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The Hon. Zuberi Bakari Williams

Maryland Judiciary

The Hon. Zuberi Bakari WilliamsAs one of Maryland’s youngest appointees to the bench, Montgomery County District Judge Zuberi Bakari Williams said he believes providing young minorities with opportunities to succeed in law will help create a better future.

“Judge Williams is committed to his community and profession. He provides oxygen to law students of color,” wrote Shreya Patel, a federal judicial law clerk who clerked for Williams and nominated him for the Leadership in Law honor.

Williams is an active member for the Pipeline to Practice Foundation, which works to enhance diversity among attorneys through programming and coaching.

As head of the Judicial Intern Opportunity Program for Maryland, Williams has worked with top companies Facebook, Google, Discovery and Under Armor to create interview windows for students.

“I believe that opportunity is the oxygen of our community,” Williams wrote. “It is required to sculpt the true complexion of America’s future and shortens long odds.”

In 2014, Gov. Martin O’Malley appointed a 36-year-old Williams to serve as Montgomery County District judge, making Williams one of the youngest judges appointed in the state’s history.

Two years later, Williams was appointed chair of the District Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee and was invited to participate in the Maryland General Assembly’s Justice Reinvestment Act. In 2017, Williams was appointed to the Judicial Compensation Committee.

In his first four years on the bench, Williams said that he hired 20 interns, most of whom are minorities and the first members of their families to pursue law.

Williams, a law graduate of American University and Washington College, began his career as a state judicial law clerk to Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Robert M. Bell. He worked for Astrachan Gunst Thomas Rubin P.C., before working as an assistant attorney general for the District of Columbia and an administrative law judge in Hunt Valley.

Though Williams cannot serve on any boards because of his position, he wrote that one of his most fulfilling roles is volunteering at his son’s school for special needs children.

I believe that opportunity is the oxygen of our community. It is required to sculpt the true complexion of America’s future and shortens long odds.”

This is a winner profile from The Daily Record's 2019 Leadership in Law awards. Information for this profile was sourced from the honoree's application for the award.