NOW ACCEPTING NOMINATIONS FOR CBWLA'S LAWYER OF THE YEAR AWARD!
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.
A plaque designed by the Board of Directors will be presented to the recipient at the annual Spring Luncheon; the Spring Luncheon committee shall decide, each year based on programming, whether the recipient may provide a short acceptance speech (at either the private reception or during the main programing, or not at all).
Criteria for the Award
A lawyer who is a paid member of the CBWLA. Nominee must be actively engaged in the practice of law and/or a current sitting Judge (serving at any level of government) or recently retired from the bench/bar, within the current membership year. The primary area of practice/service must be in the Coastal Bend Region. The Nominee must exemplify one or more of the following criteria:
Provides positive influence to women in the law and in society
Promotes and/or advances diversity in the legal profession
Achieved a high degree of professional success
Committed to exemplary public service and social responsibility
Promotes issues and concerns of women in the legal profession
Contributes to the programming and/or events of CBWLA
Advances CBWLA’s purpose of networking, socializing, and/or professional support
Advances CBWLA’s purpose of providing continuing education
Provides exemplary contributions to CBWLA
Please click on the .pdf file below for full nominee criteria.
2022 CBWLA Lawyer of the Year Award Recipient Hon. Sandra Watts
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.