Whether in public service or private practice, Alexus N. Williams has continually found ways to level disparities to make the system work for everyone.
“When I was looking at grad programs, law school was one that seemed like it kind of aligned with what I was passionate about, which was helping people, counseling people, being able to be of assistance in different kinds of situations,” said Williams.
At 26, she works in toxic torts and environmental law at Lewis Brisbois. In 2020, she was selected as a participant for the Focus St. Louis Emerging Leaders Spring 2021 Cohort. This year, she was also recognized as a Missouri Lawyers Media Diversity & Inclusion Awards honoree.
A native of Grand Rapids, Mich., Williams earned a full-ride academic scholarship to Howard University before pursuing her law degree at Saint Louis University, where she received the Black Star Award and Midwest Board Member of the Year from the National Black Law Students Association. She was also honored for her academic excellence in client counseling and political rights of immigrants.
Since then, she’s developed a reputation for helping others.
Serving as an executive committee member of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis (BAMSL) Young Lawyers Division, she co-chaired a subcommittee on racial equity formed during 2020’s civil unrest. Spearheading an initiative called “Promote the Vote,” she worked with the Urban League and local churches and school districts to provide applications for mail-in ballots and recruited Midland States Bank to sponsor drive-thru notaries.
“It is important to actually allow for the system to work,” said Williams, who noted that the program served more than 5,000 people during the election cycle. “You have to allow people the opportunity to vote and there are disparities within certain communities whether it is because of race or because of socioeconomic status.”
For Williams, whose previous experience includes roles as an assistant St. Louis County counselor and assistant St. Louis City circuit attorney, it is all part of working with the community.
“As lawyers, we are officers of the court and I think when we take that oath to be sworn in to practice and to be licensed through the Missouri Bar, a part of that oath is to educate and assist,” she said.
Lauding Williams’ “ability to be flexible, committed and determined,” her nominator praised her skills. They said she was instrumental in creating the reopening plans for municipal courts, assisting with the CARES Act small business relief program. The County Council passed a resolution in her honor for her dedication and exemplary service to St. Louis County.
Williams, who has been named president-elect of the Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater St. Louis, said it is vital that all people be allowed to participate in the system.
“Everyone has to play their part but also everyone needs the opportunity to play their part,” she said.