Prior to being appointed the City Attorney for the City of Lockport, Sonni Choi Williams worked as an in-house municipal attorney for the City of Peoria for over 17 years. Ms. Williams has over 18 years of experience in areas including municipal law; litigating complex civil tort cases in state and federal courts; pursing and defending injunction cases; and successfully briefing and arguing appeal cases before the 3rd District Appellate Court, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Illinois Supreme Court.
Prior to her lengthy legal career with the City of Peoria, Ms. Williams worked as an Assistant Public Defender in Tazewell County, an associate attorney at Dick L. Williams & Associates, and as a traffic prosecutor intern for the Tazewell County State’s Attorney.
Ms. Williams has been admitted to the practice of law in Illinois in 1999; U.S. District Court for the Central District, Illinois in 2002; U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit in 2007; and U.S. Supreme Court in 2013. She received her J.D. from the Northern Illinois University College of Law in 1999 and her B.A. in history from the University of Iowa in 1994. Ms. Williams was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to the Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism from 2005 to 2016 and was appointed and still serves as a Chair member of the Hearing Board for the Illinois Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission (ARDC), presiding over attorney disciplinary cases. She is a member of the American Bar Association (ABA); Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA); Will County Bar Association (WCBA); Will County Women’s Bar Association (WCWBA); Korean-American Bar Association (KABA); and National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). Ms. Williams has served two terms on the ISBA Assembly and has served two terms as an ISBA Board of Governor (2012-2018). She is also on the Board of the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and the Board of the Illinois Local Government Attorneys Association (ILGL).
Ms. Williams has received the 2006 Northern Illinois University College of Law Young Alumnus of the Year Award; the 2008 Illinois Institute of Local Government Law Annual Achievement Award; the 2010 ISBA Board of Governors Award; and the 2014-2015 ISBA Diversity Leadership Award. She has been the past chair of the PCBA Diversity Committee (2005-2007); PCBA Young Lawyers Committee (2002-2003); PCBA Lincoln Memorial Banquet Committee (2013); ISBA Standing Committee on Racial and Ethnic Minorities and the Law as its Chair (2009-2010); and PCBA Standing Committee on Mentoring ( 2012-2013).
Sonni Williams has been a presenter on various seminars including Federal Practice Seminar; Open Meetings Act; Ethics; New Supreme Court Rules on Ordinance Prosecution; Landlord Licensing and Regulations; Whistle Blowing in the Government Sector; Pros and Cons of Administrative Adjudication of Municipal Code Violations; and Vehicle Impoundments.
Ms. Williams is a member of Lockport Rotary Club and weather permitting, loves biking to work and running on the I&M Canal Trail.