Who We Are
William "Peyton" Akers
William "Peyton" Akers is a lifelong native of Williamsburg, Virginia. After graduating from Jamestown High School, he earned his Bachelor of Arts from the Virginia Commonwealth University where he simultaneously acquired skills in leadership and philanthropy as a brother in the Theta Delta Chi fraternity. He continued his education by earning his Juris Doctor from Regent University School of Law. Following law school, he pursued his dream of being a trial attorney with the intention and goal of giving back to his community. Mr. Akers quickly developed a reputation for being an aggressive, yet compassionate litigator, landing him a spot on the list of the top 40 under 40 criminal defense attorneys for The National Trial Lawyers. Mr. Akers' dedication for helping those in need is reflected through his indigent defense work and seat on the board of multiple nonprofit organizations. He is motivated, competitive, and honest, and never takes on a case unless an attorney’s assistance is truly necessary. Mr. Akers’ strong ties to the community and driven personality have led him to become a reliable and successful advocate for his clients.
Thomas E. Cleator
Thomas E. Cleator, Esquire is Partner at Akers and Cleator Law Group P.L.L.C. His legal practice is focused on, but not limited to, criminal law, family/domestic practice, and civil litigation. Mr. Cleator graduated from the Citadel in 1989. After graduating from the Citadel, Mr. Cleator he spent 10 years as buyer for Bechtel. Mr. Cleator graduated from Regent University School of Law in May 2003 and has been licensed to practice law In Virginia since November 2003. After law school, he spent twelve years at the Virginia State Crime Commission as Staff/Senior Staff Attorney. In 2019 Mr. Cleator joined with Mr. W. Peyton Akers, Esq. and established Akers and Cleator Law Group P.L.L.C. Mr. Cleator is committed to providing his clients the highest standards of professionalism, knowledge of the law, and advocacy.
Deborah "Deb" Goodwin
Esq.- Associate Attorney
Deborah "Deb" Goodwin is a new Associate Attorney here at Akers & Cleator Law Group. Mrs. Goodwin was born and raised in New Kent, Virginia, and went on to complete her Bachelor's of Science in Psychology at the College of William and Mary, graduating Magna Cum Laude. She completed her law degree at the Marshall-Wythe School of Law, where she was an active member of the Black Law Students Association, a competitor with the William & Mary Law School National Trial Team, a writer for the Journal of Race, Gender, and Social Justice, and a worker in the Parents Engaged in Learning Equality Special Education Clinic. While in the 3rd year of law school, her Article entitled "Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Shorter: An Analysis of Lenient Sentencing for Female Sex Offenders in the United States" was published in Volume 25, Issue 2 of the Journal of Race, Gender, and Social Justice, which is ranked high in the nation among law Journals addressing issues of gender and social issues. Mrs. Goodwin became a member of the Virginia Bar in 2019 and has been with Akers & Cleator Law Group since. Mrs. Goodwin has gained significant recognition in practice and was awarded The Marquis Who's Who in America Among Female Lawyers in America for 2020-2021. Not only is Mrs. Goodwin passionate about the law, but she is also very involved in her church, community, and other humanitarian ventures. She is on the Board of Directors for Wings of Refuge, Inc., is a member of the local Williamsburg chapter of A21, a global organization that combats human trafficking, and is also a member of the Greater Peninsula Women's Bar Association. Mrs. Goodwin also serves as a student mentor for William & Mary Law School's Black Law Students Association. Mrs. Goodwin's passions and practice areas include Family Law, Guardian ad litem practice, and Special Education Law. Outside of law practice, Mrs. Goodwin is passionate about singing and writing music, spending time with family, and debating the intricacies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe! With Mrs. Goodwin on your case, you can be sure that the attorney-client communication with exceed the standard and that she will fight to gain justice for her clients.
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