Sonni Choi Williams

City Attorney, City of Lockport

Sonni Choi Wlliams

Williams currently serves as the in-house city attorney for the City of Lockport, since her appointment by the city council in June 2017. Prior to her appointment, she worked as an in-house municipal attorney for the City of Peoria for nearly 18 years. She has over 24 years of experience in municipal law and civil litigation, including appeals before the state and federal appellate courts and the Illinois Supreme Court. She was elected in May 2021 by the Illinois State Bar Association as its Third Vice President, becoming the first woman lawyer of color as well as the first lawyer of Asian/Korean descent to be elected to that office. Through automatic ascension, she will become ISBA President in 2024.

Williams has been admitted to practice before the Central and Northern Districts of the U.S. District Courts, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court. She received her JD from the Northern Illinois University College of Law and her BA in history from the University of Iowa. She was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to the Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism from 2005 – 2016. The Supreme Court also appointed her to the ARDC Hearing Board, and she currently serves as a Hearing Chair member, presiding over attorney disciplinary cases. She is a member of the American Bar Association, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Will County Bar Association, Will County Women’s Bar Association, Black Bar Association of Will County, and DuPage County Bar Association, Justinian Society of Lawyers, Decalogue Society of Lawyers, and Women’s Bar Association of Illinois. Williams served two terms on the ISBA Assembly and two terms on the ISBA Board of Governors and chaired a number of ISBA committees and section councils. She currently serves a member of the Board of the Korean-American Bar Association of Chicago, the Asian-American Bar Association Chicago, Prairie State Legal Services, the NIU College of Law Board of Visitors (as its Chair), and the Lockport Township High School District 205 Foundation, which raises funds for student scholarships and school program grants.

Wiliams’ awards include the 2020 NIU College of Law Alumna of the Year Award, 2014 – 2015 ISBA Diversity Leadership Award, 2010 ISBA Board of Governors Award, 2008 Illinois Local Government Lawyers Association Annual Achievement Award, and 2006 NIU College of Law Young Alumnus of the Year Award.