Lori A. Williams, a partner and vice-president of Buckner, provides advice on issues relating to intercollegiate athletics, risk management and higher education law. Williams also is the chair of the firm's College Sports and Professional Sports Industry Groups. Williams previously served as the associate athletics director for risk management at the University of Kansas (KU). At KU, Williams worked with department and university-wide constituencies to ensure effective processes among areas impacted by risk management, including information technology, compliance, student services, human resources, facilities, event management, and academic support.
A longtime resident of Houston, Texas, Williams was formerly with the NCAA where she was on staff for eight and one-half years. During her tenure as a member of the enforcement services staff, Williams experienced a prolific career and was regularly commended by members of the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions for her great command of the cases and her ability to deliver complex facts from memory. Williams successfully investigated, processed, and presented over a dozen cases to the Division I and II Committees on Infractions. While with the NCAA, Williams served as a director of membership services and was later named the director of academic certification and review at the newly established NCAA Eligibility Center. There, Williams led the team responsible for reviewing and identifying questionable academic credentials provided by prospective student-athletes during the initial-eligibility certification process. Williams was the point person on all legal matters and worked closely with the NCAA Office of Legal Affairs. Williams was also tasked with creating and implementing the organization’s risk management program.
Williams has participated on multiple panels and spoken at numerous conventions and meetings sponsored by the NCAA, member institutions, conferences and affiliated organizations. In addition to being an adjunct instructor at a two-year college and a business college, Williams has been a guest lecturer for numerous undergraduate and graduate courses discussing ethics in sports, women in sports, risk management, and college athletics administration.
Prior to her stint with the NCAA, Williams was the assistant director of compliance and legal assistant to the associate commissioner at the Big 12 Conference in Dallas. Williams began her career in athletics during law school where she was instrumental in creating the University’s first athletics compliance manual.
Licensed to practice law in the state of Texas, Williams earned her bachelor's degree in business administration at Baylor University and her doctorate of jurisprudence from Texas Tech University School of Law. Williams has also earned an associate of risk management designation from the American Institute of Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters. Williams has been a member of the University Risk Management and Insurance Association since 2009 and authored, “Division I Enforcement Process: A Top-Down Approach to Shared Responsibility,” for publication in the 2014 URMIA Journal.