BYU Law Honored Alumnus for 2016, Todd Maynes, spoke at the 2016 Honored Alumni Lecture on Thursday, October 13, 2016. Maynes advised current law students on how to find success after graduation.
“I really believe that leaving the Wasatch front, getting out in the world, and meeting people of different cultures and beliefs brings positive benefits,” he said.
Maynes shared his four keys to success:
- Live one’s standards. According to Maynes, BYU Law graduates are expected to live higher standards, and will be held accountable for acting respectfully and appropriately in society. “People know about Church standards, and they will hold you accountable.”
- Don’t be contentious. “As a lawyer you are all about resolving conflict. I tell lawyers it’s okay to disagree, but don’t be contentious,” he said. “You are to be bold but not overbearing.”
- Have passion. “As a lawyer, your clients expect you to have their back and that takes some passion,” he said. He pointed out that clients also expect you to create solutions for them. It’s a job that requires you to be constantly thinking about how to help others.
- Exhibit humility. Lawyers should be responsive to clients when they come to ask for help. “They expect you to be friendly and warm,” he said. Humility means that you are “easy to be entreated.” Maynes defined the word “entreat” as “to ask,” and explained that as a lawyer, “People will frequently come to you for help and you will need to be responsive to their questions.”
Maynes is a partner for Kirkland & Ellis LLP in Chicago. He has worked as the lead tax advisor in many bankruptcies and restructurings for United Airlines, Conseco, Calpine, Charter Communications, Visteon, and WR Grace. He currently teaches bankruptcy taxation at Northwestern University School of Law and the University of Chicago.