April 22, 2015 – A prominent, retired Houston trial attorney and active alumnus of the University of Houston Law Center told students recently that a key to success in the legal profession, as in life, is maintaining one’s integrity and personal values in the face of a culture that often makes that difficult.
“Ethics is more than a list of rules,” said Bill Maynard ’73, one of the founding partners of the specialty litigation firm Beirne, Maynard & Parsons. He was invited by members of the UHLC chapters of Advocates for Life and the Christian Legal Society and spoke in the law school’s Hendricks Heritage Room.
“As a lawyer, you have a fiduciary duty to your clients,” he said. “That means you have to put their interests ahead of your own. And as long as you have the ability to do that, you don’t really need any rules of ethics, because your conduct and your behavior will naturally be appropriate and you will never get into trouble.”
Maynard pointed to a book written by Bob Buford called “Halftime: Changing Your Game Plan from Success to Significance,” which profiles several highly successful people, including CEOs, who at some point in their lives began to reevaluate their drive for success, often because of some major occurrence.
“The thing that’s fascinating is they’re all happier in the second half of their life, and they’re working harder and enjoying life more when they’re not just focused on what’s in it for me,” he said.
"I think you can get to the very top of the ladder going the way you want to go, and keeping your values with God, and your integrity as (an individual), and get there faster," he added.