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A 1981 cum laude graduate of the Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C., and a 1978 graduate of Tennessee State University, Mr. Williams began his legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
He practiced commercial litigation at the Wall Street law firms of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, and Flom and Deforest & Duer. Mr. Williams is also a member of the five person New York State Board of Law Examiners, the body responsible for the writing, grading, and administration of the New York bar examination. The Board is also responsible for establishing policy for the bar exam. In addition to his activities with the Board, Mr. Williams is an active member of the National Conference of Bar Examiners, the national organization of bar examiners composed of bar examiners from states throughout the country. A member of the Board of Trustees since 2006, he served as the Board Chair from 2014-2015 and is currently the Boards Immediate President Chair of the National Conference of Bar Examiners. He is also a member of its Multi-State Bar Examination Policy Committee and Chair of the Nominating Committee.
Mr. Williams previously served as a member of the House of Delegates of the New York State Bar Association, the Board of Trustees of Harlem Legal Services, and the State Bar Committees on the Bar and Exam and on Diversity. A life member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, he is active with the fraternity’s New Rochelle- White Plains Alumni Chapter and is a former chairman of the Fraternity’s New York Alumni Scholarship Foundation.
In 1984, Mr. Pettus graduated from Syracuse University, and in 1986 he studied law through Syracuse University’s Law Center in London, England. In 1987, Mr. Pettus earned a Doctorate of Jurisprudence from Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University. Mr. Pettus honed his litigation talent through handling Supreme Court jury trials throughout the City of New York.
In 1992, Mr. Pettus co-founded the law firm of Kirton & Pettus, P.C., and provided distinguished representation of corporations, small businesses and individuals in all areas of corporate law, litigation, real estate transactions, wills, trusts and estate planning. Since 1998, he has taught trial techniques at Hofstra University Law School’s Trial and Advocacy Enhancement Program for law students and new practitioners. He has also taught trial advocacy and techniques at New York Law School and Rutger’s University Law School. In addition to his professional work, Mr. Pettus had endowed the “Marvin K. Pettus Award in Law and Government” at a junior high school in Brooklyn, and has provided many internships to students considering careers in law.
Mr. Pettus maintains memberships with various bar associations. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and Phi Delta Phi Legal Fraternity, Inc.