It is with great honor that we recognize Hon. Sandra Watts as the inaugural recipient of the CBWLA Lawyer of the Year Award. Judge Watts is a long-standing member of the CBWLA, having graciously presented for and contributed to our organization over the years. Committed to exemplary public service and social responsibility, Judge Watts has dedicated her legal career to effectuating positive change and exemplifies the Lawyer of the Year criteria.
Judge Watts has served as the Presiding Judge of the 117th District Court for over 15 years. She was first elected to the bench in 2003 and has run unopposed in each subsequent election. Although there have been many accomplishments during her judicial career, Judge Watts's major contributions to the judicial system include: 1) the creation over the first specialized court in Nueces County, the Nueces County Divert/Drug Court in 2004, which has been nationally recognized as one of the most successful drug court programs in the nation; 2) initiating and implementing for Nueces County the Jury Online Response Program to streamline the jury summons process, saving jurors time and the county money; and 3) more recently, initiating a Pre-trial Risk Assessment Program in Nueces County to reduce the jail population by releasing low risk offenders awaiting indictment and/or trial, and who were unable, for whatever reason, to make bond.
About the Award
The CBWLA Board of Directors established this award in 2022 in recognition of the variety of contributions our members have made in the legal profession and general Coastal Bend Community. Each year, any current CBWLA regular member or board member is invited to submit a nominee to the President and/or Secretary of the CBWLA Board of Directors (deadline to be set each year by the Spring Luncheon Committee) whom they feel exemplifies a positive influence to women in our legal community and in society.
Please click on the .pdf file below for full nominee criteria.