Firm News, Accolades

Sowell Gray’s Cal Watson named Lawyer of the Year by SC Lawyers Weekly

Sowell Gray Stepp & Laffitte, LLC, is pleased to announce that Cal Watson received the top “Lawyer of the Year” award at the seventh annual South Carolina Lawyers Weekly’s 2015 Leadership in Law awards dinner held Thursday, March 12, 2015, in Charleston, SC.

The Leadership in Law awards honor outstanding members of South Carolina’s legal community who have achieved success in their law practice, made contributions to society and made an impact on the legal industry. The “Lawyer of the Year” recipient is selected from among the 2015 honorees.

In his practice at Sowell Gray, Cal develops strategies that help South Carolina businesses resolve even the most complex issues. His practice areas include commercial litigation, business dispute resolution, and professional liability and ethics.

Throughout his career, Cal has shown himself to be as dedicated to the well-being of the legal profession as he has been to his own career. A statement from his nomination reads, “The combination of his ability to think about the big picture and his capacity for delivering consistently and reliably on day-to-day responsibilities has made him a very successful leader. In addition, he solicits input from a wide variety of constituencies, works to build a consensus, and enlists talented men and women from all aspects of the profession to work with him in achieving the organization’s goals. He has made a particular effort to enlist and engage young lawyers, and he is a natural albeit unofficial mentor to many of us who have worked under him.”

As president of the South Carolina Bar, he helps makes a difference with his dedication to programs that ensure the legal system is available to all. These programs include Legal Assistance for Military Personnel (LAMP), which pairs qualified military personnel with volunteer lawyers; free legal clinics, Ask-A-Lawyer phone banks and web chats; and programs that provide wills to first-response personnel and Habitat for Humanity homeowners. In addition, he has made a significant contribution to the Midlands community with his work as past president of the Historic Columbia Foundation.

“Cal has earned many accolades in his career because he takes his civic responsibility seriously and consistently demonstrates the highest levels of leadership and dedication to the people of South Carolina,” said Betsy Gray. “He deserves this special recognition from South Carolina Lawyers Weekly. All of us at Sowell Gray are proud and happy for him.”

Cal has been named a South Carolina “Super Lawyer” for seven consecutive years, has been listed in Best Lawyers in America yearly since 2008, and has been listed in Chambers USA America’s Leading Lawyers for Business since 2009.In addition, he has been a member of the South Carolina Bar’s House of Delegates since 1997 and has twice served on the South Carolina Bar Board of Governors. He is past president of the John Belton O’Neall Inn of Court.