• Member Spotlight

Doug Williams

Maynard Nexsen PC in Birmingham, AL

A lawyer with 34 years of experience, volunteer and panelist for NABL conferences, a man with many hobbies, and a life-long learner. Meet Doug Williams.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’ve been practicing law since 1990 and active in public finance since 1999. My wife and I have been married almost 35 years and have three adult children who are married and off the payroll! We are true empty nesters, and I’ve enjoyed renewing some hobbies. I’ve taken on a car restoration with my dad, done a number of carpentry and woodworking projects, and am constantly reading, listening to audible or working on writing projects. Between law practice, family and hobbies, life is good!

You have been a member of NABL for more than 20 years. What inspired you to join NABL?

Attending The Workshop for the first time in the mid-2000’s was an eye-opener and an inspiration. I had great mentors at my firm who were active in NABL and encouraged me to attend, and I saw immediately that The Workshop was exceptional in its content and collegiality. It was energizing to see so many professionals volunteer their time to improve everyone’s quality of practice in a friendly environment, and I wanted to be part of that community.

What advice would you give to a new bond attorney?

Have intellectual curiosity. Be aware of what you may not know. Ask questions. Go directly to the legal authorities and understand them. Connect the dots. Build relationships with your colleagues and bond lawyers at other firms. You’ll be a better and more confident lawyer for your clients and will enrich your professional life in so many ways. 

You have volunteered and served as a panelist for The Essentials and The Workshop. How has volunteering impacted your career?

Nothing clarifies the mind like preparing for a NABL panel! Volunteering has helped me solidify my understanding of multiple topics and allowed me to develop relationships with many wonderful members. But the most enjoyable part of volunteering is spending time with young lawyers and talking to them about practicing law, the world of public finance, and life in general. There are some great young people coming up in our profession!

After attending many NABL conferences and webinars, what is one new idea/strategy you have implemented into your practice?

NABL provided bedrock knowledge regarding the public policies that animate the tax, securities and municipal laws that govern our space. This context is immensely helpful in analyzing new issues. The conferences also encourage bond lawyers to think across multiple disciplines to create solutions. This resourcefulness is a fun way to practice law, and clients genuinely appreciate this kind of creativity.

If you could have dinner with three famous people (dead or alive), who would you choose and why?

Impossible question. The key for me would be to have great thinkers come together from across time. Say, Thomas Jefferson, Woodrow Wilson, and Ronald Reagan to talk about the role and scope of government. Or Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, and Stephen Hawking to talk about the nature of time and matter. You could do the same for the major religions, central banking, or the evolution of our energy sources. I’d have to give a lot of thought to a final group, but you get the picture. It would be incredible to witness those kinds of conversations across human thought.