Judge Calvin Williams Speaks on His Call to Serve
Judge Calvin Williams currently serves as Lieutenant Colonel with the United States Army Reserves and is the first African-American to hold Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge for Family Court.
I was born and raised in Montgomery from West Montgomery. I’m the youngest of eight siblings, seven boys and one girl. Raised by a single parent. My father died when I was six, so my mother raised all eight of us on her own. I went into the military straight out of high school and got the G.I. Bill. I knew all along that I wanted to be a lawyer, and I needed some money of course to go to college, which my mother couldn’t afford. So that’s what I did, I went into the military on active duty got the G.I. Bill and went to college, finished AUM and went on to law school.
Though it’s been different titles and jobs, it’s always been public service. That’s always been my calling. All of it is related to public service and making the community a better place for everybody to live. That’s the one mission, the one calling I have and fill compelled to do: to make our community better for our children, our families; and as a serviceman, to make our country a better place for our citizens to live in.
The best thing about my job is helping kids. Trying to change their behavior before it’s too late. If I can help one that’s great. I’m able to offer a unique perspective, not because I was raised in the projects in West Montgomery. I bring that unique perspective that if I’ve done what I’ve done where I was from then so can they. Hopefully they’ll recognize that it can get better for them.
My advice would be to have a plan. I literally planned how I would get to where I am. I didn’t know that I would end up a judge, but that’s the benefit of having a plan. Without a plan, they have nothing to strive for, no incentive to do well, to stay out of trouble. But with a plan, they now have a target to shoot for to stay ahead.
The common thread of a lot of what I see in family court is that there’s really an issue I think of parenting. A lack of good parenting that cause our young kids to go astray and to end up involved with the justice system.
Unfortunately you have a lot of single parents, mainly single mothers, who are trying to do the best they can on one hand and just aren’t able to give the child the attention they need to stay on the straight and narrow so to speak, and not get in with the wrong crowd, and make the wrong decisions, and end up in the criminal justice system. And then on the other hand you have the parents who for whatever reason unfortunately don’t have the skills, started very young, was never taught how to be a parent, or quite frankly not interested in being a parent. They just have a child and now that child is out in the community doing all kinds of things and now it’s up to us to try to rehabilitate that behavior in juvenile court. So the common thing is lack of good effective parenting of our kids.