40 Years of Influence: Daryl Williams

In 1973, Daryl M. Williams was finishing his bachelor's degree in economics at Brigham Young University and planned to continue graduate work in economics under Milton Friedman at the University of Chicago. Law school was not part of Williams’ plans; however, at the request of his wife, he took the LSAT. “Next thing I knew I was having dinner with Rex Lee at his invitation,” Williams said.

The meeting had a significant impact on the future of Williams’ life. “Dean Lee told me and my wife how excited he was about the law school, that he had pulled my undergraduate and graduate-level transcripts, and that I had been admitted,” he said. It wasn’t long before Williams’ desire to pursue a career in economics turned into a desire to be a lawyer.

Williams explained that his BYU Law education empowered him in all his endeavors. “Law school taught me to think and analyze. Practicing law has taught me how to write persuasively and how to make compelling arguments,” he said. “Most importantly, analysis has led me to think more deeply. Thinking more deeply is, perhaps, the thing that has impacted me and my family the most.”

Williams has forged a record of notable professional accomplishments. Practicing commercial litigation, he has participated in jury and bench trials in Arizona and other jurisdictions. His longest jury trial was ten months – a $560 million securities fraud case where he represented one of the defendants.  Williams has also served as an adjunct professor at Arizona State University Law School, teaching classes on the use of electronics in the courtroom.

A legal education has also allowed Williams to make a valuable contribution to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). He served on the state and national board of directors for the ADA, making significant contributions to its research policy committee and government relations. He also played an instrumental role in getting the Federal Aviation Administration to change the proscription against medical certificates for individuals with Type I diabetes.

Williams still remains incredibly passionate about his work: “I would not trade my law school experience and my resulting legal career for anything. I love it. I revel in it. I cannot imagine not doing what I am doing. I cannot wait to go work in the morning and am shocked when I realize it is time to go home.”