James Ryan Williams volunteered with the Illinois Innocence Project in 2009 while studying Psychology at UIS. Shocked by the sad realities of our criminal justice system, Ryan decided to pursue a legal education. While in law school, Ryan served as a student public defender and clerked at an appellate law firm. In his final semester, Ryan returned to Springfield for an internship in the Federal District Court for the Central District of Illinois. After graduation, Ryan was hired as an Assistant Appellate Defender in the Fourth District Office of the State Appellate Defender.