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NACUA's First Decade Award

Shelley Carthen Watson - 2010

Shelley Carthen Watson is an associate general counsel in the office of the general counsel at the University of Minnesota, which she joined in 1999. Her practice is primarily devoted to labor and employment matters. Prior to coming to the University, Shelley was a partner with the law firm of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, and served as Deputy Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights and as Executive Director of the Hennepin County Bar Association and Hennepin County Bar Foundation.

Her service on other local and national boards includes the ABA Standing Committee on Lawyer Referral, Minnesota Minority Lawyers Association, Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers, Fund for the Legal Aid Society, Macalester College, and Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, as well as several civic boards.

Shelley received a B.A. with honors from Macalester College in 1982 and a J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law in 1985.

Since joining NACUA in 2001, Shelley has quickly become an active member and has been a frequent speaker and moderator (11 times in the past seven years since she was first a moderator in 2003). She served as a member of the Board of Directors from 2006-2009. She also has served on several committees including the Committee on Finance and Audit, Committee on Program for Annual Conference, Committee on Legal Education and most recently the Committee on Membership and Member Services.

Shelley has generously given back to the Association in her first nine years and models NACUA’s core values of civility, collegiality, diversity, and respect. She has served as a mentor to other NACUA members, especially new members, and is always welcoming to all.

NACUA is pleased to recognize Shelley Carthen Watson as a recipient of the First Decade Award for her outstanding service to the Association and to the practice of higher education law in her first nine years of membership.