Every time opportunity knocked, William Hampton Williams II answered.

Every time opportunity knocked, William Hampton Williams II answered.

This 2005 Carthage High School graduate has kept his options open and remained flexible to try new things since his time in Carthage, which has led him down a road of numerous experiences and awarded him the confidence to take the bar exam this July.

“My parents have always been very supportive of my endeavors, and there’s no way I could have made it through without their love and support,” Williams said. “My family played a very important part, but I had a lot of great teachers and friends from Carthage that have been very supportive. What I came to appreciate about my experience at Carthage was how open the teachers were to letting me be involved in their programs even if I didn’t take their class. Ever since then I never hesitated to get involved in programs and activities that sounded interested in me, even if my education or degree program did offer them. When I worked at the White House I was still a full-time jazz performance major. Without the varieties of opportunities that CHS allowed me to participate in, I might not have had the confidence to take advantage of opportunities in college or law school.”

Williams graduated with a communications degree in 2009 from New York University. He says his major changed from jazz performance to political communications and media criticism when he developed an interest in politics. This May, Williams graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City school of law with a Juris Doctor. He says for the next two and a half months preparing for the bar.

“After that, I’ll be looking to join the presidential campaign for Mitt Romney then legal work,” Williams said.

Williams has been awarded with public service honors distinction for volunteering more than 200 hours of legal work. He said that is credited to something that hit a little close to home.

“That came from the 10 weeks I spent in Joplin last summer with the Missouri Attorney General’s Office in their temporary Consumer Protection Division office set up after the tornado,” Williams said. “While there I worked with Joplin residents in resolving issues with contractor disputes, landlord-tenant issues, and assisted in the investigation of fraud that arose in the aftermath of the storm.”

In addition to working for the Missouri Attorney General’s Office, Williams also spent time as a summer clerk at the Missouri Supreme Court for Chief Justice William R. Price, interned with Senator Roy Blunt in Washington, D.C., and worked at a clinic with the Violent Crimes Strike Force at the United States Attorney’s Office of the Missouri Western District.

What was Williams' motivation to pursue these accolades?

“To make the most out of each opportunity that has been presented,” was Williams' reply.

Williams is the son of Tom and the Honorable M. Keithley Williams, Carthage.