Alabama State Bar
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William Mellor Bains Fleming, III

Norman, Wood, Kendrick & Turner
1130 22nd Street, S., Suite 3000
Birmingham, AL 35205
(205)328-6643 / bfleming@nwkt.com

Bains received his Juris Doctorate in 2007 from the Cumberland School of Law. He attended University of London, Queen Mary in England during the fall of 2001 as part of a foreign Study Abroad Program, and graduated with a B.A. from Washington and Lee University, Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics in Lexington, Virginia in 2003 with a major in politics and a concentration in Environmental Studies.  Bains is an associate for Norman, Wood, Kendrick & Turner and practices in civil defense litigation involving toxic and mass torts; products liability; medical malpractice; nursing home liability; and general insurance defense.

While at William and Lee University, Bains was a member of a research team who traveled to Brazil, the Rugby football team, National Wild Turkey Federation, and Sigma Chi Fraternity. At Cumberland, he was senior class president, a Judge Abraham Caruthers Teaching Fellow, associate director for the Trial Advocacy Board, and National Trial Team member. He was on the Bar’s VLP Honor Roll from 2008-2011 and part of the alumnus recognized during National Pro Bono Week at Cumberland in 2011, and is a National Trial Team Coach as well as Young Alumni President for Cumberland’s Birmingham Alumni Chapter. He is chairman of the Rotaract Club of Birmingham Foundation and the Charles A. Collat, Sr. Distinguished Leadership Award recipient in 2011. Bains is a Ducks Unlimited board member, involved with the City of Birmingham’s Young Professionals United, as well as the Birmingham Urban League Young Professionals Leadership Empowerment Award recipient in 2012. He was a member of the Birmingham Bar Association’s Long Range Planning committee and the 11th Circuit Editor for DRI’s Daubert Online.

The attorney who recommended Bains said, “Bains has a proven background of significant leadership roles, civic involvement and a contagious love for Alabama that demonstrates the precise type of lawyer needed for the Leadership Forum. Bains knows no strangers. He enjoys meeting new people. He is one of the friendliest people I know and he demonstrates the high ethical standards we all strive as lawyers and servant leaders to achieve. A native of south Florida, Bains attended college at Washington and Lee University. He volunteered in North Carolina over the summers for a home repair ministry and traveled abroad to England and Brazil for study and research activities. After graduating from W&L, Bains worked for Public Concepts, LLC in Palm Beach, FL, a political consulting firm where he was the Director of Fundraising Operations for Florida political candidates. Needless to say, Bains put his politics degree to work and continues to this day to have a very high level of interest in local, state and international affairs. Following Public Concepts, Bains moved to Birmingham and attended Cumberland School of Law. He thrived at Cumberland, where he was active in the Student Bar Association and elected Senior Class President. It should come of no surprise that Bains is an excellent public speaker. Bains and I first became acquainted through the Rotaract Club of Birmingham – Birmingham’s premier young professional development and service organization. In 2011, Bains was awarded the Charles A. Collat Sr. Distinguished Leadership Award, the Club’s highest member award. As a close friend and colleague of Bains, I can assure you that the Leadership Forum would greatly benefit with his selection for Class 9. This is a program that he told me back during my time as a Leadership Forum member that he was sincerely interested in participating. Bains has the civic involvement and heart of a servant leader the Leadership Forum needs. While some lawyers practice law simply as a means to end, Bains uses his legal skills and leadership qualities to transcend the ordinary practice and pay it forward in order to help our community and state reach its full potential. ”

In his own words, Bains says, “Almost three years ago, I was reading an issue of the Birmingham Business Journal. The featured article set out the results of a survey of readers in which questions about the direction of the city were asked. In response to a question about the challenges facing Birmingham, more that 60 percent of the respondents stated that a lack of leadership was the city’s biggest challenge. I cut out these results and they have been taped to my office wall ever since. In a city that by most accounts is the economic hub of Alabama, this response is striking. Unfortunately, while some bright spots exist, I would wager that a similar response could be found across the communities of our state. Alabama is hungry for leaders. This is a challenge and a blessing, because while the desire for strong leaders exists, Alabama needs the right leaders to continue to move our state forward. I believe that the Alabama State Bar Leadership Forum plays an important role in rising to this challenge and the leaders developed in this program will bless this state for years to come. It is my strong desire to be a part of this group, and I look forward to the opportunity to be trained, tested, and reared in this unique setting. Throughout my life I have accepted the challenge to lead. During my third year in law school, I served as class president. I took on this leadership role to make an impact on my classmates and the school I had grown to love. In that position, I helped shape the last year of ‘fun’ before my classmates and I entered the real world. As president, I had the opportunity to ensure that we were able to leave the school a better place than we found it. Most importantly, I lead the fundraising drive for the class gift. We chose to give a peer scholarship to a second year student. With the hard work and help of other members of my class, over 60 percent of my classmates contributed, and we raised more money than any prior class. Thanks to an alumnus who matched the donations we collected, we gave two scholarships of significant value to two deserving students in the Class of 2008. In addition to this gift, I believe I was able to bring our class together. As I gave the traditional farewell address at commencement, I looked out and saw over 160 people I called friends, and I would like to believe they could look at each other and say the same thing. We had become a community and if I had anything to contribute to that, then I truly made an impact as a leader. Since my time in law school, I have actively engaged in leadership with my alma mater. I not only serve as the Birmingham Alumni Chapter – Young Alumni President, but I am also a coach for Cumberland’s national ranked mock trial teams. In coaching these teams, I have the opportunity to guide law students who wish to improve their courtroom advocacy skills. My proudest moments as an attorney have come about during the long practices as the teams prepare for competition. Watching a law student have that ‘click’ moment when they go from a student to a lawyer advocating for their client is truly an awesome sight. I have been fortunate to witness this many times. I hope that my work with these students will allow them to be hard working advocates for their clients when they begin practice in the real world. Beyond my work with Cumberland, my passion for the community is fostered through my involvements as a member of the Rotaract Club of Birmingham. I served on the Board of Directors for two terms as the service chair. In this position, I oversaw the Club’s service efforts including its internationally award winning signature service project, Ready 2 Read. In its fifth full year of implementation, Ready 2 Read, continues to impact the lives of thousands of second-grade students in the Birmingham City Schools. Thanks to the dedication of ‘Reading Buddy’ volunteers form the club’s membership and the community, each classroom is visited twice a month during the school year for over 1700 days of reading across the school system. During my time of the board, the Club’s membership performed over 1,800 hours of community service. Beyond the statistics, watching the faces if those whom we have served is the biggest reward. I am now privileged to serve the Rotaract Club as the chairman of the Club’s foundation. The foundation is charged with the stewardship of funds raised by the Club for use in its service to the community. The foundation currently has an endowment of almost $200,000. My involvement with Rotaract has been a tremendous blessing to me both personally and professionally. I am not a native Alabamian, but proudly call this sate my home. Through the Alabama State Bar Leadership Forum I hope to gain a better understanding of the challenges that face our state – particularly our profession. From this experience, I hope to have the skills needed to rise to meet the challenge of leadership. Theodore Roosevelt is credited with saying, ‘Far and away is the best prize that life has to offer is the change to work hard at work worth doing.’ Leadership is worth it. It is needed. As attorneys we are called to our profession and we are called to lead. I am ready to answer the call.