Alumni - Featured Frog

 

Adrian Johnston
NAME & GRADUATION YEAR:
The Honorable Zuberi Williams '00
Major/Minor:
Business Administration & Marketing

WHO YOU ARE?
I am a listener.

I listen to my wife so I can be her loudest cheerleader in work, family, and personal growth. I listen to my children so I stay grounded in the authentic human condition. I listen to my colleagues because they are some of the smartest, thoughtful, and pragmatic judges in the country. I listen to my faith which reminds me that in some instances mercy and compassion are necessary, even though others may think a person does not “deserve it.”

I listen to every legal argument, every piece of evidence, and every life story in rendering a decision because individuals deserve a judge that is open-minded, fair, and listens to every word they say. I don’t always have to be the smartest person in the room, but I have to strive to be the most careful listener.

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT SINCE GRADUATION?
Reaching the judicial bench by the age of 36. Not just the actual appointment, but the journey. When you are young and going through the judicial nominating process you are not just enduring the intense vetting, but you also have the added challenge of trying to change minds. You are upsetting the applecart of tradition. In some minds, you are seen as arrogant and naive because you are jumping the line and not “waiting your turn.” You are an outsider, someone that is not part of the establishment. It is tough.

However, the appointment process presented the same fundamental truths that I learned at TCU. That people, no matter age, race, religion, or economic status, have more in common than they do in differences. We all love our families, care about our community, want to be treated fairly, and worry about what the future looks like. I was open to coaching and found real mentors who helped tell my story to others. While all minds did not, and have not changed, a critical mass of folks began to focus more on my legal ability and less on my age. They began to genuinely listen to my story, spoke up for me to their friends, and gave me a real chance.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT BEING A TCU ALUMNI?
I bleed purple; I rock a purple tie every Friday; my chambers is decked out in Horned Frog chachkies. Because I live in the DC area, there are not a large number of TCU Alumni out here. So, when TCU does well nationally in academics or athletics, I get all the attention because I am the only person a lot of folks know who graduated from TCU. I’m not going to lie, I like that attention.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY WHILE AT TCU?
There are so many -- playing Ultimate Frisbee on the old Tom Brown lawn, sneaking into Sid Richardson at midnight to play capture the flag, and pretending to be athletes eating during the “athletes only” dining time at Eden’s North.

If I had to choose one, my favorite would be the 2:00 am ritual migration to Whataburger on West Berry, on a Saturday night. It was the after party spot. Everyone from TCU was there ordering breakfast taquitos. I had some of the most colorful conversations there and met some of the most interesting people.

WHERE CAN YOU BE FOUND ON A SATURDAY AFTERNOON:
I am a pop culture guru! I’m always doing something tv, movie, or celebrity related. You can find me at the movie theater, reading a graphic novel at our local coffee house, or binging on Netflix at home.

WHERE CAN WE FIND, FOLLOW AND FRIEND YOU?
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/zuwilliams/
Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zuberi_Williams
Email: zuberi.williams (at) mdcourts.gov