Kendell Williams, NEXT Leadership Class of 2023

November 15, 2022

Kendell Williams is one of the 21 members of the NCAJ NEXT Leadership Program class of 2023. The program, which graduated its first class in 2022, identifies the state’s emerging trial lawyer leaders.

Kendell Williams

Lives in: Charlotte

Law degree from: Elon University School of Law

Works as: Associate attorney at CR Legal Team PLLC

Legal Association Involvement: Mecklenburg County Bar Association’s Judicial Nominating Committee and the Diverse Lawyer Mentoring Program


As a new attorney, I would like to become more involved in NCAJ so I can strengthen my leadership and trial skills. I am eager to contribute to a community of diverse lawyers who have the shared interests of service to the organization as well as becoming better attorneys in the process. The NEXT program is essential in building strong connections between future lawyer leaders throughout North Carolina, and this principal is fundamental to me because I truly believe a lot of positive outcomes require a team of strong, diverse members ready to take action.

Why is the idea of criminal justice important to you?

Criminal justice is important to me because I believe everyone deserves representation. I practiced as a public defender because I understand and believe everyone has a voice and someone has to be a voice for those who have been silenced or feel as though they are not being heard. As the United States Criminal Justice system is inherently flawed, I’ve fought since high school to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline in minority communities by starting reading buddy programs, speaking to local schools about the importance of higher education, and serving my community in the public sector.

What is your vision for the future of NCAJ?

In the next five to 10 years I see NCAJ as a diverse organization implementing new and innovative ideas to further develop leadership within our profession. In the coming years NCAJ will began to benefit from actions that are being taken now to broaden NCAJs outreach and provide even more support to practicing attorneys and our communities.

Away from work …

I enjoy learning about different cultures and traveling to experience different traditions. I love debating and learning new skills whether they are recreational or career building. I have a 7-month-old puppy who loves running and playing with anything and anyone. I also enjoy basketball, football and tennis.