Jerre Williams earned a bachelor's degree from University of Denver in 1938, and a legal degree from Columbia University in 1941. He was a member of the faculty at University of Iowa College of Law from 1941 to 1942. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Air Force. After the war, he taught briefly at University of Denver Law School. In 1946 he joined the law faculty at University of Texas, where he spent the rest of his teaching career. He was appointed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1980. He served on the bench until the time of his death in 1993.