Jennifer Williams was born and raised in Racine, WI, before attending the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she obtained a dual degree in International Relations and French, along with a certificate in European Studies in 2002. During her undergraduate years, she studied abroad in Paris, France, as well as Oaxaca, Mexico.
While at Marquette Law School, Ms. Williams focused her legal studies on helping people. Ms. Williams received the Pro Bono Society Award for volunteer legal service in law school. She won a Public Interest Law Society (PILS) fellowship award which enabled her to travel to Eritrea, in East Africa to work for the Legal Advisor to the President of Eritrea under the direction of a Yale Law Professor. Finally, Ms. Williams also completed the Public Defender Clinic where she won a Not Guilty verdict in a Domestic Violence misdemeanor prosecution, where the victim broke her client’s arm.
Ms. Williams returned to the Legal Advisor’s Office for her first year after law school to work on the massive pending international arbitration case against Ethiopia for civilian damages related to the 1998-2000 border war. In her first oral argument as a licensed attorney, Ms. Williams won $17 million of the ultimate $163 million dollar award against Ethiopia. Her remarks focused on the unlawful and heartbreaking conditions the Ethiopian government used to detain, transport and deport Eritreans during the war. Many of those Eritreans disappeared during the process, and were never located or accounted for even to this day.
Returning to Wisconsin, Ms. Williams had the distinct honor serving the community for nearly ten years as a Sensitive Crimes prosecutor with the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office. Ms. Williams specialized in human trafficking. She practiced both civil and criminal prosecutions representing abused and neglected children, as well as men and women injured by violent sexually based crimes. She has tried over 50 felony jury trials, winning her most recent guilty verdict in a child trafficking trial on her very last day as a prosecutor.
Ms. Williams brings a wealth of experience and compassion for individuals hurt or injured, especially those harmed by larger and more powerful entities. Her breadth of legal experience offers her unique insight and skill in building a case, negotiating an outcome or proving a dispute at trial.
A quote that describes her approach to work, as well as her personal life is “to whom much is given, much is required.” In her spare time, Ms. Williams enjoys distance running and reading; however, her greatest joy is family. She lives in Glendale with her husband, Justin, and their two children: Marshall and Mallory.