Verna L. Williams is chief executive of Equal Justice Works, a nonprofit organization that creates opportunities for lawyers to transform their passion for equal justice into a lifelong commitment to public service by bringing together law students, lawyers, legal services organizations and supporters.
Williams joined Equal Justice Works after serving as dean and Nippert Professor of Law at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. A founder and co-director of the college’s Nathaniel R. Jones Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice, Williams’ research examined the intersection of race, gender and class in areas such as education law and policy.
Before joining the faculty in 2001, she was vice president and director of educational opportunities at the National Women’s Law Center, where she focused on issues of gender equity in education. In that capacity, Williams was lead counsel and successfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education, which established that the federal Title IX law requires educational institutions to address known complaints of student-to-student sexual harassment.
Williams also practiced at the U.S. Department of Justice and the firm of Sidley Austin LLP. She was a clerk for U.S. District Judge David S. Nelson of Massachusetts. She graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School and Georgetown University.