|C.J. Williams received his undergraduate degree in 1985, and his law degree in 1988, both with High Honors from the University of Iowa. In 1997, he was awarded a Masters of Law degree with an emphasis in criminal law from the University of Missouri School of Law. He was sworn in as a United States Magistrate Judge on February 16, 2016, and sworn in as a District Court Judge on September 11. 2018.|
Judge Williams served as a law clerk for Donald E. O’Brien, United States District Court Judge in the Northern District of Iowa, and as a trial attorney with the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. For five years Judge Williams was in private practice in a large Kansas City firm before joining the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Iowa in 1997. While with the United States Attorney’s Office, Judge Williams served as the Senior Litigation Counsel and handled complex criminal and civil cases. During the course of his career, Judge Williams received some of the Department of Justice’s highest awards, was awarded the Richard S. Arnold Distinguished Service and Lifetime Achievement Award at the Eighth Circuit Judicial Conference, and was made Fellow of the Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers by unanimous vote.
Judge Williams served as regular visiting instructor for the Department of Justice at the National Advocacy Center in Columbia, South Carolina since 1999, taught as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1996 and 1997, and served an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Iowa from 2000 to 2015. He has published more than a dozen law review articles and is the co-author of Federal Criminal Practice (West 2016).