Starla J. Williams
Director, Public Interest Initiative & Externships

B.A., Georgetown University
J.D., Duquesne University
LL.M., Georgetown University

E-mail: sjwilliams@widener.edu
Phone: 717.541.1992

Starla J. Williams is Director of Multicultural Affairs, Pro Bono Activities and Externships at Widener University School of Law - Harrisburg campus. Williams earned a master of laws degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1992 and a juris doctor degree from Duquesne University School of Law in 1990. She has been admitted to the bar of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania since 1991.

Starla Williams has served twice as judicial clerk for the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania and has served as judicial clerk for the United States District Court of the Western District of Pennsylvania. While in private practice, Williams represented parents in dependency hearings before the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County – Family Division. Thereafter, she assumed the role of Executive Vice President for Child and Family Services in a statewide private non-profit agency servicing over 1300 children and youth in foster care.

Williams is active in professional and civic organizations. She serves as a Board member of the Black Administrators in Child Welfare and is a past Secretary of the Executive Council of the Minority Bar Committee of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, former Chair of the Diversity Initiatives Committee of the Legal Writing Institute, and a member of the Diversity Committee of the Association of American Law Schools - Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning and Research. She currently serves as Chair of the Advocacy Task Force for the Pennsylvania Service Connect Team in Harrisburg.

Starla Williams presents at national teaching, practice and legal scholarship conferences. She often addresses community groups and professional organizations on important topics, including leadership development, diversity in the legal academy and racial equity in child welfare.

Selected Recent Publications

  • and Eric Kniskern, The Changing Face of Affirmative Action: Law School Diversity After Fisher (forthcoming book chapter) in Affirmative Action: Contemporary Perspectives.
  • Reforming Mandated Reporting Laws After Sandusky, 23 Kan. J. L. & Pub. Pol'y 235 (2013).
  • A Values Based Pedagogy for the Legal Academy in the Post-Racial Era, 16 Journal of Gender, Race and Justice 235 (2013)
  • & Anna P. Hemingway, Ann Fruth, and Jennifer Lear, Thurgood Marshall: The Writer, 47 Willamette L. Rev. 211 (2011).