MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — As the son of teachers, getting a quality education was a primary focus of Marc Williams’s life.
A degree from WVU Law helped prepare Williams for a successful legal career, and scholarships helped him fund his education. Now, the 1985 graduate has pledged $50,000 to help WVU Law students offset the cost of their legal education.
The Marc E. Williams Endowed Law Scholarship will be awarded to students who are graduates of Marshall University or residents of Cabell or Wayne Counties in West Virginia. Williams earned his bachelor’s degree from Marshall.
Based in Huntington, Williams is the managing partner of the West Virginia office of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP. He serves as team leader and co-chair of the firm’s consumer and mechanical products practice group.
The scholarship is a way to help advance the legal profession through education while simultaneously easing the burden of student loan debt, Williams said.
“I owe my professional life to the WVU College of Law. Everything that I’ve accomplished professionally started on Law School Hill, but my law professors always taught me that it is just as important to do good as it is to do well,” he explained. “I was fortunate enough at WVU to have scholarship assistance to get me through law school. I promised myself then that if I ever had the good fortune to have the resources to fund a scholarship, I would do that so other deserving students could fund their education.”
Williams has served as lead attorney for more than 100 jury trials and appeals in state and federal court. His cases have involved a range of issues, such as toxic exposure, product defects, sexual harassment and retaliation, fraud and conspiracy, insurance bad faith, breach of contract, medical monitoring and psychological injury.
He was recently counsel to Chief Justice Margaret Workman of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals in a successful constitutional challenge to impeachment proceedings. He also served as lead litigation and trial counsel for a large chemical manufacturer in consolidated class actions involving 250,000 class members arising from a chemical spill.
Williams was named a 2018 and 2019 Local Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation for his appellate, general commercial, and product liability work. In 2017, he was selected for the 2017 Lawyers and Leaders inaugural class by West Virginia Executive Magazine and WVU Law.
Williams has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America in 11 categories from 2008-2019, including Appellate Law, Banking and Finance Litigation, Environmental Litigation, Labor & Employment Litigation, Legal Malpractice Law, Personal Injury Litigation, Product Liability Litigation, and Railroad Law.
Throughout his career, Williams has prioritized education by helping others continue to grow within the legal profession. He served as an adjunct professor of Sports Law at Marshall University for 16 years and still lectures on litigation-related topics to national and local bar groups. He is also a current member of the WVU College of Law Visiting Committee.
Williams has served as president of the Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia (1995-1996), DRI - The Voice of the Defense Bar (2008-2009), Lawyers for Civil Justice, Inc. (2013-2014), and National Foundation for Judicial Excellence (2014-2015).
“In my leadership positions and other endeavors, I have tried to carry on the lessons I learned from my professors at the College of Law,” Williams said. “They taught us that service to the profession is as important as doing excellent work for our clients. I’m hopeful that the endowed scholarship in my name will help a future law student learn these same lessons.”