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Judge Williams was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals in June 1986, and took senior status in September 2001. He graduated from Yale College (B.A. 1958) and from Harvard Law School (J.D. 1961). Judge Williams was engaged in private practice from 1962 to 1966 and became an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York in 1966. From 1969 until his appointment to the bench, Judge Williams taught at the University of Colorado School of Law. During this time, he also served as a Visiting Professor of Law at UCLA, University of Chicago Law School, and Southern Methodist University and was a consultant to the Administrative Conference of the United States and the Federal Trade Commission.