Darrin Williams ’93 elected speaker of Arkansas House of Representatives
Release Date: Mar 12, 2012
Darrin L. Williams, Class of 1993, has been elected speaker of the Arkansas House of Representatives.
Williams is currently serving his second term in the Arkansas House, where he represents District 36, which includes portions of Little Rock and Pulaski County. He is the first African American to be elected Speaker-designate of the Arkansas House, and he will assume the leadership role in January 2013, when Arkansas’ 89th General Assembly convenes.
In addition to serving in the Arkansas House, Williams is a partner at Carney Williams in Little Rock, where his litigation practice focuses on class actions, securities and consumer protection. Before joining the firm, he was the Chief Deputy Attorney General for the State of Arkansas, where he directed all of the office’s legal work, including the representation of the state’s constitutional offices, agencies, boards and commissions. During his tenure in the Office of the Arkansas Attorney General, Williams was invited to testify before the United States House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means about his work to protect senior consumers from fraud. Before joining the Arkansas Attorney General’s staff, Williams worked for the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, U.S. Senator David Pryor and the U.S. Senate Sergeant at Arms.
As a member of the Arkansas House of Representatives, Williams chaired the House Judiciary committee in the 88th General Assembly, during which he was also the lead House sponsor for the governor’s comprehensive prison reform measure, which modified sentencing guidelines in an effort to save money in the state prison system. He has received numerous awards and recognition, including being featured as one of 12 “State Legislators to Watch for 2012” in Governing Magazine and honored as “Legislator of the Year” by the Little Rock Landlords Association, the Arkansas Realtors Association and the Arkansas Police Chiefs Association. Several other organizations, including the Arkansas Municipal League, AARP, the Arkansas Asset Coalition and the Arkansans Against Abusive Payday Lending, have honored Williams for his legislative work. Past honors include being named “Outstanding Government Lawyer” by the W. Harold Flowers Law Society; “Distinguished Alumnus” at Hendrix College, and to Arkansas Business’ “Forty under Forty.”
Williams earned his undergraduate degree at Hendrix College and holds an LL.M. in securities and financial regulation from Georgetown University Law Center in addition to his J.D. from Vanderbilt, where he served as chief justice of the Vanderbilt Moot Court Board during his third year. He is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas, and he is a member of the American, National, Arkansas and Pulaski County bar associations.
He is actively involved with several community and civic organizations and serves on the boards of the CARTI Foundation and Our House Inc.
He is married to Nicole Sippial, Class of 1994, and they have two children, Darrin Jr. and Payton.