UEA General Counsel Named ‘Lawyer of the Year’
“Tracey (Watson) is the James Brown of lawyers - she's the hardest working lawyer in the business,” wrote Kass Harstad, of the law firm Strindberg & Scholnick, LLC about the UEA’s director of Legal Services and general counsel.
Watson was recently named Employment Lawyer of the Year by the Utah State Bar. The award recipient is recognized for: 1) making significant contributions to the legal community in the area of labor and employment law; 2) achieving a level of prominence and recognition in the labor and employment law field; 3) demonstrating consistent competence and effectiveness in handling labor and employment law matters: 4) making efforts to train and mentor other lawyers about labor and employment law; 5) making efforts to educate and inform the public about important labor and employment law issues; 6) and/or promoting and fostering high ethical standards of the practice of law in the area of labor and employment law.
UEA Executive Director Lisa Nentl-Bloom said Watson “is a fierce fighter to ensure that members' rights are upheld. To that end, she has trained our regional staff and leaders to be strong advocates for and with our members. But the part of Tracey that I really appreciate is her willingness to explore alternate strategies and creative resolutions to challenging situations. She has served at our side at the Legislature to ensure that new laws benefit our members rather than harm them. She has worked with legislative analysts to write code once agreements have been reached and she is adept at explaining our concerns to Legislators and advocates.”
“Tracey is a passionate and tireless advocate for her clients, as loyal to them as she is to her friends,” wrote Watson’s former law partner Carol Clawson. “The teachers she represents are lucky to have her on their side. Sure she will fight for them when she needs to, but she will do more…she will be there for them in the negotiation room, the hearing room, the courtroom, the Board room, the legislature and in the community, teaching others what they need to know about Utah's teachers. She cares about her work and what it means to her clients individually and to the group, the organization of teachers for which she works.”
Originally from Brooklyn, N.Y., Watson graduated in 2003 from the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah. She says she “enjoyed a rather circuitous path to her practice of law,” including professional experience in higher education administration and teaching, vocational school admissions, restaurant management and coaching intercollegiate women’s basketball.
Watson began her legal practice as a member of Clawson & Falk, LLC and after three years, opened a solo practice focused on family and employment law. She earned a master’s in exercise and sport science from the University of Utah and a bachelor’s in sociology from Skidmore College, N.Y.
In 2005 and again in 2008, Watson was named to the Utah Business Legal Elite in the area of employment law. She also served on the Board of Utah Legal Services, Equality Utah's legal panel, and as an adjunct faculty member for the University of Utah College of Health. She is a member of the Women Lawyers of Utah and previously served on its board.
As UEA general counsel, Watson serves as corporate counsel for the UEA and affiliated UniServ units in addition to representing UEA members in employment-related disciplinary and termination proceedings.