Joseph R. Williams is a partner at Pollock Begg Komar Glasser & Vertz LLC. His diverse, comprehensive family law practice includes all types of economic cases, custody and visitation, protection from abuse and support. Joe’s legal fortitude is evident in and out of the courtroom. He thrives on the challenges that arise with each unique client situation and he is collaboratively trained, holding a certificate from the Collaborative Law Association of Southwestern Pennsylvania.
With hard work and long hours, Joe has risen through the ranks quickly at Pollock Begg since starting as a law clerk in 2008. As a new associate, Joe worked closely with firm leadership on their cases in addition to building his own clientele. Learning from all of the partners and incorporating their strengths into his own legal practice, Joe has proven himself a natural leader and an energetic force on the Pittsburgh legal scene. In 2013, Joe was named to the Lawyers on the Fast Track by The Legal Intelligencer, an honor bestowed upon just 38 people statewide.
Known for his charisma and charm outside the courtroom, Joe is a tenacious litigator, respected by his peers and recognized for his courtroom successes. Joe has tried many cases throughout western Pennsylvania and has argued before the Pennsylvania Superior Court.
A creative and detailed writer, Joe authors for legal publications as well as mainstream media including: the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, the Pennsylvania Bar Association Family Law Section, the Allegheny County Bar Association Bench and Bar Conference Family Division Sound-Off, and Pennsylvania Family Lawyer. Joe dishes out advice to young lawyers in his featured column in the Lawyers Journal, “Coffee Chat: Your Daily Cup of Joe,” and writes for The Legal Intelligencer. Some of Joe’s work, includes: “The Art of Balancing Work for Multiple Partners;” (PDF) “Taking Your Book of Business From Pamphlet to Novel;” (PDF) “The Most Important Interview Question for a Young Lawyer.” He also frequently lectures at continuing legal education seminars and is sought after as a moderator and panelist for industry discussions.
Originally from a small town in southeastern Ohio, Joe currently resides in Downtown Pittsburgh. In his time away from the office, he loves checking out the Pittsburgh restaurant and comedy club scenes and visiting his family.
Joe received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Bethany College in 2006. He received his doctorate of law from the Duquesne University School of Law in June 2009, where he remains active and is a member of the Board of Governors for the alumni association.
During his rapid ascension to partner, Joe collected an impressive list of accolades. He has been named to the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers Rising Stars list since 2012 and was named a Lawyer on the Fast Track by The Legal Intelligencer in 2013.
Joe is past chair of the Allegheny County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, which serves nearly 2,000 young attorneys in Allegheny County, and is a member of the Family Law Section as well as serves on the ACBA Board of Governors. In 2017, Joe received the Outstanding Young Lawyer Award. This award is given to a member of the ACBA who has practiced law for less than 10 years and has distinguished himself through service to the association, community involvement and professional excellence.
Joe was also nominated for the first time in 2017 for Best Lawyers in America and received enough votes for the family law list as well as the sub categories of family law arbitration and family law mediation. Best Lawyers usually does not recommend nomination of lawyers practicing fewer than 10 years as it is extremely rare for those lawyers to receive enough votes from peers for recognition. Yet, Joe excelled again!
In addition to his involvement with the local bar, Joe is active in the Pennsylvania Bar Association. He is currently serving as a member of the PBA Family Law Section Council and has previously represented Allegheny County on the executive council of the PBA Young Lawyers Division. He is a member of the Collaborative Law Association of Southwestern Pennsylvania.
With a natural knack for public speaking, Joe frequently lectures on family law topics as well as issues affecting young lawyers. He has served as a faculty member for Pennsylvania Bar Institute and as a moderator and panelist for various seminars within the PBI and ACBA.
A passionate volunteer, Joe is a dynamic member of the legal community. As the chair of the Allegheny County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, he led fellow young lawyers in public service, networking, educational and diversity endeavors. During Joe’s leadership, the ACBA Young Lawyers Division was recognized as first place in the American Bar Association for service to the bar, based on Joe’s program The Little Black Book Project. The YLD gives young lawyers a way to partake in bar activities, a forum for continuing legal education and an outlet for socializing with their legal contemporaries. Joe is also treasurer of the Duquesne Law Alumni Association Board of Governors and serves on the ACBA Board of Governors. In 2017, he was honored with the Young Lawyers Award during Allegheny County Bar Foundation Pro Bono Week. Pro Bono Week recognizes volunteers and the service pro bono attorneys perform on behalf of low-income clients.
Joe donates his time to many other organizations including the Salvation Army, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the ACBA’s Wills for Heroes program.
Face to Face
Though you will often find me at the office on the weekends, I try to counterbalance my busy work life with an equally busy social life. I love travelling, spending time with friends and family and enjoying culinary experimentation at the amazing restaurants here in Pittsburgh. My favorite places to travel have been Greece and Hawaii (you can’t go wrong with Hawaii), but I also love taking weekend road trips to visit my friends in Washington D.C., Baltimore and Cleveland.
I am the first lawyer in my family and am proud to say my younger sister is following in my footsteps and going to Duquesne Law School, my alma matter. I’m grateful to be able to spend time with her and share my experiences with her.
I have a great sense of humor and love going to comedy clubs. Despite roasting all of the partners at our 2013 holiday party, I was promoted to partner in 2014!