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Michael Bynum

Michael Bynum, 38

Assistant Attorney General

Arkansas Attorney General’s Office

Little Rock

Professional achievements
• Provides legal advice to various state departments, boards and commissions.
• Served as director of fiscal, human resources, facilities and regulatory services operations at the Arkansas Department of Energy & Environment during 2019 state government reorganization. Also served as managing attorney at the Arkansas Department of Agriculture.
• Provided strategic counsel for Arkansas industries such as agriculture, manufacturing, government administration and municipal services.

Community involvement
Member, Rotary Club of Little Rock (Club 99); chair of the board of stewards, First United Methodist Church of Little Rock; member of the advisory committee, Arkansas United Methodist Conference of Little Rock

First job and lesson learned
“My first real job was working at McDonald’s at 16. I worked weekends, closing the store at midnight and then starting the breakfast shift at 5 a.m. I learned about customer service and paying my own way. It was also my first encounter with taxes, which made me interested in where my money was going. Coincidentally, my first public sector job was as a state budget analyst, so I ultimately got my answer.”

Most valuable lesson learned
“Not everyone thinks or feels the same, and while that can cause conflict or misunderstandings, it is one of the best things about people.”

Advice for your 18-year-old self
“The great secret of adulthood is that everyone is making it up as they go.”

A word that describes you

Professional inspiration
“I am inspired by my colleagues at the attorney general’s office. They are all top-tier professionals and public servants. I came to work here because I believed it was the state’s top law firm, and they prove it every day.”

Top challenge facing Arkansas
“The top challenge facing Arkansas is adapting our local institutions — public, private, and nonprofit — to meet the needs of their communities in the 21st century.”

Advice for future 40 Under 40 honorees
“Your community is counting on you to use your talent and energy for the greater good. Don’t be afraid to take risks or embrace your mistakes.”

Learning from a mentor
“I have had several mentors over my career who have taught me important lessons. They taught me to take things one day at a time. They taught me to accept that I have very little control over other people or external forces, so the best thing you can do is focus on the things you can control while maintaining empathy towards others.”

Professional “aha” moment
“The first time I was able to join a senior management meeting. I was only a staff member at the time, so seeing how decisions were made at that level of an organization opened my eyes to new perspectives and career goals. It also made me more attentive to people’s leadership and management styles so I could find what worked for me.”

Career dream as a child
“My dad was a lawyer, so I naturally wanted to be one too.”

Most fulfilling career moment
“The most fulfilling career moment was accepting an offer to work at the attorney general’s office. It was something I had thought about for a decade, and finding the right time to join the team was the culmination of a lot of hard work.”

Making Arkansas more attractive to young professionals
“Young professionals may be attracted by jobs and amenities, but they stay if the community can fulfill their dreams for the future. We want what previous generations wanted: families, homes, quality infrastructure and strong community bonds.”     

Best thing about Arkansas
“The people. No matter what part of Arkansas you are from, there is this silent bond that everyone has with each other by virtue of being Arkansans. We live in a great state.”

Where you see yourself in 10 years
“I see myself serving my community in a meaningful way.”

How you define success
“Success is meeting the goals you set for yourself. If you have low expectations for yourself or focus too much on other people’s expectations of you, then you are doomed to fail from the start.”


40 Under 40

June 10, 2025

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