Hard Work Key to Success for Glankler’s Blaylock

MARK SULLIVAN | Special to The Daily News

Photo: Lance Murphey

Memphis attorney David Blaylock of Glankler Brown PLLC finds himself listed in many national publications as one of the best bankruptcy lawyers in the country. When you have practiced law since 1964 in Shelby County, name recognition will follow.

He quickly points out, however, that it is the team of people around him that provides him the chance to be recognized. Most recently, Blaylock was named as one of the “Best Lawyers in America 2011” and “Bankruptcy Superlawyer” by Corporate Counsel magazine. This was the 22nd year Blaylock has been recognized.

“There are many groups that publish lists for best lawyers in America and many of my colleagues in the legal field are listed,” Blaylock explained. “It is certainly an honor and one that I sincerely appreciate. The Memphis legal field is full of outstanding lawyers who deserve to be recognized by their peers.”

Blaylock, one of 20 Glankler Brown attorneys to be selected for the honor, began his interest in bankruptcy for law following in the footsteps of mentor Robert Udelson who taught him the ropes. After graduating from Vanderbilt University and University of Mississippi Law School, he joined his role model’s firm and found a love for bankruptcy.

“We practiced together in a small firm for some 30 years,” Blaylock said. “He was instrumental in whatever success I have had in my professional career.”

Blaylock’s father, Nolon, owned a small pharmacy in Mississippi and he only closed the business three days a year – Fourth of July, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

“I remember him being at the store from early morning to late at night standing on his feet,” Blaylock said. “He did not call in sick and always served his customers with care and concern. Hard work is the key to being successful. I believe my work ethic came from my father.”

Best Lawyers is the oldest peer review publication in the legal profession. For nearly 30 years, the group has helped lawyers and clients find legal counsel in unfamiliar jurisdictions or unfamiliar practice areas. Best Lawyers compiles lists of outstanding attorneys by conducting peer-review surveys in which thousands of leading lawyers confidentially evaluate their professional peers.

In the U.S., Best Lawyers publishes an annual referral guide, The Best Lawyers in America, which includes 39,766 attorneys in 80 practice areas, covering all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The 17th edition of The Best Lawyers in America (2011), is based on more than 3.1 million detailed evaluations of lawyers by other lawyers.

Blaylock used to spend the majority of his time helping individuals and companies work their way through filing bankruptcy. Lately, he represents creditors and bankruptcy trustees.

“Today, I spend most of my time representing a company that is owed money by a debtor,” he said. “In the past, there was more of a stigma to filing bankruptcy. Obviously with the economy being down and that stigma to being lessened, the number of bankruptcies filed has increased dramatically – by once successful companies and prominent individuals.

“If I have been successful, my keys have been dealing with people at all levels. My background is varied so that has given me a rare opportunity to work in a number of important legal areas with people of all backgrounds, races and cultures,” Blaylock added. “Like the medical field, law is an ever-changing field of study. Anyone in this business must be committed to continuous learning and training.

“I was blessed early on to have a mentor, someone who cared about seeing me succeed,” Blaylock concluded. “You must outwork other people and look for ways to accomplish more work with less resources and people. A lot has changed since 1964, but I still love what I do every day.”