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Williams, Honorable James R. and Catherine D. Scholarship
James R. Williams, a 1965 graduate of The University of Akron School of Law and recipient of the 2001 Outstanding School of Law Alumni Award, is a dedicated public servant. He is a family man of faith and strong values. As a distinguished lawyer, jurist, and community leader, Judge Williams is an outstanding mentor and role model for law students, as well as for new and experienced attorneys. It is, therefore, a fitting honor that the friends, professional associates, fellow School of Law alumni, and other colleagues of The Honorable James R. Williams pay tribute to him with the establishment of The Honorable James R. And Catherine D. Williams Scholarship Fund.
The hallmark of Judge Williams' distinguished career is his service to others. Prior to becoming a judge of the Summit County Court of Common Pleas, Judge Williams served as the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio and as Judge of the Akron Municipal Court. While in private practice, Judge Williams served for eight years on Akron’s City Council. Early in his career, Judge Williams was a teacher in the Akron Public Schools and a senior staff member of the City of Akron’s Department of Planning and Urban Renewal. Over the years, Judge Williams has demonstrated his commitment to bettering the life of others and his community through his role as a Civil Rights activist, as a leader of many civic groups, and his active participation in the Akron and American Bar Associations. As the principal founder of Alpha Phi Alpha Homes Inc., Judge Williams is a champion for providing housing for moderate and low-income families and senior citizens.
Judge James R. Williams is a native of Columbus, Miss. Following active duty with the United States Army, he and his wife made their home in Akron, Ohio. Judge and Mrs. Williams, the late Catherine Douglas Williams, have two children and four grandchildren.
The purpose of The Honorable James R. and Catherine D. Williams Scholarship Fund is to reward academic achievement and a history of leadership at the School of Law or in the community by upper-division law students who are members of the Black Law Students Association. In awarding The Honorable James R. and Catherine D. Williams Scholarship, individuals from both the day and evening divisions are eligible to apply. Law students with financial needs as determined by the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) number will receive favorable consideration. Annually, the dean of The University of Akron School of Law will select The Honorable James R. Williams and Catherine D. Williams Scholarship recipient, upon the recommendation of the Law School’s scholarship committee.