One thing Sarah Carthen Watson was sure of was that she wasn’t going to follow her mother’s footsteps into law.
She was certain of it until her junior year of college, until it became clear to her that the law was a great way to help create a more equal community. After earning a bachelor’s degree in education and social policy from Northwestern University, she entered law school. Carthen Watson already has several law-related experiences under her belt, including internships with the New York City Law Department and South African Commission on Human Rights.
What are your proudest career accomplishments?
While working at the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council this past fall, I successfully mediated over 50 landlord-tenant disputes. I quickly learned that once a case goes in front of the judge, landlord-tenant law is incredibly stacked against tenants. Therefore, even if it came down to negotiating a few more days for the tenant to move out, or a payment plan for back rent owed, I left court every time feeling like I had made a tangible difference in someone’s life.
What inspired you to get involved in the public service or justice system?
I was fortunate to grow up with a lot of resources, but my parents raised me to never take anything for granted. I was always encouraged to give back in any way that I could and to leave any place better than when I found it. As a result, all of my career and extracurricular activities have been geared towards education, advocacy and community service. When it came to selecting a practice area, civil rights law was a no-brainer.
What is something that would surprise people about you?
A lot of people would be surprised to know that I’m actually an introvert. Having been a debater and activist, the fact that I’m very vocal and confident often leads people to assume that I am an extrovert. However, I grew up an only child with the luxury of having a lot of alone time. I still very much get my energy from having time by myself to reflect and recharge.