attended law school at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. While in law school and taking a full course load, Matt interned with the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority, where he worked closely with the General Counsel of the Airport Authority in a number of areas including the Tennessee Public Records Act, American's with Disabilities Act, Title VI, Environmental Law, and more. This experience exposed Matt to the intricacies of Municipal Law and representation of a public organization. Matt next became the law clerk for Judge James F. Russell of the Shelby County Circuit Court. Matt prepared and researched the motion docket every week. This experience gave Matt an up-close view of motion practice in litigation as well as a behind the scenes look at the judicial decision-making process. Matt also served the Housing Adjudication Clinic as an administrative hearing officer in informal hearings to decide issues related to the Memphis Housing Authority's Housing Choice Voucher Program. Matt was part of a team that heard cases, weighed evidence, applied evidence to the applicable legal standards, and wrote agency decision letters that ultimately became the decision of the Memphis Housing Authority. Matt graduated from University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, cum laude, in 2020.
When Matt is not in the office or the court room, he enjoys many outdoor activities. Matt, his wife Kayleigh, and their two dogs, Henrik and Harley, love to go hiking and camping. Matt and Kayleigh also enjoy paddle boarding in the waters in and around Chattanooga. Unfortunately, despite their best efforts, Henrik and Harley have not appreciated paddleboarding and much prefer to keep their four feet on dry land.
- Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, Memphis, Tennessee
- J.D. - 2020
- Honors: cum laude
- Honors: Cali Award Winner in both Civil Procedure and Torts
- Nazareth College of Rochester, Rochester, New York
- B.A. - 2015
- Major: Legal Studies
- Baylor High School
- Shelby County, Circuit Court Division II, Judicial Law Clerk, 2019-2020
- Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority, Legal Extern, May 2018 - Jun 2018
- Runner/Legal Assistant/Paralegal, Tidwell and Izell, P.C., 2015-2017
- Hamilton County District Attorney's Office, Legal Intern, Jun 2015 - Aug 2015
- Civil Litigation
- Criminal Defense
- Probate & Estate Administration
- Tennessee, 2021
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of Tennessee
- U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit