TSU News Service-Bryan Williams, senior partner of a New York City law firm who earned a B.S. degree from TSU in 1978, was recently elected chair of the board of trustees of the National Conference of Bar Examiners. The NCBE develops tests that are used as part of the bar examination in every jurisdiction in the United States.
A founding partner with Pettus and Williams, a Manhattan-based law firm, Williams is no stranger to the NCBE and the law profession. He was a longtime member of the Policy Committee for the Multistate Bar Examination, the organization’s flagship test that is administered in all states with the exception of Louisiana. In New York, he is a member of the State Board of Law Examiners.
Williams, who was elected at the August meeting of the NCBE, becomes only the second African American male to chair the Board of Trustees in the organization’s 83-year history. He began his legal career as an assistant district attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and practiced commercial litigation at the Wall Street law firms of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, and Deforest & Duer.
Attributing his career success and leadership skills to his TSU preparation, Williams said his new role will give him the opportunity to lead a very distinguished board of attorneys representing the entire country who are responsible for ensuring that new attorneys are qualified to practice law.
“Tennessee State University played an integral part in building my skills of leadership when I served as SGA president,” said Williams, who earned his law degree at Howard University, where he graduated cum laude. “I will be forever grateful to TSU for giving me the foundation that has allowed me to succeed in the legal profession.”
The Indianapolis native is a member of the New York State Bar Association Committee on the Bar Exam, the Howard Law Alumni Association, and the New York County Lawyers’ Association. A staunch supporter of his alma mater, Williams is a member of the New York Chapter of the Tennessee State University National Alumni Association, and a member of the President’s Society, a donor category of supporters who regularly give to the university.
Williams is also involved in a number of community, religious, and fraternal organizations, serving as a member of the board of deacons of the historic Canaan Baptist Church of Christ in Harlem and a past member of the board of directors of the Lakeland Education Foundation in Westchester County, New York. A life member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, he is general counsel to the fraternity’s Northeastern Province, a former president of the fraternity’s New Rochelle–White Plains Alumni Chapter, and a former chairman of the fraternity’s New York City Alumni Scholarship Foundation.