Enterprising Woman Angela Cox Williams
In the early 90s, Angela Cox Williams was dating her high school sweetheart and studying speech therapy at USL in Lafayette (now ULL). Deep down, though, she felt the need to seek something more. Now, from her well-appointed, Slidell law office, Angela recalls those uncertain times. “I struggled to split $200 in rent, went without air conditioning and heard things scurrying in my apartment’s attic. A friend suggested joining the military to help with finances.”
In May of 1993, Angela joined the Louisiana Army National Guard and was placed in a JAG unit based on an aptitude test. Alone with just $20 in her pocket, she flew to Fort Jackson, South Carolina for basic training. “All divisions, male and female trained together back then. We endured strict routines, 4:30 am wake-up calls and long days of survival training. It was physically and emotionally challenging but probably the most intense and formative period in my life.”
Finding Her Calling
Angela switched her major to political science after gaining legal experience while working in her National Guard JAG unit during college. She recalls, “I thought I’d work in the legal field but wasn’t sure about law school.” When the Army suggested court reporting school, she seized the opportunity and drove to Fort Polk for the typing exam. “It was April 19, 1995 and I arrived to chaos – alarms going off, people huddled around TVs.” It was the day of the Oklahoma City bombing and 26 years later, remembering those events still brings the family advocate to tears. “I can still see that fireman handing the limp child to his mother.” I failed the test that day.
Shortly thereafter, one of Angela’s superior officers suggested she take the LSAT. A solid score gave her the confidence to follow her strengths. While attending LSU Law School, Angela married Kevin, whom she’d known growing up in Slidell and who later became a neighbor in her humble college apartment complex. They moved back to Slidell in 2000 where she opened her law practice and sought to grow a family. “Then the next challenge presented itself,” the counselor matter-of-factly recalls. “We struggled with fertility problems, but through the grace of God and medical technology, I was able to have three sons.” As evidenced by the myriad of family photos adorning her office, Angela beams, “They are the greatest blessings of my life!”
Although Angela and Kevin divorced after 13 years of marriage, the commitment to amicably raise their sons, Jude, 17, and Jonah, 15, is strong. Both families live in the same neighborhood, as does Angela’s father. “Throughout my career, I’ve been drawn to family law. The key is finding a compromise both sides can live with. Regarding co-parenting, I try to practice what I preach and keep our top priority the well-being and best interest of our boys. Going through my own divorce gave me a greater appreciation of the process. It’s a stressful, emotional, life-altering experience. I’ve changed things in my practice since then. I have a deeper sense of compassion for what my clients go through.”
Finding work/life balance allows the sought-after litigator, who is a Board Certified Specialist in Family Law, to maintain clarity and composure in her demanding role. She’s found that self-care, including daily workouts and family time, gives her the resilience to care for others. “I met my husband, John, on a blind date set up by one of my clients. We married in 2011 and now have a son in first grade, John Luke. During the lockdown last year, I got precious time with family. We stayed home for TV binging and game nights, and I was able to give the boys cooking lessons. As if she’s not busy enough, Angela recently began a new project. “Now, I’m working on refurbishing the family farmhouse John inherited. Home projects give me the mental break I need to balance work and home life.”
Seeing the Big Picture
Confident that her preparation results in the best outcome for clients, Angela doesn’t harbor stress. Her personal experience provides valuable insight. “There are stages in the divorce process, not unlike the stages of grief. I identify what stage clients are in and deliver the appropriate level of counseling. That gift of perception allows me to see the bigger picture and quickly navigate gray areas to identify solutions. Devising a plan of action provides hope to clients and helps them see their current situation isn’t where they’ll be forever.”
While Angela’s firm faced challenges from Covid, the office – which now often doubles as a virtual courtroom for Zoom hearings and trials – is family-focused. “My staff are more than employees. We’re good to each other personally and professionally. I focus on creating an atmosphere where everyone can thrive.”
On Her Own Terms
On her own life’s journey, Angela has achieved much. Seeking her path early on led to mentors recognizing her great potential. Conquering demanding military training helped form character and a no-nonsense, professional demeanor. With determination, she overcame fertility issues resulting in a deep appreciation for the gift of children. Relationship difficulties resulted in a more personally informed approach to her law practice. With each challenge, Angela has grown, strengthened and built her unique and balanced life – a life she’s created and lives on her own terms.
Angela Cox Williams is a Board Certified Specialist in Family Law. Her law office is located at
534 Fremaux Avenue in Slidell. For more information, call 985-847-2207 or visit angelacoxwilliams.com.
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