Scott MaysHealth Law Alumnus: Scott Mays '05, MultiPlan

Scott Mays ’05 claims to be an “accidental health lawyer.” Despite the fact that his first co-op was with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, he walked the path of joining a firm after graduation, where his practice mainly focused on financial securities and litigation. After stints at a few firms, Mays realized that an in-house role might be best for him. Though he had not practiced health law a day in his post-grad life, Mays applied for a position with the legal team at Tufts Health Plan (THP) in the fall of 2013. During his interview with THP’s general counsel (then, Lois Dehls Cornell ’86, another NUSL alum!), Mays emphasized that his skill-set in other areas of legal practice, such as being able to work through complicated legal and regulatory issues, was highly transferrable to any role, including one that was more health care content-focused.

His argument proved successful and he joined the THP legal department. During his time at THP, Mays was able to oversee a diverse portfolio that gave him insight into how day-to-day practices impact policies that affect people’s health outcomes. He was able to work on transactional and regulatory issues, as well as taking on some of the organization’s smaller litigation challenges. At one point, Mays’ portfolio evolved such that he began to oversee more of the human resources issues, while at the same time he was taking on more responsibility as legal support for sales and contracts activities. His portfolio was challenging and allowed him the opportunity to gain tremendous knowledge and insight into how a successful health insurance organization operates and serves its employees and members. As Mays puts it, he “woke up happy to go to work” every day.

Mays recently joined a new company, MultiPlan (a national health care cost management company), as an assistant vice president, assistant general counsel and director of client contracting. Similar to his time at THP, Mays has a mixed, though more narrowly focused, portfolio that includes counseling the sales department and overseeing contract and transactional work related to clients. His new role also allows him to expand upon his management skills as he now oversees a team of attorneys. MultiPlan is more national in scope, so he has been able to meet and negotiate with people and companies from across the U.S., which has deepened his understanding of how health care coverage and insurance products differ across region and population.

In looking back over the trajectory of his career, Mays never thought his career would be focused on transactional work – and certainly not in health care – rather than litigation, but his work continues to be challenging and fulfilling in unexpected ways. “Never say never. Remain open to exploring new opportunities. You do not know how things might change and lead to something new and different,” says Mays.

Mays offers this advice to young legal professionals looking to go in-house: Employers are looking for people who are first and foremost good lawyers. It is helpful to have some interest and background in the subject matter an organization oversees, but the foundation of strong legal skills needs to be in place. An organization can teach the content, but it cannot teach someone how to be a good lawyer. And, do not forget to focus on those “soft skills” (i.e., communication, critical thinking, leadership) that are often overlooked! “The most important people in the room are not necessarily the smartest subject-matter experts. That expertise does not always translate to the success of the company, and leading the whole team to success,” he says. Successful lawyers need to assess what else they have in their toolkit and gain skills that go beyond content and technical skills.