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Mark Spencer Williams

Williams effectively represents clients in family law cases such as separation and divorce, child custody and support, and property settlement, as well as education law cases.

Mark Spencer Williams, attorney at law

Williams provides legal services to clients on family law issues, Title IV Federal Student Financial Aid issues, real property law, and civil litigation.

A native of Southern Pines, North Carolina, Williams is the product of two very hard working school teachers. His father, Coach John Wiley Williams, was Pinecrest High School's first Athletic Director and his mother, Patricia, taught first grade at Southern Pines Elementary until she retired. After leaving Southern Pines, Williams worked and lived in Boone, North Carolina while he obtained three degrees at Appalachian State University.

Prior to becoming an attorney, Williams was the Director of Financial Aid & Veterans Services (FAVSO) at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and President of the Center for Higher Education Support Services (CHESS), a consulting firm serving colleges and universities.

Williams has fourteen years experience in the administration of federal student financial aid programs and analysis of higher education research topics. He also has a broad range of experience in performance improvement consulting. His experience includes all activities related to the oversight and financial management of federal, state and institutional student aid funds including leveraging enrollment through financial aid awards, audits, reporting, and management. Williams has provided consulting services to more than 50 institutions of higher education including public, private, and community colleges.

He is one of three who conceptualized, obtained funding and created LearnStudentAid.org, a national training program for high school counselors and financial aid administrators funded with nearly $1M by FIPSE. The site provides training for more than 80,000 high school counselors and 8,000 financial aid administrators.

Williams has analyzed, designed, and managed computer system applications for various higher education activities. Before establishing CHESS, he provided management consulting services to institutions of higher education while working for KPMG Peat Marwick LLP, a "Big 5" accounting firm.

As a speaker, Williams provides training at national, regional, and state student aid conferences. Topics have have included Legal Issues in Federal Student Financial Aid administration, Title IV statutory and regulatory issues, staffing, higher education research, technology issues, and leadership in higher education.

Bar Admissions

  • North Carolina, 2005
  • District of Columbia, 2006
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina, 2005


  • J.D., cum laude, 2005
    Campbell University, Buies Creek, NC
  • Ed.S., Leadership & Higher Education, Administration, 1994
    Appalachian State University, Boone, NC
  • M.A., Leadership & Higher Education, Administration, 1991
    Appalachian State University, Boone, NC
  • B.A., Philosophy & Religion; Minor, Business Management, 1990
    Appalachian State University, Boone, NC


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