Raymond Williams of West Plains, Missouri was awarded the Philip S. Huffman Memorial Award by Legal Services of Southern Missouri (LSSM) during its annual board meeting. The Philip S. Huffman Memorial Award recognizes the commitment of volunteer time to LSSM clients by a private attorney in its rural service area. The award was established in memory of Philip S. Huffman who served as a board member of LSSM from 1996 until his death in 2005. Mr. Huffman was involved in the development of Legal Aid of Southwest Missouri in the mid-1970’s. He practiced law in Hartville, Missouri for over 37 years, and had a strong commitment to LSSM and helping low-income persons in Southern Missouri.
Mr. Williams holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, cum laude,from the Missouri University of Science and Technology, as well as an M.B.A. from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Ray also attained his law degree from M.U., where he was a member of the Order of the Coif, Order of Barristers, Board of Advocates, and was Editor-In-Chief of the Missouri Law Review. Following his graduation, he served as law clerk to The Honorable John S. Gibson, U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, from 1995-1996. Ray was also admitted to the Kansas Bar in 1996.
Ray was elected in 2008 to The Missouri Bar Board of Governors and continues to serve in that capacity. He represents rural attorneys in District 13, consisting of the following counties: Carter, Crawford, Dent, Franklin, Gasconade, Howell, Iron, Maries, Oregon, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski, Reynolds, Shannon, Texas and Wayne.
Ray is a solo practitioner with Williams Law Offices, L.L.C., with offices in West Plains (Howell County) and Eminence (Shannon County). He is also a member of the 37th Circuit Bar Association and has served on its Board of Directors. In 2011, he was named as Chair of The Missouri Bar’s “Special Committee to Assist Lawyers in a Changing Economy”. Through that committee, he oversees and assists in the preparation of short video instruction for newer attorneys on various areas of law.
Ray consistently labors diligently for increased delivery of pro bono legal services in Southern Missouri. Not only does Ray regularly accept LSSM cases, he has exercised tremendous leadership in recruiting and encouraging placement of pro bono cases in his community. He has also worked with his local Children’s Division, to inform them about LSSM. He has encouraged them to refer to LSSM low income persons in need of minor guardianships, and has offered to handle such matters through our offices.
Ray Williams has been on the LSSM panel of attorneys since 2004. He is a model example of the standard for pro bono, having closed nine LSSM cases of various types in 2012 and two such cases in 2013, with one open case remaining at this time. He is the spearhead for his community’s pro bono legal services work, which is demonstrated by his consistent ranking among his area’s top law firms for pro bono work. Ray Williams is truly an impressive pro bono award candidate, who always goes the extra step beyond handling cases to help those in his community in need of pro bono services via LSSM.
Pictured with Mr. Williams are Executive Director Douglas B. Kays (far right), Director of Litigation Deanna Scott (right of Williams) and Julie Thompson.