Biography of Robert L. McWilliams
San Francisco, CA Biographies





ROBERT L. McWILLIAMS
Coming to San Francisco in 1913 with an excellent record as an attorney, and with civic service to his credit, Robert L. McWilliams has enhanced his reputation during the years he has practiced here, being widely known as one of the city's most skillful trial and appellate lawyers, also as instructor and assistant professor in the Hastings Law College and dean of the San Francisco Law School. He was born March 27, 1881, in Neola, Iowa, and is a son of Hugh L. and Anna (Stuart) McWilliams.

Hugh L. McWilliams, who was an eminent attorney of Spokane, Washington, was born in Mineral Point, Wisconsin, of Irish parentage, and in the Badger state was reared and educated. He died in 1929, when he was in his seventy ninth year, at which time he was president of the Spokane Bar Association. His wife, who is now a resident of Spokane, is of Scotch descent. Her parents were among the early settlers of Iowa, where she married Mr. McWilliams. She was one of a large family of children.

Robert L. McWilliams completed his public school courses, and then entered the University of California, from which he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1904 and his Bachelor of Laws degree in 1906. After his graduation, he became associated with his father in the practice of law in Spokane, Washington, and so remained until 1913, in which year he moved to San Francisco, where he became affiliated with the well known legal firm of Morrison, Dunne & Brobeck. He retained this connection for five years and next was a partner in law practice with George Hatfield from 1918 until 1921. Since the latter year, he has been alone, with offices in the Financial Center building at 405 Montgomery street. He is specializing with marked success in trial and appellate cases. Prior to coming to San Francisco, Mr. McWilliams had won outstanding success in Spokane. In 1909-10, he was assistant city attorney, and from 1910 to 1912 was chief deputy district attorney of Spokane. He is a member of the San Francisco, the California State and the American Bar Associations.

Mr. McWilliams was married to Miss Lucy Sullivan, who was born in the state of Massachusetts. They have a daughter, Helen, and make their home at 424 El Centro street, in Hillsboro, California. Mrs. McWilliams takes a prominent part in social and club affairs, and is ex president of the Burlingame Women's Club, one of the important women's organizations of the peninsula.

Mr. McWilliams has given his support in politics to the democratic party, but has not been a candidate for public office. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus, of which he is ex state advocate. He also belongs to the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Bohemian Club and the Commonwealth Club. He is an honorary member of the Phi Delta Phi and the Kappa Sigma Delta law fraternities. His time is entirely devoted to his profession and to his family, with both of which he finds his greatest pleasure and inspiration in life.

From:
The History of San Francisco, California
Lewis Francis Byington, Supervising Editor
Oscar Lewis, Associate Editor
The S. J. Clark Publishing Company
Chicago-San Francisco 1931


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