Wilbert (Will) Watts is the Co-Director of UCLA’s new Veterans Legal Services Clinical Program which provides assistance primarily to veterans, their caregivers and families who access services at the West Los Angeles Veterans Administration Campus. His teaching includes the Veterans Legal Clinic and Introduction to the Lawyer-Client Relationship.
Watts joins UCLA from Public Counsel where he served as the Directing Attorney for the Homelessness Prevention Law Project. In this role, he sought to address the needs of both veterans and non-veterans throughout the City and County of Los Angeles who are homeless or at high risk of becoming homeless. Among other things, Watts was responsible for the project's state and local policy work, its government benefits work, and the project's housing work, including the firm's participation in the Shriver Housing Project, a California pilot project providing low-income litigants with representation in eviction matters.
Prior to joining Public Counsel, Watts was a partner at DLA Piper LLP where he practiced in all areas of real estate representing major financial institutions, investment funds, developers of major projects throughout Southern California, and insurance companies.
His numerous board and civic activities include serving as a Los Angeles County Commissioner on behalf of Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas and as a board member of the agency responsible for planning and overseeing the allocation of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funding to address the needs of homeless individuals and those at risk of homelessness in Pasadena. In addition, he has been named a Southern California Rising Star by Super Lawyers magazine and, in 2010, was honored with one of the National LGBT Bar Association's inaugural 40 Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40 awards.
Watts earned his A.B. in English and Psychology magna cum laude from Georgetown University and his J.D. from Harvard Law School.