About Judge Williams

Judge Shermela J. Williams currently serves as the Chief Judge of the Family Division of the Fulton County Superior Court. She was elected to the Fulton County Superior Court in June 2020, and took office January 2021. Judge Williams has wanted to be a judge since she was a child, and thanks to the voters, she is living her dream!

Prior to coming to the bench, Judge Williams had a distinguished career with approximately 15 years of hands-on litigation and trial experience. Judge Williams was a prosecutor, criminal defense attorney, plaintiff and civil defense lawyer; in addition to representing parties on both sides of family law matters. Judge Williams tried over 25 jury trials and hundreds of bench trials during her career. A former law clerk with the United States Department of Justice, Judge Williams has worked with various esteemed civil law firms and non-profit organizations. She was a Senior Litigation Associate at Thomas Kennedy Sampson & Tompkins LLP (“TKST”), specializing in premises liability, negligent security, personal injury, and high stakes litigation cases. Prior to joining TKST, she was a Senior Assistant District Attorney with the Fulton County, DeKalb County, and the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Offices. In said capacities, she prosecuted misdemeanor and felony cases.  Most of her career as a prosecutor was spent prosecuting murder and sexual assault cases.  Judge Williams served as the Director of the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office’s Domestic Violence Task Force and was a member of the Fulton County Gender Equality Initiative Panel. In 2012, she received the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office Trial Court Lawyer of the Year and Trial Court Best All-Around Lawyer awards. Judge Williams was selected Lawyer to Watch by Attorney-At-Law magazine in 2018, and Mentor of the Year by The Daily Report in 2019.

Judge Shermela J. Williams is a proud native of Atlanta, GA who enthusiastically volunteers her time and talents to her community. She affectionately refers to her courtroom (4C) as 4 Community!  Judge Williams was an Adjunct Professor at Spelman College for over a decade. She also ran youth leadership programs for five years, wherein she taught in and oversaw conferences, as well as developed GirlsLead – a program geared towards empowering and educating young ladies on self-esteem, leadership, self-image, branding, goal setting, and other issues specific to today’s women. In 2022, Judge Williams received the Outstanding Service Award from We All Value Excellence (WAVE), a non-profit organization committed to servicing and empowering youth. Judge Williams received her Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center, and her Bachelor of Arts from Howard University. She is a member of a host of civic, community and professional organizations. Judge Williams is an alumna of Lead Atlanta, member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., and IMPACT United Methodist Church where she also serves as a Worship Facilitator. Judge Williams is a candle loving, tea enthusiast who loves pearls; and whose hobbies include traveling, shopping, watching tv/movies, cooking, “restaurant-hopping”, anything that makes her laugh, and spending time with family and friends.