Angela L. Williams, 39, Owner, The Law Offices of Angela L. Williams, Kansas City
Practice areas: Immigration and federal criminal defense
Law school: University of Missouri-Kansas City
In 2009, after seven years in practice, Angie Williams struck out on her own. It was a big leap — it’s not as if immigration law is a cushy practice with well-capitalized clients. Instead, Williams helps people in desperate situations who are often fighting to keep their families together or to remain in the country they’ve come to call home.
She’s fought on behalf of people who were thrilled when they were able to stay in the U.S. She’s fought on behalf of clients who resisted her advice and suffered the consequences but came to respect her tenacity.
Williams has also taken swift advantage of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down portions of the Defense of Marriage Act, which opened the door for immigrants who were in same-sex marriages to stay in the country.
Through the American Civil Liberties Union and the Mexican consulate, Williams gives “know your rights” presentations in Spanish, and as a member of the Kansas City Workers Rights Board and Heartland Labor Forum, she does monthly radio spots on labor and employment rights. She chaired The Missouri Bar’s Immigration Law Committee and is active in the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the Ross T. Roberts Trial Academy, the Association of Women Lawyers and the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She is also a board member of the Kansas City Anti-Violence Project, which helps members of the LGBT community with issues related to domestic violence, sexual assault and hate crimes.
Who is your legal hero?
Pat Berrigan. He is an exceptional lawyer who is profoundly dedicated to his clients. I learned so much about what it means to be a lawyer from watching him.
What is the best moment you have had as an attorney so far?
Going to Artesia, New Mexico, this last August to represent Central American women and their children pro bono in their asylum claims. While seeing the lack of due process was very traumatic, going to help these women and children fight for asylum was one of the best things I have ever done.