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BY Abu Mubarik, 9:00am February 07, 2024,

Meet Fani Willis, the embattled DA and daughter of a Black Panther who is prosecuting Trump

Fani Willis. Photo: fultoncountyga.gov

Get to know Fani Willis; she is the first Black woman to lead Georgia’s largest district attorney’s office. She has over 19 years of experience as an attorney, leading more than 100 jury trials and handling hundreds of murder cases.

She was elected as the district attorney for Fulton County in Atlanta, Georgia, in 2021 after running against the sitting 6-term Fulton DA Paul Howard.

Growing up, Fani said she had always wanted to practice law, following in the footsteps of her father, a former Black Panther and criminal defense lawyer who practiced in the Washington, D.C., area. According to the New York Times, Willis was often brought to the courthouse by her father and put to work as his file clerk starting in elementary school. It is not surprising that she would grow up to pursue a career in law.

She studied and graduated from Howard University in Washington D.C. in 1992, before graduating from Emory University School of Law in 1996.

Fani, which means “prosperous” in Swahili, started her law career in the private sector, where she served thousands of members within her community as a representative for criminal justice, juvenile cases, and plenty of various civil matters, according to her profile.

Five years into practice, she accepted the offer to serve as an assistant district attorney for Fulton County in 2001. In line with her spirit to serve, she launched her firm called The Offices of Fani T. Willis, LLC., in Atlanta. She also became one of the few African Americans in Georgia to serve the Judicial Qualification Division. In this role, she prosecuted unethical judiciary actions.

She ran against her former employer Howard because the District Attorney’s Office in Fulton County was “broken” under his control, she said.

“From being a very, very little girl until I sit here today, there was never anything I’ve ever wanted to do but practice law or sit on the bench,” Willis explained. “I always knew that I wanted to be the district attorney, but in my mind, I would never run against the sitting DA… but the cries got louder and louder and louder… and I just took the leap of faith and did what God called me to do.”

Aside from practicing law, Willis also has another passion, which is her non-profit organization called Love for Carla. The institution focuses on raising awareness for sickle cell anemia after the disease afflicted a friend of Willis.

In recent days, she has been in the news over her romantic relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade, with whom she is working on the Georgia election case against Donald Trump and 14 other defendants.

“In 2022, District Attorney Willis and I developed a personal relationship in addition to our professional association and friendship,” Wade wrote in an affidavit attached to a 176-page motion Willis filed in court, according to The Guardian.

 Willis said that the relationship began after Wade was hired and called motions to disqualify her “meritless”.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: February 7, 2024


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