Latangie Williams is a Jamaican-American immigration attorney based in Jacksonville, Florida. The mother of two initially aimed to become a celebrity criminal law attorney, but found her passion in immigration law. Today, she serves the needs of Jamaicans, locally and internationally, in her job and as the President of Jamaicans United, Inc. “I think the immigration work that I do is trailblazing as I am able to keep families united. The human trafficking work is also something that is important as it helps to prosecute traffickers while bringing victims out from the shadows,” said Williams.

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What inspired your interest in immigration law?

The O.J. Simpson trial sparked my interest in the legal field. I remember coming home from high school and being glued to the TV everyday. That’s when I decided I wanted to be a celebrity, criminal law attorney. However, I didn’t care for my criminal law course in law school and found my way into immigration as a specialty. It has indeed become my passion.

What was one extreme challenge you faced in becoming an attorney and how did you overcome it?

During my first semester of law school, I could not afford to purchase my books because I had to quit my job to attend, so I wasn’t working. I had to rely on using the library’s reserve set of books, which could be checked out for use in two hour intervals. I had to work quickly because I had a 4-year-old and 1-year-old that I needed to pick up before their daycare closed.

Once I let my stepmother know what was going on, she helped me. Feeling guilty for burdening her, I found previous editions on Amazon and saved a ton on books.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you’ve received, that you would pass on to the next generation?

The most valuable piece of advice I’ve received came from my father. As a teenager that “can’t wait to be grown,” my father always said “don’t be in a rush to grow up.” Now, I wish I was still a child being cared for by my late father and stepmother.

Who was the most influential or inspiring person in your life and why?

Phylicia Rashad because of her poise and character in her portrayal of Claire Huxtable in “The Cosby Show.” Her quick wit, lessons taught to her children and line “let the record show” inspired how I discipline my children and my personality as a woman and lawyer.

Trailblazer Latangie Williams is President of Jamaicans United Inc

What would people you know find surprising about you?

People would find it surprising that I love to bake. Most people know I order out a lot now that my kids are off to college, but I think they assume I go nowhere near the kitchen. However, I spent many days slaving over the stove when my kids were younger. I no longer desire to do that. Besides, I don’t know how to cook for one person now that I’m an empty nester.

What are you most grateful for in your life?

My children and my best friend. They have saved me in ways they could never imagine. 

What would you like to see change within the Caribbean or Caribbean diaspora?

I would love to see us pour back into the Caribbean so that many of our developing nations can be safe and prosperous havens for us to return home to someday.

What is your favorite traditional childhood meal from your home country?

My favorite dish is the national dish: Ackee and Saltfish served over boiled dumplings with plantains on the side.

What are your favorite extracurricular activities?

My favorite extracurricular activities include completing my 5 mile daily walk, baking, taking naps and visiting other countries and states with the United States.

Are there any important upcoming projects or developments you’re looking forward to executing in the near future?

I am looking forward to completing my long overdue book, hosting events for Caribbean Heritage Month and performing customer service.

How can our readers follow you online?

I can be found on Instagram @altruisticattorney


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