Mike Williams is a trial lawyer and appellate advocate who leads the representation of individuals, businesses, and governments in high-stakes litigation. Mike’s practice focuses on complex, multi-jurisdictional cases before juries, judges, and administrative agencies. He has recently led the representation of Firm clients in antitrust merger cases under the Clayton Act, contract and fraud claims over mergers-and-acquisitions, complicated products-liability trials in state courts, financial-crisis litigation on behalf of the Puerto Rico government, and evidentiary hearings on behalf of death-row prisoners. Mike is ranked by Chambers & Partners for Commercial Litigation and recognized in the Legal 500 for Products Liability. In September 2015, The National Law Journal recognized Mike as one of its 40 “Rising Stars” among young Washington lawyers.
Mike is a leader in providing pro bono representation to those in need. He has successfully represented death-penalty petitioners in actual-innocence and intellectual-disability proceedings in state and federal courts. Mike’s pro bono practice also includes serving as counsel to civil-rights plaintiffs in police-brutality cases, representing both the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington and (in a different matter) incarcerated prisoners in Virginia in religious-freedom cases under the First Amendment, challenging the regulation of traditional African hair-braiders in New Jersey, and invalidating provisions of the Social Security Act of 1974 that denied Supplemental Security Income benefits to disabled residents of Guam. Between 2015 and 2021, Mike served on the 12-person Standing Committee on Access to Pro Bono Legal Services for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
One of Mike’s distinctive practice areas involves litigation concerning the territories of the United States. In addition to the Guam federal-SSI litigation, Mike has represented the American Samoa Government and the Congresswoman from American Samoa in landmark cases involving Samoan citizenship and the enforceability of American Samoa’s treaties with the United States. He has represented the Government of Guam in cases involving the validity of territorial plebiscite legislation and other constitutional litigation. Mike was lead counsel to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in the territory’s financial-crisis litigation.
Mike is also strongly committed to legal education. Since 2014, he has served as an adjunct professor of trial advocacy at Georgetown University Law Center, where he developed an introductory course for first-year students on “Asking Questions in Litigation.” Mike is also a regular instructor for the D.C. Bar’s Continuing Legal Education courses in Opening Statements and Closing Arguments, Taking & Defending Depositions, and Advanced Deposition Strategies. With Judge John Facciola and Debra Katz, he developed and teaches a course on “Addressing Annoying and Sometimes Abusive Discovery Tactics.”
Mike received his Juris Doctor, summa cum laude and first in class, from Georgetown University Law Center, where he was a John M. Olin Fellow in Law & Economics and Senior Book Review & Special Projects Editor of The Georgetown Law Journal. He received his Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. At the School of Foreign Service, Mike was a Peter F. Krogh Scholar, received an Advanced Certificate in Asian Studies, and was inducted into Phi Theta Alpha, the National Honors Society in History, Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honors Society, and Omicron Delta Epsilon, the International Honors Society in Economics. Mike went on to clerk for the Honorable Douglas H. Ginsburg, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (2001–2002), and the Honorable Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court of the United States (2002–2003).
Mike is a proud alumnus of Georgetown University. Mike is the Chairman of the Board of the Georgetown Scholars Program (GSP), a national best-in-class program that provides access and support to first-generation college students. He serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Visitors of Georgetown University Law Center, where his priorities include increasing access and opportunity in legal education. Mike also serves on the Board of Regents of Georgetown University and on the Board of the Hoya Hoop Club.
As a student at Georgetown, Mike worked on the staff of former Congressman Jack Kemp at Empower America and worked as Guest Relations Manager at the Watergate Hotel. In 2010, Mike was inducted into the Asbury Park High School Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame. When he is not working for clients, Mike enjoys spending time with his wife Julin and their eleven children.
Panelist, Defending Class Actions, Corporate Disputes Magazine
Adjunct Professor of Trial Advocacy, Georgetown University
First-Year Practical Skills Instructor, Georgetown University
Panelist, Symposium of Civil Justice Issues, George Mason University
Instructor, D.C. Bar Pre-Trial Skills Series: Taking & Defending Depositions
Instructor, D.C. Bar CLE: Advanced Deposition Strategies
Instructor, D.C. Bar CLE: Dealing with Abusive Discovery Tactics
Instructor, D.C. Bar Trial Skills Series: Opening Statements & Closing Arguments
Recognized in The Legal 500 U.S.
- Product Liability, Mass Tort and Class Action: Automotive/Transport, 2021
- Product Liability, Mass Tort and Class Action: Toxic Tort - Defense, 2015, 2018, 2019
- General Commercial Disputes, 2020
Memberships & Affiliations
Criminal Justice Act Panel Committee, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
Judicial Clerkship Advisory Board, Georgetown University Law Center
Section on Litigation, American Bar Association
The Federalist Society
Admissions & Qualifications
- 2002New Jersey
- 2004District of Columbia
- Supreme Court of New Jersey
- United States Court of International Trade
- United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
- United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
- Georgetown University Law CenterJ.D.summa cum laude2001
First in class
Order of the Coif
Francis E. Lucey, S.J. Award (conferred upon the graduating student who earned the highest academic average in his or her law school career)
George Brent Mickum III Prize (awarded to the first-year student who earned the highest academic average in his or her first-year law school class)
Numerous Computer Assisted Learning Instruction (CALI) Awards for having earned the highest grade in individual law school courses
John M. Olin Fellowship in Law & Economics
John M. Olin Prize for Outstanding Written Work in Law & Economics
Senior Book Reviews & Special Projects Editor, Georgetown Law Journal
- Georgetown University Walsh School of Foreign ServiceB.S.F.S.1998
Peter F. Krogh Scholar
Advanced Certificate in Asian Studies
Phi Alpha Theta, the National Honors Society in History
Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honors Society
Omicron Delta Epsilon, the International Honors Society in Economics