billy j. williams

Billy J. Williams, former U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, serves as a partner in Best Best & Krieger LLP’s Environmental & Natural Resources practice group. During his 20-year tenure with the Department of Justice, Billy became widely known as a consistent, balanced and effective litigator and leader who is dedicated to the pursuit of unbiased justice. Now in private practice, Billy serves his clients in Oregon and across the nation with this same fervent advocacy, always committed to solving the seemingly unsolvable.

Billy’s practice covers a full range of environmental and litigation issues. In addition to his government agency experience and relationships, Billy has groundbreaking and ever-relevant experience in land management, civil disputes, crisis management, tribal matters, corporate and government investigations, cannabis regulation and more. With meaningful and transferable skills in building trust to empower confidence of clients, he is a valued counselor, strategist and consensus-builder.

As U.S. attorney in Oregon from 2015-2021, Billy worked to forge relationships, foster understanding, and represent victim and state interests. He served on numerous advisory subcommittees and working groups, including the Native American Issues Subcommittee, Civil Rights Subcommittee, Border and Immigration Subcommittee, Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee, Ninth Circuit Fairness Committee and as chair of the Attorney General’s Marijuana Working Group.

Before serving as U.S. attorney, Billy held additional leadership roles with the DOJ, including as first assistant U.S. attorney, chief of the Criminal Division, chief of the Violent Crimes Unit, and as the district’s Indian Country assistant U.S. attorney and tribal liaison.

Before launching his career in federal service, Billy served as a senior deputy district attorney in the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office in Portland, Oregon. During his decade-long tenure, he specialized in prosecuting violent crimes, including homicide and sexual violence.

Billy and his wife, Teena Fife, enjoy spending time in the outdoors hiking, biking, skiing, golfing and international travel. Billy enjoys a long history of community engagement and building bridges of understanding between diverse communities, law enforcement and business leaders.


  • Willamette University College of Law, J.D.
  • Washington State University, B.A., criminal justice


  • Oregon


  • National Association of Former United States Attorneys
  • Urban League of Portland, board member, 2010-2015

Honors & Awards

  • Distinguished Service Award, United States Attorneys’ Office, 2021
  • Oregon District Attorney’s Association Appreciation Award, 2021
  • Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Appreciation Award, 2021
  • Oregon-Idaho High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program Executive Board Appreciation Award, 2021
  • Friends of the Muslim Educational Trust Award, 2019
  • Citizen’s Crime Commission Northwest Hero Award, 2016
  • Douglas County Oregon Appreciation Award for Service in Response to the Umpqua Community College Mass Shooting, 2015
  • DOJ Director’s Award for Superior Performance in Indian Country/District of Oregon, 2014
  • DOJ Special Commendation for Outstanding Service in the Civil Rights Division, 2014
  • U.S. Attorney of Oregon for Contributions to Indian Country in Oregon, 2001