Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Brotherly Love: Siblings Sworn in as Attorneys

Image of two men wearing suits standing in front of a brick wall

Jacob Williams (left) and Brian Williams (right) officially became fourth generation attorneys in their family on Monday.

Image of two men wearing suits standing in front of a brick wall

Jacob Williams (left) and Brian Williams (right) officially became fourth generation attorneys in their family on Monday.

Being admitted as an attorney is an event that brings together families. For a pair of brothers who recently passed the bar exam, their loved ones will celebrate twice that joy.

Brian and Jacob Williams were among the hundreds of attorneys to join the practice of law on Monday during the Ohio Supreme Court’s virtual bar admissions ceremony. The siblings from New Albany are two of 741 applicants who passed the most recent Ohio Bar Examination.

“I was a wreck the night before [the results were released] and couldn’t sleep, but then I saw our names on the list. I ran upstairs to tell Jacob, and he’s sleeping,” Brian said laughingly.

It was another memorable day the brothers would share. Both were born on Dec. 16 – Brian in 1989 and Jacob in 1993.

As Jacob fought through the slumbery haze of what was happening that morning, the news finally registered, and he jumped out of bed.

“I had to confirm he wasn’t messing with me,” Jacob jokingly said.

Brian and Jacob are carrying on a family legacy in the legal profession. Their father, Richard, has run a private practice in Columbus since 1998. Their grandfather was a criminal defense attorney, and their great-grandfather was an attorney and judge.

“We always grew up around educators, lawyers, doctors, people who are readers and thinkers,” Brian said.

“Our dinner discussions every night definitely felt like cross-examination and arguing,” Jacob added.

While both were inevitably drawn to the field of law, they came from different tracks.

Brian spent four years in real estate development after obtaining his bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University. Jacob went straight to the University of Toledo College of Law after completing his undergraduate work at Ohio State. He joined Nathan – a third brother and one of six siblings – who went to Toledo for medical school.

When Brian opted to change his career trajectory, he knew there was only one place he could go for law school.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We chose to do it together. We chose to stick together. I didn’t think about going anywhere else,” he said.

For three years, the trio lived in the same place, and ultimately graduated together this past May. But the majority of that “family time” was spent between the two aspiring lawyers – whether it was studying and taking several classes together, contributing to the Toledo Law Review, or enjoying time away from academia.

As for what lies ahead, the brothers are going their separate paths, at least temporarily.

Jacob is living in Cleveland, whittling down options to consider given his law degree and his masters of business administration. Possibilities include employment and corporate law – ideally in professional sports, for an organization or as a sports agent, and, eventually, as a law professor.

“Getting experience is the best way to find out what you really enjoy and what you don’t,” Jacob said.

On the flip side, Brian already has his dream job.

“It’s nice every day going to work where you walk by your boss and say, ‘Hey, Dad.’”

Currently, he’s assisting his father with family law matters, such as divorce and custody cases, but with the range of work at the practice, there are a variety of disciplines to satisfy his thirst for knowledge.

One day, he could be joined by Jacob, who’s open to the idea of working under a Williams and Williams banner. It would be one more meaningful return to their roots.

“It’s all thanks to our parents, Joanne and Richard. They provided financially, emotionally, intellectually. Being able to give back and contribute, that’s important to us and we don’t take it lightly,” Brian said.