“Law is definitely a business,” declared Mark Taylor ’83, a managing partner for law firm Baker & McKenzie, as he addressed 400 students in a freshman-level management course at Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School. The students listened intently as they received advice from a successful member of the corporate world.
Taylor provided the students with his personal top ten factors for success, emphasizing the importance of being “client-oriented.” When clients trust you enough to become their advisor, it is crucial to be responsive and completely honest with them, he explained. “There are a lot of attorneys who focus only on the fees that they receive for their work. I am in the service industry to help people, to help my client avoid writing that “big check.’ It’s about what you can do for your client,” said Taylor.
Taylor, who practices commercial litigation, educated his audience on the vast reach of Baker & McKenzie’s global firm, the largest of its kind in the world. The former student provided insight on the necessities of international business and the open-mindedness that must come with it. “International business requires someone with an appetite for everything,” Taylor said. “It requires artful communication with people who may not be familiar with your system, and you must adapt to that.” Taylor likened a meeting of Baker & McKenzie’s principals to a gathering of the United Nations, expounding on the global fluency of the company that sets it apart from others.
After receiving his BBA at Mays, Taylor attended law school at Texas Tech University and then launched his career with Baker & McKenzie’s Dallas office in 1989. Taylor’s litigation practice focuses on the defense of commercial cases, intellectual property litigation and employment-related law suits, including theft of trade secrets, trademark and patent infringement, breach of fiduciary duty, antitrust, discrimination, wage and hour, and breach of contract suits and arbitrations. He routinely defends complex class action suits in federal and state courts, and has tried jury cases to verdict in multiple states. The Aggie has represented a number of well-known corporate entities, including the nation’s largest poultry producer, Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation; video game maker Konami Corporation, creator of the popular game Dance Dance Revolution (or DDR); and CEC Entertainment, Inc., more commonly known as Chuck E. Cheese’s.
Taylor concluded by encouraging students to learn something additional outside of the typical business degree plan and use it to their advantage, especially in today’s trying economic environment. “It’s important to find something you can specialize in. If you find your niche, it makes you that much more valuable in the business world.”