Beyond the Ink: Passionate public defender tattoos names of defeated clients on back. What are you doing to #BeUnprecedented?

Posted on 09-29-2014 by
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Photo Credit: Todor Rusinov /

Art is everywhere and can be seen in many forms, including tattoos, and behind every tattoo is a story. Georgia-based public defender Travis Williams is so dedicated to his profession that he gets a tattoo as a remembrance of each court case lost. For Travis, the ink represents an uphill fight to help those in unfavorable circumstances.

“[The tattoos are] a mural that is representative of the career path I have chosen,” Travis said during an interview via “It’s a constant reminder of my belief to fight for the U.S. Constitution and defend the rights of the accused.”

As a public defender handling Class 1 felonies (the most serious crimes), many of these clients plead guilty 90 percent of the time due to their economic circumstances. Travis chose to be a public defender so he could give the poor the right to a “level of legal representation that is on par or superior to a paid attorney.”

Despite his heavy workload, which involves around 100 clients at any given time, and lack of access to research due to lack of funds, Travis has done fairly well in court. In 25 felony jury trials, he has lost only 8 times, and, as a result, 8 client names are prominently tattooed across his back.

While Travis has to deal with the many hardships associated with the job, he is known as a warrior for justice his passion is to never stop winning.

What are you doing to be unprecedented? Tell us your story.

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