NCVLI Staff Profile - William McMillen
William McMillen joined NCVLI in 2017 as a Staff Attorney. Click here to read William’s bio or read on to learn more about William in his own words.
What one thing has surprised you about victims’ rights since you started with NCVLI?
I was surprised to learn that through the nineteenth century in the United States a crime victim’s role in the criminal justice system was one in which crime victims headed the investigation and prosecution. As a public defender representing indigent criminal defendants in rural Alaska I saw first-hand the central role the police department and the district attorney’s office played in representing and litigating the community’s condemnation of defendant’s criminal conduct. Neither of these extremes are ideal. At NCVLI we envision a role for the crime victim that gives them (literally) a seat at the table, while protecting their right to dignity and respect throughout the criminal justice process.
As an organization what is NCVLI’s greatest strength?
NCVLI’s staff attorneys have decades of legal experience in victims’ rights work. The breadth and depth of victim centered legal knowledge this team draws upon is incomparable. Whether training victim advocates in best practices or joining as amicus curiae in supreme court cases, this talented legal staff sets the bar for excellence. As a new attorney to this field I recognize the privilege I enjoy working with this team and am humbled by their expertise.
Why should someone else get involved with NCVLI and victims’ rights?
Anyone who shares NCVLI’s desire to enhance fairness and justice for victims of crime should join our mission. NCVLI is the premier national network of victims’ rights experts. Dedicated partners across the nation turn to NCVLI for technical assistance, training, and resources to ensure crime victims are treated fairly and with dignity and respect.
What has been the most rewarding thing you have done in your professional life?
I started at NCVLI in February 2017, after a decade in the legal profession that included practice in civil law, criminal law, as well as public sector and private sector work. Without a doubt, my position at NCVLI provides me with the resources and latitude to really enjoy the three areas in which we focus our efforts: education, advocacy, and policy. Whether I’m teaching students, educating victim advocates, drafting an amicus brief, or polishing a victims’ rights article for publication, working with NCVLI to make a difference for victims is the most rewarding thing I’ve done in my professional life.
What would you most like NCVLI or the victims’ rights movement to accomplish in the next twenty years?
Wraparound victim service centers with enforceable laws protecting victims’ rights in all fifty states.