“Statistically as a young African American male in court, the pinstripes on my three piece suit was supposed to be a different kind, perhaps black and white and the type of suit with no buttons.”
These are the reflections of Kenneth M. Willis, a passionate criminal defense and civil rights attorney representing the poor and disenfranchised; whether it was in the small town of Opelousas, Louisiana or New York City, Kenneth had a purpose to fulfill for those who were not as fortunate as the young boy from the Deep South.
Kenneth was born and raised on the Westbank of New Orleans in Marrero, Louisiana where he graduated from John Ehret High School. Kenneth attended Southern University and A&M College of Baton Rouge, LA where in only in three years, he earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and later earned a Juris Doctorate from Southern University Law Center.
Kenneth experienced paradoxical highs and lows in his pursuit of success, from graduating as the number one ranked student in the College of Business to cleaning bathrooms for gas stations the very next year. As quoted in one of his speeches… “Sometimes you have to downgrade yourself to upgrade yourself.”
Kenneth confronted adversity head-on his first year in law school when he and his family were devastated by the effects of Hurricane Katrina. He recalls, “There were about 14 of us under one roof, all of a sudden the demands of law school were an afterthought and you’re just praying that everyone will make it out of New Orleans alive.”
Kenneth’s upbringing and personal experiences fueled his passion for representing those who have been afflicted and abused and often times discarded by society. At the tender age of 25, Kenneth established the Willis Law Firm, LLC and currently serves as the firm’s owner and managing attorney. Kenneth is a member of the Louisiana and New York State Bar and maintains a multi-state law firm in Baton Rouge, LA and New York City. As a trial attorney, Kenneth primarily focuses in the areas of Criminal Defense, Civil Rights, and General Civil Litigation.
Kenneth has been interviewed by Rolling Stone Magazine, KATC ABC News and The Advocate, referenced in the Los Angeles Times, featured in Essence Magazine and appeared on ESPN.
As a highly touted keynote speaker, Kenneth uses his unique and dynamic abilities as a litigator and public speaker to address diverse audiences regarding a wide array of inspirational, entrepreneurial, social and legal topics. He especially enjoys sharing his personal experiences to inspire his fellow millennials to achieve astounding success despite periods of overwhelming despair.