James E. Williams Jr. Served as Public Defender for Orange and Chatham Counties in North Carolina from 1990 until his retirement in May 2017. Prior to 1990 he was felony chief of the Mecklenburg County Public Defender’s Office. He graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in Political Science in 1973 and Duke University School of Law with a J.D. in 1979.
In October, 2010, while a member of the Board of Governors of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, Mr. Williams moved the Board to establish a Task Force on Racial and Ethnic Bias in the Criminal Justice System. The motion carried and Mr. Williams served as Chair of the Task Force. The work of the Task Force led to the establishment of the North Carolina Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Criminal Justice System in September 2012. Mr. Williams is a founding member and member of the Board of Directors of the Commission.
He is the founder and Board member of the North Carolina Public Defender Committee on Racial Equity. He served as the Committee’s President from its creation in 2011 until 2016. He has twice served on the North Carolina Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism. Mr. Williams serves on the Advisory Board of the National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts. He chairs the Orange Bias Free Policing Coalition and co-chairs the District 15B Bar’s Racial Justice Task Force. He is also First Vice-President of the Chapel Hill Carrboro NAACP and co-chair of the Branch criminal justice committee.
Mr. Williams was presented the Thurgood Marshall Award in 2016 by the North Carolina Advocates for Justice. On October 17 2017 he was presented the North Carolina ACLU Frank Porter Graham Award for Lifetime Achievement. He is a regional co-chair
of the National Association of Public Defense Racial Justice Task Force.
Contact James at email@example.com.