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Article and photo courtesy of Great Lakes Advocate - 4 January 2012

Gabrielle Watts
Gabrielle Watts was recently appointed regional president of the
Law Society. At just 26 she is the youngest lawyer ever elected
president of the Mid North Coast Law Society.
Photo: Carl Muxlow.

Forster lawyer Gabrielle Watts has been practising law for only three years but her peers have already recognised her excellent work and elected her regional president of the Law Society.

At just 26 she is the youngest lawyer ever elected president of the Mid North Coast Law Society, a post that has a large responsibility for local lawyers and liaising on legal matters with the attorney-general in both Sydney and Canberra.

“We lose a lot of our local talent to the big law firms in Sydney and I’ll be concentrating on ways to encourage them to come back to the area,” she said.

“I hope to make the Law Society a focus for helping regional lawyers modernise their offices, getting them ‘connected’ via social media sites which can be used as a forum for sharing resources, ideas and offering a chance for lawyers in regional centres to ask questions and share tips.”

It’s a rapid rise to the top for Gabrielle, who got her first job after she graduated in 2009 as a lawyer with the Forster office of Stacks Law Firm.

Gabrielle was born in Newcastle and grew up in Taree where her father was a teacher. She got her HSC at Taree High in 2002, then studied forensic science and law at Newcastle University.

“I am fascinated by the detective work and science of forensics and love a good crime book or movie. But I did a few law subjects at the same time as studying for the science degree and I realised law was the career I wanted to pursue,” she said.

She got honours in forensic science, completed a law degree with first class honours and a Diploma of Legal Practice, tutored in criminal law, and was admitted to practise law in early 2009. As if that wasn’t enough, she’s now studying for an MBA.

“It’s been a really intense time and I love practising law. I’ve been doing everything from commercial disputes, personal injury, criminal law, victims compensation, and even employment law.”

When she’s not doing all that, she pursues her passion for dance and fitness, taking classes in belly dancing, aerobics, and yoga and pilates. She helps raise money for Surf Life Saving Australia, Greenpeace, RSPCA Australia, and the Cancer Council, and is a regular donor to the Australian Red Cross Blood Service.


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