Deborah R. Williams

Meet the Team


Deborah R. Williams


Experienced trial lawyer Deborah Williams, part of the JJS Sexual Abuse Division, is known as a "fight for the little guy" type of lawyer. She has spent years defending protesters against criminal charges, litigating mass incarceration/wrongful conviction cases, working to overturn unjust travel and immigration bans, and representing victims of police violence.

She brings to her clients a depth of compassion, experience, and knowledge in trauma and trauma-informed practice informed by her own experience and healing in that area.

She has been involved in public change that makes a difference, such as alterations to discriminatory policies for transgender clients housed at Rikers Island and influencing the NYPD to issue summonses for turnstile hopping, rather than more damaging and costly arrests.

Deborah has a broad base of scientific and forensic knowledge and isn’t afraid to dig in with the experts on complex forensic or medical cases. She has also been part of high-profile legal matters covered by the media.

In her spare time, Deborah is the founder and CEO of a non-profit that provides pro-bono representation to survivors of domestic violence. She is also the creator of a program that provides pro-bono consulting to non-profit practitioners, giving them access to current psychological and trauma science, and promotes vicarious trauma and mental health informed workplaces.

Deborah maintains an active involvement in prisoner’s, women’s, and civil rights, and is an active member of the visual artists community in her native Brooklyn, NY where she lives with her two children and dog, Penelope Jane.

She prides herself on her open-door policy and finds it rewarding to use her life experiences to create communities of inclusion, support, and mutual aid.


  • Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, New York, NY, J.D., 2013
  • Wayne State University, Ph.D. Candidate (Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience, Minor in Statistics), 2005-2009
  • Eastern Michigan University, B.S., (Psychology, Journalism, magna cum laude), 2005

While in law school, Deborah litigated a motion for DNA testing from inception to success in the Supreme Court of Mississippi.


  • New York

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