LDS Profiles: Matthew Christopher Jennejohn – BYU Law Professor

Posted on Updated on

Matthew Christopher JennejohnI first met Matthew Christopher Jennejohn in Keflavic, Iceland in late 1997 when I was serving on active duty in the United States Navy. At that time, Matthew was serving a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (inadvertently called the “Mormon” Church by the media and others). Elder Jennejohn and his companion, Elder Layne Benzley, taught me the gospel of Jesus Christ for several months before I decided to be baptized on 10 March 1998.

The Power of Testimony

When I first met Matthew I was impressed with not only his knowledge of the gospel, but also his intellectual prowess. I also considered myself to be somewhat of an intellectual, and I also felt that I was very knowledgeable of the scriptures, particularly the Bible, as I had read it in its entirety 6 times, and had also attended Bible College preparing to become a Baptist minister.

I am sure that I must have been somewhat of a challenge for Matthew and his companion, but my intellectualism would not allow me to be an “easy sale” on the ideology of Mormonism. I believe the thing that led me to finally decide to be baptized was the faithfulness of these two young missionaries who continued coming back week after week to teach me, but more importantly, they both had strong testimonies and believed what they were teaching with all of their hearts. That was extremely impressive to me and our meetings became great teaching moments both for them and myself. I had questions about the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price, all of which seemed foreign to me then, and they often had questions about where to find certain passages in the Bible.

The Baptism of Keith L. BrownEven though I was impressed by their testimony, I told them that I would not be baptized until I had read the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price each in their entirety. I was inspired to create a 40-Day Scripture Reading Schedule to read the 3 volumes, and at the end of the 40 days, and in answer to prayer, I invited Elder Jennejohn and Elder Benzley to come visit and let them know that I wanted to be baptized. I was baptized on Tuesday evening, 10 March 1998 in a little storefront building that served as the LDS Chapel in downtown Reykjavík, Iceland. Matthew spoke at my baptismal service. I was confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Sunday morning, 22 March 1998.

Life after the Mission Field

I have tried my best to keep up with the things that Matthew Jennejohn and Layne Benzley have been up to in the past 16 years, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that both have done very well for themselves. Layne has his own Pediatric Dentistry business, and Matthew has had and continues to have a successful career in practicing law.

Matthew Christopher JennejohnIn July 2013, Matthew joined the faculty of the BYU Law School as a teacher of Contracts and Business Associations during the 2013-2014 school year. He also writes on topics about contracts, innovation, competition law, and corporate governance. “Most recently, his primary research project has examined how new forms of collaborative contracting have emerged to structure innovative activity across firms, and how legal institutions should respond in turn.” [1] He also has several scholarly papers which have been published and are available for download. His Curriculum Vitae may also be viewed online.

Matthew has several academic credits to his name. He is a graduate of the Columbia University School of Law (JD 2007), the London School of Economics (MSc 2004), and Brigham Young University (BA w/ Honors 2002). He also served as Law Clerk for Chancellor Leo E. Strine, Jr. of the Delaware Court of Chancery, a specialized trial court that handles disputes in the leading jurisdiction for corporate law in the United States. “Before coming to BYU, Professor Jennejohn worked at Shearman & Sterling LLP in New York. Since 2007 he has focused his practice on the antitrust defense of cross-border mergers & acquisitions, other competition issues, and corporate governance.” [2]

“Even in a specialized corporate practice, you find yourself repeatedly returning to principles of basic contract law,” Professor Jennejohn said. “I hope my students leave my classroom, and the law school in general, with the tools they need to be thoughtful, creative leaders,” he said. “The longer one practices, the more one comes to realize that ‘client service’ for a lawyer is a calling to leadership, both in terms of intellectual excellence and ethical commitment.”  [2]

Matthew Christopher Jennejohn & WifeBrigham Young University has gained a faculty member that is a great leader and teacher who will inspire his students to excel in educational excellence and to always be ethical in their practices. “I have found that, when your root motivations are in focus and in harmony with your principles, then professional achievement comes naturally in turn,” he said. [2]