Professor Watson is a specialist in health law and health care access for the poor. She has spent her legal career advocating on behalf of low-income people, both as a legal services lawyer and as a law professor.
From 1977 to 1981, Professor Watson was director of clinical education at Tulane University School of Law. She founded both Tulane’s Law Clinic and its Trial Advocacy program.
From 1980 to 1987, Watson was a legal services lawyer in Louisiana and Alaska. In Louisiana, she served as managing and senior attorney in the health, welfare and elderly units of the New Orleans Legal Assistance Corporation. She was also director of the Farmworkers Legal Assistance Project, a statewide legal services program representing migrant and seasonal farm workers. She spent three years in Dillingham, Alaska, as the supervising attorney of the Alaska Legal Services Corporation Bristol Bay office, a circuit riding through 32 native villages throughout southwest Alaska.
Currently, Professor Watson is advocating for improved access to Medicaid services for people with disabilities and others. She received a grant from the Missouri Protection and Advocacy Service, the Missouri Planning Council on Development Disabilities and the Southern Disability Law Center to write An Advocate’s Guide to Missouri MC+/ Medicaid for People with Disabilities, a reference guide for lawyers and other advocates.
Professor Watson joined the School of Law in 2001 as a full professor. Previously, she was on the faculty at Mercer University School of Law, where she taught for 14 years. Watson has been a visiting scholar and professor at Seton Hall University School of Law and Saint Louis University School of Law. She is on the faculty of the School’s Center for Health Law Studies.
Professor Watson is a frequent speaker to consumer, disabilities rights and children’s groups about Medicaid and access to care. She has written extensively on racial and ethnic disparities in health care, health reform, physicians and charity care, and health care for those who are homeless. She is editor of the book, Representing the Poor and Homeless: Innovations in Advocacy. She also authored three editions of the book, A Georgia Advocate’s Guide to Health Care.
Professor Watson is a former member of the ABA Commission on Homelessness and Poverty. She also served on the National Health Law Program Task Force on Civil Rights and Health Care Reform during the Clinton Health Reform Initiative.