Mr. Williams has devoted his entire legal career to the goal of achieving social and economic justice through the law. Immediately after graduation from Stanford University, he worked as a paralegal with a legal services organization serving poor persons in East Palo Alto. During law school, he was continuously employed providing legal representation to low income persons in South Boston. Upon graduation from law school in 1974, he was awarded a Reginald Heber Smith Community Lawyer Fellowship, the aim of which was to encourage attorneys to provide assistance to those traditionally without access to lawyers. The Fellowship sent him to Charlottesville, Virginia, where he was admitted to the bar in 1974. His work there focused on civil rights, access to affordable housing, public utility rate reform, and complex litigation.
In 1981, Mr. Williams returned to California and became the Director of Litigation of a legal services program in Fresno. He subsequently established his own law firm emphasizing employment and civil rights cases. He was active in community groups, including long service as chair of the board of directors of a non-profit child abuse prevention and treatment group. Mr. Williams began an affiliation with his current partners in 1997, working on select Indian law employment and litigation matters.
Mr. Williams has an extensive background in complex litigation. In addition, he also provides ongoing advice and consultation on water rights and natural resources, cultural site protection, employment relations, healthcare, and governmental and corporate affairs. In the field of employment relations, he provides ongoing advice and consultation on employment issues as they arise, assists tribes and tribal organizations in the development of policies and procedures, and works with tribal leaders to achieve stability in a highly competent work force. Illustrative work includes representation of a Tribe in negotiating agreements to remove dams and restore the Klamath River in California and Oregon, protection of Tribal access to significant off-reservation cultural sites, Indian health programs in all aspects of health care delivery, and protection of water resources in New Mexico.
Along with his partners, Curtis Berkey and Rovianne Leigh, Mr. Williams teaches the Advanced Indian Law seminar at Berkeley Law (Boalt Hall) at the University of California, Berkeley (a course previously taught with Professor Philip Frickey until his untimely death in 2010).