Aspiring to reach the top of a chosen profession is hard to achieve without the work ethic and drive that goes with it.
Will Mullen’s father, a former basketball coach, instilled that guidance from a young age. If there’s one thing a good corporate attorney needs to work hard at, it’s pleasing clients.
“You’ve got to be dedicated,” he said. “You’ve got to be personable and relatable and show people that you care.”
At Smith Hurst, Mullen has carved out a successful business, mergers and acquisitions and private equity practice. His superiors say he has become a sought-after counselor among a client base seeking advice on general business, transaction and taxation matters.
“In the four years Will has been an attorney with our law firm, he has grown into an essential and integral member,” said Jim Smith, the firm’s founding partner.
Mullen has served as lead counsel for several transactions in the past two years. A $35 million sale of a prominent Northwest Arkansas business to out-of-state investors was the most notable.
Mullen grew up in Green Forest and studied at Arkansas Tech University to be an accountant. He graduated in December 2012, but with the accounting degree in hand, that career path seemed less appealing.
He went to law school at the University of Arkansas, where he distinguished himself. He was recognized as the top student in the area of taxation, receiving the Craig Sterne Memorial Award for estate planning and taxation. A Horace and James McKenzie scholar, Mullen was also a member of the Arkansas Law Review and worked as a teaching assistant in the area of property law.
He clerked for two years at Smith Hurst while studying at the UA. He earned his degree in 2016, then joined the company full time. He eventually entered the Masters of Law (Taxation) program at New York University’s School of Law, earning his degree in 2018. At NYU, he served as an editor of the Tax Law Review, an honor afforded to select students in the Masters of Law program.
Mullen is an adjunct professor at the UA’s School of Law, where he teaches a course on the law of private equity investing. He is also a board member of Arkansas Tech’s Young Alumni Association.