Shawn Kelly Watts

  • Lecturer in Law

Shawn Watts is is the associate director of the Edson Queiroz Foundation Mediation Program at Columbia Law School.

A Citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Watts won the Jane Marks Murphy Prize for clinical advocacy and was a Strine Fellow while he was a student at Columbia Law School. He developed and teaches a course in Native American Peacemaking, which is a traditional indigenous form of dispute resolution.

He has mediated in the New York City Civil Court, Harlem Small Claims Court, and the Institute for Mediation and Conflict Resolution, and he has also supervised student mediations in court-related programs in New York City.

Prior to serving as the mediation program’s associate director, Watts was an associate in the finance and bankruptcy practice group at the New York office of Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton, where—in addition to representing both creditors and debtors in multimillion-dollar bankruptcies—he specialized in federal Indian law and tribal finance.

Prior to receiving his J.D. degree at the Law School, Watts served as the president of the National Native American Law Students Association and was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar as a student. During that time, he was also managing editor of Law School’s Journal of Law and Social Problems. Watts earned a B.A. from St. John’s College in Santa Fe, N.M. in 2000.