Faculty and Administration Profiles

Jerrod Williams

Title/s:  Senior Law Clerk to the Honorable Nathaniel R. Howse, Jr., Illinois Appellate Court, First District, Chicago, Illinois.



I was born on the west side of Chicago, in the Austin community.  I currently live in Cicero, IL with my wife Jennifer Lynn Williams.  At Northern Illinois University College of Law (NIU COL) I was active with the Black Law Students Association (BLSA), I worked for the Circuit Court of Cook County Legal Research Department where I had the opportunity to research novel issues of law for Cook County Circuit Court Judges, and I clerked for the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office. I also later worked in traffic court as a 711 prosecutor for the City of Chicago.

I began my legal career as a Research Attorney in the Fourth District of the Illinois Appellate Court. I then worked under Justice Mary W. McDade in the Third District in Peoria for seven years as a law clerk and then her senior clerk. In June 2011, I became an Assistant Attorney General in the General Law Bureau in Springfield. I was assigned to the Prisoner Litigation Unit and defended state employees in civil matters filed by prisoners and committed persons in state and federal court. I was later hired by Justice Mathias W. Delort in the First District and moved back to Chicago. Soon thereafter, in July 2013, Justice Nathaniel R. Howse, Jr. hired me to be his clerk, where I have worked since.

Justice Howse participates in the experiential learning program at Loyola University School of Law, and as his clerk I have had the opportunity to teach law students selected as judicial externs through that program as well as other students who work in our office to gain experience. I will soon begin serving as a legal writing and research instructor in that program.

The Cook County Bar Association (CCBA) is the oldest formal association of African-American attorneys in the nation. I have served as Chair of the Cook County Bar Association (CCBA) charitable foundation’s Legal Clinic, I was a member and later Chairperson of the Judicial Evaluations Committee (JEC) for the CCBA, and Chair of the CCBA Rapid Response Committee where I wrote statements and positions for the CCBA on issues and events of concern to the African-American community. I later became a member of the Board of Directors for the CCBA and was subsequently elected as an officer. I was soon elected to the position of President of the CCBA.

I have edited an article for Illinois Legal Aid Online on post-conviction proceedings and criminal appeals. In July 2017 the Illinois Supreme Court appointed me to the Illinois Judicial College Committee on Judicial Branch Staff Education. As a member of that committee I have contributed to the drafting of a training curriculum for appellate and circuit court clerks, research staff, and the staff of the court’s Reporter of Decisions by providing subject matter insight and by performing some of the initial drafting of the curriculum, course objectives, and course descriptions. I was recently named co-chair of the Joint Minority Bar Association Continuing Legal Education Planning Committee. I currently mentor first year law students at NIU COL and frequently volunteer to judge the moot court competition at NIU. I was honored with the 2019 NIU College of Law Alumnus of the Year Award.


Juris Doctor, Northern Illinois University College of Law

B.S. Business Administration, Florida A&M University

Program Areas

Legal Writing

Professional & Community Affiliations

Committee Member, Judicial Branch Staff Education Committee, Illinois Judicial College, Illinois Supreme Court.

Chair, Curriculum Workgroup, Judicial Branch Staff Education Committee, Illinois Judicial College, Illinois Supreme Court.

Co-Chair, Joint Minority Bar Continuing Legal Education Conference Committee, Chicago, Illinois.

President, Cook County Bar Association, Chicago, Illinois (until June 2020).

Co-Chair, Austin Quality of Life Plan Economic Development Task Force, Chicago, Illinois.

Board Member, South Austin Neighborhood Association, Chicago, Illinois.