Beyond being known as one of the best researchers, writers and analytical thinkers in her class, Abigail Williams, a third-year law student at the University of Missouri, has earned a reputation for going above and beyond to support other students.
“Abigail is one of the most exceptional students and legal minds I have ever encountered,” said Brad Desnoyer, associate professor in the School of Law. “She thinks clearly and writes clearly, and she is masterful at understanding and explaining difficult legal concepts. More importantly, Abigail is determined, kind and collaborative. She is truly a leader already.”
Desnoyer praised Williams’ ability to collaborate with her peers on group projects as well as her dedication to supporting students as a teacher assistant for his legal-writing class during her second year. Williams held numerous office hours, answered emails at all hours of the night and earned the praise of her students for being a positive mentor and role model.
“That’s been one of my favorite experiences in law school,” said Williams. “I really like the research and writing side but also really enjoy interacting with the students.”
Her affinity for research and writing initially drew the Lake Ozark native to pursue an education in law. She studied political science and English at the University of Kansas and interned in Washington, D.C. for U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas during her junior year, an experience that solidified her interest in the legal field.
In summer 2016, Williams was one of two students selected to participate in the Judge Crahan Memorial Judicial Fellowship through which she worked as a judicial intern for Judge Mary Rhodes Russell at the Supreme Court of Missouri and Judge Philip Hess at the Missouri Court of Appeals Eastern District. In fall 2016, she externed for Judge Nanette Laughrey in the U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri. In 2017, she worked as a summer associate at Polsinelli in Kansas City.
Last year, Williams served as auction-donations chair for the Women’s Law Association at the group’s annual spring event, which raised $15,000 for area charities. Of late, her biggest time commitment has been her work as editor-in-chief of the Missouri Law Review for the 2017-18 school year.
She also serves as one of the committee chairs for the law school’s Tim Heinsz 5K and Jim Devine Dog Walk, a fundraiser named in honor of two former deans that benefits Mizzou Law scholarships.
Next year, she will clerk for Russell, and in the long term, she plans to stay in Missouri and pursue the litigation path.
“It’s been an honor to serve in various capacities throughout my life and law-school career, and I plan to continue to work to have a positive impact on others in the future,” she said.