J.D. Williams is an attorney and judge with over 25 years of experience specializing in American Indian law. He is currently a chief judge for an Oregon tribal court and sits on appellate panels for other tribes. As a tribal chief judge, he oversees both peacemaking (restorative justice) and healing to wellness (drug) courts. He has worked for law firms, as a solo and as an in-house tribal government attorney on a wide variety of matters in Indian country including business start-ups, environmental and water issues, housing and property law, charter schools, cultural protection, employment and administrative law matters. An experienced adjunct professor in Federal Indian law, he currently focuses his time on his judicial roles and representing tribes in energy and telecom matters.
Prior to becoming a lawyer, Mr. Williams worked in construction, as a social worker with mental health and substance use disorders, and was a Peace Corps agriculture volunteer in west Africa. He currently resides in Portland with his wife and son.
- JD, Lewis & Clark Northwestern School of Law, 1994
- BA, American University, Washington D.C., 1985