Joseph R. Williams is a partner at Pollock Begg. His diverse, comprehensive family law practice includes divorce and equitable distribution cases, custody and visitation, protection from abuse and support. Joe’s legal fortitude is evident in and out of the courtroom and he thrives on the challenges that arise with each unique client situation.
With collaborative training and certification from the Collaborative Law Association of Southwestern Pennsylvania, he is well poised to negotiate and keep a case out of court. However, Joe also is a tenacious litigator, respected by his peers and recognized for his courtroom successes. He has tried many cases throughout western Pennsylvania and has argued before the Pennsylvania Superior Court.
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.
After serving in several leadership roles within the Allegheny County Bar Association, Joe became its president-elect on July 1, 2020. As president-elect, and later as president, Joe will serve the ACBA’s approximately 6,000 members to ensure that the organization is fostering a culture of ethics and professionalism and championing equality and diversity in the legal community. The ACBA supports equal access to legal services and enhances the success of members through education, networking, leadership and professional development opportunities.
A creative and detailed writer, Joe authors for legal publications as well as mainstream media including: the Pennsylvania Bar Association Family Law Section, the Allegheny County Bar Association, and Pennsylvania Family Lawyer. Previously, Joe dished out advice to colleagues in his featured column in the Lawyers Journal, “Coffee Chat: Your Daily Cup of Joe,” and wrote 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 Shadyside.
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 in the alumni association and previously served as president of its Board of Governors.
Joe is currently president-elect of the Allegheny County Bar Association and will take the helm as president of the association on July 1, 2021. As president, he will preside over the ACBA’s governance; represent ACBA in regional, statewide and national legal matters; speak on behalf of the association to the community-at-large; and serve as a steward to the ACBA’s sections, committees and divisions.
He previously served on ACBA’s Board of Governors, is a past chair of the Young Lawyers Division and is a member of the Family Law Section.
In addition to his involvement with the local bar, Joe is active in the Pennsylvania Bar Association. He has served as a member of the PBA Family Law Section Council and was the Family Law Section program chair in 2019. Joe has previously represented Allegheny County on the executive council of the PBA Young Lawyers Division.
With a natural knack for public speaking, Joe frequently lectures on family law topics as well as issues affecting attorneys. He has served as a faculty member for Pennsylvania Bar Association and as a moderator and panelist for various seminars within the PBA and ACBA.
Recognized for excellence from the outset of his career, Joe has been named to the Best Lawyers in America list since 2018, recognized in family law, arbitration and family law mediation. Joe 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. In 2017, Joe received the Outstanding Young Lawyer Award honoring 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.
A passionate volunteer, Joe is a dynamic member of the legal community.
Joe is president-elect of the Allegheny County Bar Association, representing nearly 6,000 attorneys working to promote a just, accessible and inclusive judicial system.
ACBA serves the legal profession and community by fostering a culture of ethics and professionalism, championing equality and diversity, supporting equal access to legal services and enhancing the success of members through education, networking, leadership and professional development opportunities.
Joe has also served on ACBA’s Board of Governors and as chair of its Young Lawyers Division, leading his contemporaries 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.
Joe is an active member of the Duquesne Law Alumni Association and previously served as president of its Board of Governors.
In 2017, he was honored with the Young Lawyers Award during Allegheny County Bar Foundation Pro Bono Week, which recognizes volunteers and the service pro bono attorneys perform on behalf of those in need.
Face to Face
I love the practice of law and am often in the office on weekends, but I try to maintain an equally busy social life. I can usually be found trying one of Pittsburgh’s great restaurants on a Saturday night, but I also enjoy escaping the city and visiting my hometown in southeastern Ohio. When I need a bigger break, I love the Caribbean and the West Coast.
I recently moved from Downtown Pittsburgh to Shadyside and continue to pleasantly surprise myself with my ability to take on home improvement projects. You can learn how to do just about anything if you watch enough videos on YouTube!