Alumnae: Alumnae Profiles

Spelman Alumnae Named 40 Lawyers Under 40

Alumnae Profiles:
Lynnette Espy-Williams, C'2003

Lynnette D. Espy-Williams is a Partner in the Global Insurance Group of Cozen O’Connor. She is the Co-Chair of the firm’s Diversity Committee.  Espy-Williams focuses her practice on litigating matters pertaining to the health, life, accident, and disability insurance industry.  She has litigated numerous claims involving coverage issues, including bad faith, punitive damages, and deceptive trade practices claims.  Espy-Williams also handles complex commercial litigation, including matters pertaining to products liability. 

Beyond her work with Cozen O’Connor, Espy-Williams has used her legal background and leadership skills for the betterment of the Atlanta community.  She is the current President of the Gate City Bar Association, the oldest African-American bar association in the state of Georgia. Gate City’s mission is to create in the community a practical appreciation for the legal profession, to encourage persons of outstanding promise to return to the communities that need their services most, to oppose arbitrary and capricious laws in the state of Georgia, and to uphold and extend the principles of justice in every phase of American life.  Espy-Williams is also actively involved with the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys, American Bar Association, Atlanta Bar Association, and the Atlanta Council of Younger Lawyers. She was also the treasurer for the Young Lawyers Division of the National Bar Association (2010 – 2012).

As if serving in leadership roles for bar associations weren’t enough, Espy-Williams spends a significant amount of time participating in various pro bono activities and volunteering in the Atlanta community.  She has been recognized for her commitment by the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation and for her involvement with Perkerson Elementary School reading program, developed to alleviate the problems associated with illiteracy in the Atlanta Public Schools. 

Espy-Williams has also been very active as both a committee member and Co-Chair (2011) for the Community Law Clinic, an outreach program which offers free legal consultations to citizens of Atlanta in the areas of criminal, bankruptcy, foreclosure, and family law.  Since its inception, the Community Law Clinic has serviced hundreds of members of the community by providing pro bono assistance with respect to various legal issues that perpetually plague Atlantans.

Espy-Williams’ leadership was recognized when she was included in Georgia Trend Magazines’ Legal Elite, named as a Georgia Rising Star (2012 and 2013) amongst her peers, and was selected as Atlanta Business Chronicle’s “People in the News.” Ms. Espy-Williams is also a member of LEAD Atlanta (2013), the Young Lawyer’s Division of the State Bar of Georgia’s Leadership Academy (2013), New Leaders Council (2013), Outstanding Atlanta (2012), was selected as one of Atlanta’s Power 30 Under 30 (2010), and was selected as IMPACT and the National Bar Association’s Nation’s Best Advocates: 40 Lawyers Under 40 (2013). 

A native of Columbus, Ohio, Espy-Williams graduated from Spelman College, cum laude, with honors in economics.  She earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of Maryland where she was a staff member for The Business Lawyer as well as an associate articles editor for the Journal of Business and Technology Law. Following law school, Ms. Espy-Williams served as a judicial intern to Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears of the Supreme Court of Georgia.

Espy-Williams lives in East Atlanta with her husband, Ko J Williams.