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Alumni Spotlight: Bayles Family

Second-year Washburn Law student Lindsay Bayles guided by family advice

James Bayles, Ben Allred, Lindsay Bayles, Tom Bayles

Lindsay Bayles and her husband, Benjamin Allred, started at Washburn Law after earning undergraduate degrees. Lindsay's father, Tom Bayles (right) attended Washburn, and her grandfather, James Bayles (left), taught at Washburn Law.

From School of Law Alumni Newsletter - Spring 2020

Lindsay Bayles’ family history at Washburn University School of Law goes back two generations, but when she decided to study law, the decision to attend Washburn was not an automatic one.

Lindsay grew up in Topeka and in Utah. As she earned a bachelor of science degree from Dixie State University in St. George, Utah, she and her husband, Benjamin Allred, decided to further their education with law degrees.

“We took the decision of where to attend law school very seriously,” Lindsay said. “Picture Excel spreadsheets, pros and cons lists, road trips, and law school tours."

They decided on Washburn, the same school Lindsay’s father, Tom Bayles, MBA ’94, JD ’97, chose, and her grandfather, James Bayles, taught law at from 1983-2002.

“We picked Washburn for a variety of reasons, but predominantly because it’s where we felt most comfortable,” Lindsay said. “The admissions team made us feel welcome on our tour. That feeling translated to every interaction we had with students and faculty. We haven’t regretted our decision.”

Simple Advice

Tom Bayles and Lindsay BaylesLindsay’s father, Tom, was born in Salt Lake City, graduated high school in Topeka and then earned a bachelor’s degree back in Utah. He returned to Topeka to work on his MBA and juris doctor at Washburn. The decision was easy because the school was literally staring at him through his window; he lived across the street from Washburn Law as a high schooler while his father taught there.

“From the time I was young I wanted to be a lawyer because I admire my father and that was his profession,” Tom said.

Once the decision was made, his father offered Tom simple advice.

“My dad told me to always attend class, take copious notes, and do my reading,” Tom said. “The most important thing that shaped my career was taking that advice to heart.”

Tom is back in Utah where he has been a partner and works in estate planning in his firm, JensenBayles, LLP in St. George since 2003.

“I provide clients peace of mind by listening to them and drafting documents to help them leave their wealth to whom they want in the manner they want to leave it, regardless of the rule against perpetuities,” he said.

Complex Advice

When Lindsay’s grandfather asked her what she wanted to do with her life, he gave her a lesson in probate almost 1,000 years old.Bayles Family Sheep

“I distinctly remember a weekend trip with Grandpa Bayles repairing and putting up fence to move our herd of sheep for the summer,” Lindsay said. “On the way up the mountain he asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. On the way down the mountain he talked about probate – going back to the year 1066.”

James gave plenty of similar lessons as a professor at Washburn for 20 years. When Tom started taking taxation classes, he had to take his father’s class. To avoid a conflict of interest, Tom’s test answers were copied by a staff member and all exams were given a number instead of a name. Tom did not earn the top grade in that class.

“Integrity is a quality we find at Washburn,” James said. “I really had no desire to defeat that tradition.

Professor James Bayles“I remember the atmosphere at the School of Law was intense then. It was not easy to get an A. As Professor James Concannon would say, ‘What’s wrong with a C? That’s a good grade.’”

James remembers the friendship among faculty and how varied opinions were always welcome during faculty meetings. He remembers the classroom discussions with his students.

“It was hard when I retired to give away my books and close my files, ship off my desk and take my name off of the door to my office,” he said. “I remember walking down the hall and out the door with tears in my eyes.”

Using their Advice

Lindsay’s father and grandfather always encouraged her to pursue her dreams and obtain an advanced education in whatever interested her. As an undergraduate, she worked as a dental assistant and as a paralegal in her father’s firm.

“I narrowed my career down to either a dentist or a lawyer and figured hands-on experience would be the best way to decide which path to take,” she said.

She and her husband are now 2L students. Last summer, she worked as a law clerk in the Consumer Protection and Antitrust Division of the Kansas Attorney General’s Office. This summer, she will work at The Law Firm of Jeffrey Burr in Henderson, Nevada. Upon graduating, she wants to work in estate planning and pursue an LLM in taxation or estate planning.

“The first two years have been a (mostly) happy whirlwind,” she said. “We’re grateful the stars aligned for us to end up at Washburn Law.”

Jefferson bench

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